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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Is there linguistic life after high school? Longitudinal changes in the bilingual repertoire in metropolitan Barcelona
Author: Kathryn A. Woolard
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Catalan-Valencian-Balear
Abstract: Do linguistic identities formed in high school endure after adolescence? Do age-related linguistic differences represent community trends over historical time, or are they age-graded practices that change over biographical time? Catalan advocates worry that perceived Castilian dominance in adolescents' peer relations and media consumption forecasts the community's sociolinguistic future. To investigate the possibility of change in bilingual repertoires after adolescence, participants in a 1987 ethnographic study of high school students in metropolitan Barcelona were reinterviewed after twenty years. The reinterviews of L1 Castilian-speakers showed increased mastery and use of Catalan even among those who had been functionally monolingual and most resistant to Catalan in high school. Higher education, the workplace, romance, cosmopolitan travel, and parenthood were triggers of such postadolescent change in the linguistic repertoire. Informants produce a common narrative attributing linguistic transformations to maturational processes that reduce the shame and intolerance of difference that inhibit adolescent second language use. (Bilingualism, second language acquisition, longitudinal research, language and identity, adolescence, Catalan, Catalonia)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 40, Issue 5.

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