Language and markets: linguistic efficiency in Europe

Project leaders:
Amado Alarcón
Antonio Terceño; Amado Alarcón; Luís Garzón; David García; Jorge de Andrés; Gloria Barberà; Carmen Cincunegui; Ignasi Brunet
Proposed start date:
Proposed end date:

Funded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

This research project "Languages and markets: social and linguistic efficiency in European Integration" adresses the relationship between internationalization of economic activity, linguistic capital and social inequality. This relationship can be observed in the Economic and Monetary Union, where not all the companies have the same appropriate linguistic capital to access to the opportunities offered by the free movement of labor, capital, goods and services.  The purpose of the project is to understand the problems of economic efficiency and distribution of resources among social groups in a context of increasing linguistic complexity.

The objective are:

  • To observe the effects of theeconomic activity and labor internationalization on the linguistic coordination in companies.
  • To analyze to what extent linguistic coordination implies a hierarchy of instrumental value for each language.
  • To relate the hierarchy of languages with linguistic capital of workers.
  • To establish the relationship between capital and linguistic problems of access to new opportunities and business that involves the process of economic integration.

We study the Spanish case. Firstly, we study the linguistic coordination policy in companies with managers, employees or foreign costumers. Secondly, we analyse the relationship between linguistic capital and professional careers. Thus, we pay special attention to linguistic criteria used by the companies in personnel selection and promotion.

To achieve the objectives, we study the company language policies and the social, labor and linguistic characteristics of employees from 16 multinational companies based in European capital and located in Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque Country.