SPECIAL ISSUE: Cognitive Cultural Semantics: A Nordic Guide to the Natural Semantic Metalanguage


The Idea: This special issue aims to provide a Nordic introduction to the study of cognitive cultural semantics, as it is practiced within the analytical traditions of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM semantics) approach. NSM semantics originated in Australia but has become a global inspiration for a meaning-centred humanistic semantics that combines an interest in the cultural and cognitive aspects of meaning-making. The special issue will offer a collection of ideas and analysis that could be called “NSM Nordic” – focusing on developments and applications in the context of the Nordic countries. This includes issues and interests emerging from the encounter between Nordic languages and NSM semantics, ideas born out of scholarship in Nordic countries, and research projects resulting from Australian-Nordic collaboration. The volume aims to situate NSM semantics within the Nordic landscape of semantic theories and to exemplify how NSM semantics can contribute to the study of meaning. The Nordic focus does not in any ways alter or exclude the global orientation of NSM semantics. In fact, collaboration with other scholars from around the world is an important part of NSM Nordic. So is the fusion of “basic” and “applied” research, the plurality of perspective, and the novel applications of NSM semantics that characterize work in international research communities at Nordic Universities.

The Contributions: Within this general conceptual framework, the call is open for NSM-based contributions which fall into one of these three categories:

  1. Contributions on Nordic languages/linguacultures (e.g. Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish)
  2. Contributions on any other language/linguaculture conducted by scholars at Nordic universities
  3. Contributions based on new or established research collaborations with Nordic scholars (e.g. Nordic-Australian research connections)

The plan:

Idea and working title: Please contact us first with your idea and suggest a working title for your paper by June 2021 - or before.

Abstract: By  30th Sept 2021, please send in an abstract (150-200 words). You are very welcome to send it in before this deadline.

Full paper: Based on an evaluation of the abstracts, we will invite a full paper to be handed in by the 31st of January 2022. Papers should be around 6000-7000 words. 

Publication: We expect to publish the special issue in the second half of 2022.


Style guides will be provided after the evaluation of abstracts.

Contact details:

Carsten Levisen: calev@ruc.dk ,Susana S. Fernández: romssf@cc.au.dk, Jan Hein: janihein@gmail.com