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Title: Linguistic 'mudes' and the de-ethnicization of language choice in Catalonia
Author: Pujolar, Joan  
Gonzàlez Balletbò, Isaac  
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Citation: Pujolar, J. & Gonzàlez, I. (2013). Linguistic 'mudes' and the de-ethnicization of language choice in Catalonia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16(2), 138-152. doi: 10.1080/13670050.2012.720664
Abstract: Catalan speakers have traditionally constructed the Catalan language as the main emblem of their identity even as migration filled the country with substantial numbers of speakers of Castilian. Although Catalan speakers have been bilingual in Catalan and Castilian for generations, sociolinguistic research has shown how speakers' bilingual practices have always been sensitive to keeping a clear sense of the boundaries between the languages and between their communities of speakers. The norms of language choice in everyday life have reflected this as Catalans have tended to use Catalan basically between those considered to 'be' Catalan. This paper shows that this situation is gradually changing due to new conditions of mobility and access to language, that is, because most native speakers of Castilian are now bilingual and speak Catalan often in everyday life. On the basis of a corpus of 25 interviews and 15 group discussions conducted in Catalonia with a sample of young people of different profiles, we show that young people in Catalonia increasingly rely on prima facie linguistic behavior rather than ethnolinguistic classification to decide which language to speak in specific contexts, so that language use loses its earlier function of ethnolinguistic boundary maintenance.
Keywords: Catalan
language choice
second language acquisition
DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2012.720664
Document type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Version: info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersion
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2012
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