Tomasz Wicherkiewicz’ guest lectures at the University of Tartu

On March 18.-21, both students and lecturers are kindly invited to Tomasz Wicherkiewicz' guest lectures at the University of Tartu. Tomasz Wicherkiewicz (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań) talks about sociolinguistics, gives a TÜling talk on orthographies and ideologies, gives a Polish language class and gives a presentation on minority languages. All those interested are invited to come and listen!

Tomasz Wicherkiewicz is a Polish linguist who specializes in sociolinguistics, language policy and planning, as well as minority studies, with a special interest in endangered, minority and minorized, lesser-spoken, underresourced, and underresearched languages and their communities, in language revitalization and documentation, and in the minority language rights protection and research. His research also includes typologies and sociolinguistics of writing systems and their elements. He authored and led the project Poland's Linguistic Heritage - Documentation Database for Endangered Languages

Lectures are held in English.



Schedule of the guest lectures:


  1. Sociolinguistic history of Poland/Polish - historical multilingualism and language contacts with Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Latgalian

Monday, March 18, at 10:15-11:45 Jakobi 2-106 (36 places)

The presentation will endeavour to explore the history of linguistic contacts within the Polish language area from both linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives, with a specific focus on the spaces and domains of Polish-East Slavic (Ukrainian and Belarusian) and Polish-Baltic (Lithuanian and Latgalian) co-existence, as well as linguistic co-development.


  1. TÜling lecture

Orthographies and Ideologies - Case studies from Central Europe.

Tuesday, March 19 at 16-17.15 Jakobi 2-438



In all over the world, the complex interplay of orthography, identity, ideology, and their choices has wider implications for literacy and scholarship. The late modern and contemporary ethno-linguistic history of Europe provides numerous case studies of that complex interplay and its direct influence upon ethnic, regional, and ideological identities, religious, cultural, and political choices of speech communities. In that respect, our (although terminologically and geopolitically debatable) region of Central Europe is not different. Furthermore, here, language communities and activists have wanted to make their languages valid and visible by developing script, writing systems, orthography, individual letters, diacritics, or type fonts. The choices involved in deciding the graphic layout have made the language ideologies tangible. Graphization (developing a written form) of a language (variety) has not only involved the selection of an appropriate orthography but also caused (often conflictive) decisions concerning cultural, religious, political, and historical matters. Understanding the dynamics of debate, involved preferences, and the resulting selections can contribute to the decisions we make, both as linguists, sociolinguists, linguistic anthropologists, and as engaged linguists.



  1. Class in Polish Inne języki Polski – kaszubski, śląski, wilamowski

Wednesday, March 20 at 18:15-19:45 Jakobi 2-111

During the past three decades, Poland has witnessed a grassroots movement aimed at preserving and, in certain instances, restoring linguistic diversity. The debates surrounding some language varieties and their sociolinguistic and political status have been particularly vibrant, notably with respect to the Kashubian, Silesian, and Wilamowicean microlanguage. The Polish-language presentation will discuss these linguistic phenomena.



  1. Presentation

Minority languages and language policies vs. language politics: patterns from Europe, Asia, and America

Thursday, March 21, at 10:15-11:45 Jakobi 2-106 (36 places)


This will be an attempt to provide a cross-sectional examination of various types of language policies and politics directed toward minority languages and their speech communities in selected regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Special attention will be paid to the context of efforts aimed at revitalising these languages.




Those who cannot attend physically can listen to the Monday and Thursday lectures over Zoom.

Guest lectures are financed by Erasmus+.

Gretchen McCulloch

Gretchen McCulloch, the internet’s favourite linguist, is visiting Tartu


The 5th International Symposium on Applied Phonetics will be hosted by the University of Tartu


Przemysław Podleśny: the joy of studying in the city and country of opportunities