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The LangAge initiative

Elderly people passing a ball with a younger carer
Photo: Pixabay

Language in later life is too often confined to harmful stereotypes, causing misunderstandings in intergenerational communication. In linguistics, research on language use in later life still holds a marginal position.

The LangAge initiative makes the case for the importance of research on language in later life in the field of linguistics. It aims to promote knowledge and exchange on intergenerational communication in academia and in society. Discourse on the dynamics of language in later life is still regularly reduced to investigating the loss of language skills.

LangAge’s focus lies not on pathological processes, rather on so called 'normal aging', and the starting point of all research questions of LangAge is to describe how older adults actually instrumentalise their language skills. Within this perspective, identification of a wide range of linguistic adaptation and compensation phenomena becomes possible. The resulting picture of linguistic aging is dynamic and multifaceted.