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The Acquisition of Heritage Languages

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Academic Paper


Title: Competing ideologies of linguistic authority amongst new speakers in contemporary Galicia
Author: Bernadette O'Rourke
Institution: Heriot Watt University
Author: Fernando F. Ramallo
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://uvigo.academia.edu/fernandoramallo
Institution: Universidade de Vigo
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: While in many indigenous minority-language situations traditional native speaker communities are in decline, new speakers are emerging in the context of revitalization policies. Such policies, however, can have unforeseen consequences and lead to tensions between newcomers and existing speakers over questions of ownership, legitimacy, and authenticity. This article examines these tensions in the case of Galician in northwestern Spain, where “new speakers” have emerged in the context of revitalization policies since the 1980s. The subsequent spread of the language outside traditional Galician strongholds and into what were predominantly Spanish spaces complicates the traditional ideology about sociolinguistic authenticity and ownership and raises questions about who are the legitimate speakers of Galician, who has authority, and the potential tensions that such questions generate. To illustrate the tensions and paradoxes that and speakers face in this postrevitalization context, we draw on three discussion groups consisting of sixteen young Galicians. (New speakers, authority, authenticity, minority languages, Galician)

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 42, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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