Center for the Study of Language and Society, Universität Bern
The CSLS focuses on academic research into the relation between, and interaction of, language and society. In doing so it subscribes to the idea that language is fait social: Language is acquired and constructed by people in interaction with others, in the same way that society is not predefined but created by the interactions between individuals and groups. This constructionist view of language has a long tradition, a tradition that one cannot mention without referencing names such as Ferdinand de Saussure. However, the constructionist view is also reflected in contemporary approaches e.g. construction grammar. The CSLS and the sociolinguistics study program that we offer, however, does not revolve around language as a system, but around its application and effects.