Abstract: It is a widely shared understanding across all the language sciences that bilingualism is a resource for communities and speakers, in a number of different ways (Ruiz, 2010). Following on Portes and Rumbaut (2001) who have researched widely on English-speaking countries, this paper will focus on the case of three Italian families, all belonging to the same region (Sicily, Italy) who emigrated to three English-speaking countries (England, Malta, Australia) for work-related reasons. Through a sociolinguistic analysis of interviews, emphasis will be placed both on the concept of “language attitude” or the role of English(es) in family members’ daily routine, and that of ethnic-cultural identity (Mancini, 2006). The aim is to explore the representational framework that these three families have on bilingualism and biculturalism and to reach a better understanding of the choices that are at the basis of their educational and identity processes. Research questions refer also to the use of linguistic phenomena of code-switching and code-mixing. These three Italian families frequently switch between Italian and English, and their language choice is related both to the ease of lexical access and to the rates of adaptation to the new host environments (both for adult members and children). Results revealed an interesting orientation in the harmonization of the different cultures. In fact, all three families are characterized by a “fluid identity” based on complex acculturation processes (Liebkind, 2001).

Code-switching and code-mixing by Italian migrants speaking ESL: language attitude and “fluid identity”

Paola Leotta
2019

Abstract

Abstract: It is a widely shared understanding across all the language sciences that bilingualism is a resource for communities and speakers, in a number of different ways (Ruiz, 2010). Following on Portes and Rumbaut (2001) who have researched widely on English-speaking countries, this paper will focus on the case of three Italian families, all belonging to the same region (Sicily, Italy) who emigrated to three English-speaking countries (England, Malta, Australia) for work-related reasons. Through a sociolinguistic analysis of interviews, emphasis will be placed both on the concept of “language attitude” or the role of English(es) in family members’ daily routine, and that of ethnic-cultural identity (Mancini, 2006). The aim is to explore the representational framework that these three families have on bilingualism and biculturalism and to reach a better understanding of the choices that are at the basis of their educational and identity processes. Research questions refer also to the use of linguistic phenomena of code-switching and code-mixing. These three Italian families frequently switch between Italian and English, and their language choice is related both to the ease of lexical access and to the rates of adaptation to the new host environments (both for adult members and children). Results revealed an interesting orientation in the harmonization of the different cultures. In fact, all three families are characterized by a “fluid identity” based on complex acculturation processes (Liebkind, 2001).
978-88-31925-44-0
Keywords: code-switching, code-mixing, ESL, language attitude.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/377153
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