Carsten Levisen
  • Universitetsvej 1, 43.2

    DK-4000 Roskilde


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Personal profile



My work is in sociocultural linguistics, broadly conceived. I specialize in semantics and pragmatics, discourse studies and postcolonial language studies, and I enjoy doing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work. In Roskilde, I teach at Danish Studies, Global Humanities and the bachelor study programme in the Humanities.



I'm a part of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) research community, The International Association for Colonial and Postcolonial Linguistics and the International Pragmatics Association. In the past, I have contributed to major research projects such as the 'Evolution of Semantics Systems' (Max Planck, Nijmegen), 'Cognitive Creolistics' (Aarhus) and 'An Ethnography of Language Encounters' (Roskilde). I've been a visiting researcher at the Australian National University (Canberra), Griffith University (Brisbane), and the University of the South Pacific (Port Vila). I've been a visiting professor at Tallinn University and Ilisimatusarfik (Greenland's University). I'm an alumnus of The Young Academy of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute of Advanced Studies




  • Creole Studies: Phylogenetic Approaches. Published by J. Benjamins, Amsterdam. With Peter Bakker (Aarhus), Finn Borchsenius (Aarhus) and Eeva Sippola (Bremen).
  • Cultural Keywords in DiscoursePublished by J. Benjamins, Amsterdam. (Pragmatics and Beyond New Series). With Sophia Waters (University of New England). 
  • Tanker i lockdown: [Thoughts in Lockdown]. Published by The Young Academy, Copenhagen. With Casper Andersen (Aarhus), Liselotte Jauffred (Copenhagen), Andreas Hougaard Laustsen (DTU-Copenhagen), Stine Lomborg (Copenhagen), Birgitte Beck Pristed (Aarhus).
  • The Cultural Pragmatics of Danger. In press with J. Benjamins, Amsterdam (Pragmatics and Beyond New Series). With Zhengdao Ye (Australian National University). 


  • Language Ideologies in MusicEmergent Socialities in the Age of Transnationalism. Special issue of Language and Communication, with Eeva Sippola (Bremen) and Britta Schneider (Berlin).
  • Biases in Linguistics: Special issue of Language Sciences, with Simon Borchmann (Roskilde) and Britta Schneider (Berlin)
  • The Social Life of Interjections: Special issue of Scandinavian Studies in Language, with Eva Skafte Jensen (DSN-Copenhagen) and Tina Thode Hougaard (Aarhus).
  • Cognitive Cultural Semantics: Special issue of Scandinavian Studies in Language, with Susana S. Fernández (Aarhus) and Jan Hein (Griffith)
  • The Pragmatics of Place: Postcolonial Perspectives. Special issue in Journal of Postcolonial Linguistics, with Eeva Sippola, (Helsinki).
  • Language and Popular Geopolitics: Special issue in Journal of Postcolonial Linguistics, with Susana S. Fernández (Aarhus)


I've published in journals such as Language SciencesInternational Journal of Language and Culture, Intercultural Pragmatics, Language and CommunicationAustralian Journal of Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics, Scandinavian Studies in Language and Nordic Journal of Linguistics. I've also published chapters in edited books, such as the ‘The Semantics of Nouns’, Z. Ye (Oxford University Press), 'Languages - Cultures - Worldviews', A. Glaz (Routledge) and encyclopedias such as International Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, and International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication.  


  • Special issue on Intercultural Pragmatics (TBA)
  • 'Magical Speech Acts' - edited book with Nico Nassenstein (Mainz)
  • 'Handbook of Postcolonial and Decolonial Linguistics' - with Eeva Sippola (Helsinki)


  • 2015-, Associate Professor, Roskilde University, Denmark
  • 2011-2015, Assistant Professor, postdoc and lecturer, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • 2007-2010, PhD student, University of New England, Australia 


  • 2023 (May), Visiting Researcher, Australian National University
  • 2023 (April), Visting Researcher, Griffith Univeristy, Brisbane
  • 2019-2020 (7 months), Senior Research Fellow, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute of Advanced Studies, Bremen, Germany.
  • 2018 (3 weeks), Guest professor, Illisimatusarfik (Greenland’s University).
  • 2017 (10 days), Erasmus+ guest professor, School of Humanities, Tallinn University.
  • 2014-2018 (in total, 6 months), Visiting researcher, The Pacific Languages Unit, The University of the South Pacific.
  • 2013 (May), ANUCES Fellow, European Studies Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra.


  • 2022-, The Danish Lecturer Scheme (Danish Language, Literature and Culture Abroad), Board Member, Nordic Region and German-speaking Europe). 
  • 2020-, The Danish Language Council, Member of the Board of Representatives
  • 2017-2022, The Young Academy of Denmark under the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Member and Council Member (2019-2020). 


External positions

Researcher, Aarhus University

1 Jan 201331 Dec 2015


  • Language, Language usage, Philosophy of language
  • linguistics
  • cultural linguistics
  • linguistic anthropology
  • anthropological linguistics
  • postcolonial language studies
  • postcolonial linguistics
  • semantics
  • lexical semantics
  • cultural semantics
  • cognitive semantics
  • postcolonial semantics
  • historical semantics
  • visual semantics
  • conceptual semantics
  • Danish semantics
  • Scandinavian semantics
  • creole semantics
  • semantics of Englishes
  • semantic change
  • semantic theories
  • natural semantic metalanguage
  • semantic primes
  • semantic molecules
  • semantic templates
  • pragmatics
  • cultural pragmatics
  • ethnopragmatics
  • metapragmatics
  • postcolonial pragmatics
  • post-Gricean pragmatics
  • keyword studies
  • cultural keywords
  • social keywords
  • keywords of emotion
  • keywords of place
  • hygge
  • tryghed
  • janteloven
  • lykke
  • happiness
  • NSM
  • the NSM approach
  • cultural scripts
  • cultural discourse studies
  • cultural construction grammar
  • lexical anthropology
  • linguacultures
  • linguistic worldviews
  • linguistic encounters
  • linguistic ecologies
  • linguistic ideologies
  • linguistic taboo
  • Danish language
  • Danish pragmatics
  • Danish ideologies of language
  • Scandinavian languages
  • Scandinavian pragmatics
  • World Englishes
  • Anglo Englishes
  • European Englishes
  • Postcolonial Englishes
  • Danglish (Danish English)
  • English as a global language
  • Anglocentrism (critique of)
  • Creole studies
  • creolisation
  • Bislama
  • South Pacific Studies
  • Arctic Studies
  • Greenland-Denmark relations
  • Danish in Greenland
  • Discourse studies
  • discourses of happiness
  • discourses of life
  • discourses of danger
  • discourses of truth
  • discourses of trickery
  • discourses of hygge
  • language and social cognition
  • language and culture
  • language and literature
  • language and social media
  • language and aesthetics
  • language and popular geopolitics
  • language and cultural values
  • language and emotions
  • language and color
  • language socialization
  • language and sociality
  • language and society
  • language and public discourses
  • language and the human body
  • translation studies
  • translatability theory
  • untranslatables
  • abstract nouns
  • evaluative adjectives
  • cognitive verbs
  • speech act verbs
  • interjections
  • discourse particles
  • colour words
  • body-part words
  • prepositions
  • pronouns
  • humour studies
  • sarcasm
  • laughter
  • laughter interjections
  • idioms
  • language ritual
  • ritual communication
  • phraseology
  • formulaic language
  • lyrics
  • reggae lyrics
  • lyrics of popular music
  • colonial history
  • language of modernity
  • language of secularity
  • language of secularization
  • language of religion
  • language of Southern Christianities
  • linguistic epistemology
  • linguistic relativity
  • diversity linguistics
  • the new linguistic turn
  • language and sustainability
  • green linguistics
  • environmental discourse
  • environmental semanticsq
  • environmental linguistics

Publication network

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