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Dr Ragnhild Ljosland

PhD, Cand. Philol., Lecturer in Nordic Studies

Centre for Nordic Studies
University of the Highlands and Islands
Kiln Corner
KW15 1QX

e: Ragnhild Ljosland
t: +44 (0)1856 569302
f: +44 (0)1856 569001


Available to talk to the media about

  • Orkney and Shetland dialect and language
  • Runes
  • Orkney and Shetland literature
  • Centre for Nordic Studies summer courses
  • Bilingualism
  • Culture
  • Orkney
  • Nordic issues


In the following languages

  • English
  • Norwegian


Dr Ragnhild Ljosland is a lecturer at the interdisciplinary Centre for Nordic Studies at UHI. She is based in Kirkwall, Orkney.


MLitt in Orkney and Shetland Studies: Orkney and Shetland Tongues module

MLitt in Orkney and Shetland Studies and MLitt in Highlands and Islands Literature: Orkney and Shetland Literature module

MLitt in Highlands and Islands Literature: Early Scottish and Norse Literature module

Under development for the MLitt in Viking Studies: Runology and Old Norse module


Current research

The Orkney and Shetland Dialect Corpus Project
Research groups/interest
Member of the CALPIU Network
Member of The Scottish Society for Northern Studies
Founding member of The Orkney and Shetland Dialect Research Network

Research interest

Dr Ragnhild Ljosland’s previous work includes research on the sociolinguistic role of English as an international language of higher education and research, as well as research on Orkney literature, runology, and linguistic research on the Orkney and Shetland dialects. She is currently compiling a corpus of Orkney and Shetland dialect texts for use in linguistic research.

Ragnhild Ljosland is also actively involved in the Centre for Nordic Studies’ knowledge exchange and community engagement activities, and is a popular speaker at open lectures. She also regularly writes a research communication column named Mimir’s Well in the local newspaper The Orcadian. She also teaches the popular evening class in Orkney Dialect for Beginners.

Selected publications


Book chapter: “Language planning in practice in the Norwegian higher education sector” in English in Nordic Universities. Ideologies and practices. Hultgren, A. K., Gregersen, F. & Thøgersen, . J. (eds.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, p. 53-82 29 p. (Studies in World Language Problems; vol. 5). October 2014

Communicating Identity: The Modern Runes of Orkney. In : Studia Historyczne. 2013, 3, p. 412-430 18 p.

'I'll cross dat brig whin I come til him': grammatical gender in the Orkney and Shetland dialects of Scots. Ljosland, R. 2014. In: Scottish Language, Numbers 31 & 32, 2012 & 2013, pp. 29-58.

Language planning confronted by everyday communication in the international university: the Norwegian case. Ljosland, R. 19 Feb. 2014. In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, volume 35, Issue 4, 2014, pp. 392-405. DOI 10.1080/01434632.2013.874436. Full text can be downloaded from: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/GKiWJGzwYtaIcPEnz9GP/full

Old Norse Cultural Influence in the Work of Christina M. Costie. Ljosland, R. 7 Oct 2013 In : Journal of the North Atlantic. Special Volume 4/2013, p. 177-188 11 p.

The Establishment of the Scots Language in Orkney Ljosland, R.Nov-2012 In : New Orkney Antiquarian Journal.6, p. 65-80.16 p.

Ljosland, R. (2008): Lingua franca, prestisjespråk og forestilt fellesskap: Om engelsk som akademisk språk i Norge. Et kasusstudium i bred kontekst. / Lingua franca, prestige and imagined communities: English as an academic language in Norway. A case study in its broader context. Department of Scandinavian Studies and Comparative Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. ISBN 978-82-471-1101-7.

Ljosland, Ragnhild (2011): Chrissie’s Bodle. Discovering Orkney’s Forgotten Writer Christina M. Costie. Kirkwall: The Orcadian Ltd. ISBN-10: 1902957431


Journal articles:

Ljosland, Ragnhild (2011): English as an Academic Lingua Franca: Language policies and multilingual practices in a Norwegian university.  Journal of Pragmatics March 2011, volume 43, issue 4

Ljosland, Ragnhild (2010): Teaching Through English: Monolingual Policy Meets Multilingual Practice. In Hermes 45, September 2010. p. 99-113.

Ljosland, R. (2007): “English in Norwegian academia: a step towards diglossia?”. World Englishes 2007; Volume 26.(4) p. 395-410.

Ljosland, R. (2004): ”Å velge bort norsk – domenetap i nytt teoretisk lys”. In Norsklæreren 1/2004.



Ljosland, R. (forthcoming): Norse Cultural Influence in the Work of Christina M Costie. In Journal of the North Atlantic, 2012