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Researches dialects and place names within the northern Scandinavian areas, including spotlighting different language landscapes. Focus lies on the Scandinavian languages.
PhD in Scandinavian languages at Umeå University 1985, professor of Scandinavian languages at Umeå University since 1995 (temporary post 1993–95). He is also president (‘preses’) of The Royal Gustavus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture and The Royal Skyttean Society.
Lars-Erik Edlund is futhermore member of a number of boards and editorial committees, and since 2007 editor-in-chief for Journal of Northern Studies. During 1992–96 he was editor-in-chief for the four-volume Norrländsk uppslagsbok. These volymes describe Northern Sweden in a broad cultural and historical perspective.
His research interests include cross-disciplinary dialect and place-name studies within a North-Scandinavian context (“Northern Studies”). Within different projects, such as “Cultural Boundaries in northern Scandinavia: Temporal and Spatial Processes” (1996–2006), these cultural patterns have been studied profoundly from different perspectives. He is also research leader for “Svensk etymologisk databas” (SED; ‘Swedish etymological database’) and “Diabas” (‘The Dialect Database [of Nordic Dialects]’), hosted at Humlab, Umeå university.
During the last decade he has been the leader of some other projects within “Northern Studies”: “Naming and Narrating Places: Empowering Sami Traditions and Identities through Popular Place-Making Processes” (2013–16) and “‘The Inquisitive Vicar’: A digitalization of the J. A. Nensén records from the 19th century concerning the northern people, their life and culture” (2015–19).
Furthermore, he is member of the different scientific academies in Sweden, Norway and Finland. His research has been awarded several academic prizes from, e.g., the Swedish Academy, The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, The Royal Gustavus Academy and The Royal Skyttean Society.