The New Speakers Blog

This is some blog description about this site

Michael Hornsby works in the Department of Celtic languages and literatures in the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His PhD (University of Southampton, 2009) examined the concept of new speakers of Breton and since then he has worked on comparative studies of new speakers of other minority languages, such as Yiddish and Lemko.

Our STSMs - Sibo Kanobana

Sibo Kanobana visited London in April with another network member, Sara Nyssen, where they have completed a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSMs). 

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) promote exchange and mobility within the scientific objectives of the Action, and allow Action members (especially early stage researchers) to visit universities and institutions of another Party of the COST Action to learn new techniques or methodologies, or to work on joint publications. 

Here is what Sibo had to say about his experience:

Tags:
Continue reading
119 Hits
0 Comments

Our STSMs - Karolina Rosiak

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) promote exchange and mobility within the scientific objectives of the Action, and allow Action members (especially early stage researchers) to visit universities and institutions of another Party of the COST Action to learn new techniques or methodologies, or to work on joint publications.

Karolina Rosiak visited Dublin in April. Here is what she had to say about her STSM experience:

Tags:
Continue reading
109 Hits
0 Comments

Our STSMs - Sara Nyssen

Another one of our network members had completed their Short Term Scientific Mission (STSMs).

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) promote exchange and mobility within the scientific objectives of the Action, and allow Action members (especially early stage researchers) to visit universities and institutions of another Party of the COST Action to learn new techniques or methodologies, or to work on joint publications.

Sara Nyssen visited the UK recently. Here is what she had to say about her experience:

Tags:
Continue reading
119 Hits
0 Comments

Language policing in minority communities

Language policing in minority communities

I have recently published a book about new speakers of three minority languages: Breton, Yiddish and Lemko. One of my main aims was to demonstrate that certain aspects of “newspeakerness” seem to be common across a number of different situations of language minoritization.

Common features included:

  • non-intergenerational acquisition of the language, even though many of the people interviewed for the book had family members who spoke the language in question fluently;
  • a struggle over their status as “legitimate speakers”, that is, wider recognition of their speakerhood; and
  • a need to establish a sense of ownership of the language they were new speakers of, in order for it to become (one of) “their” language(s).

A reaction I was not expecting to the publication of the book was contestation over its title.

Continue reading
1816 Hits
0 Comments

New speakers and 'authentic' Yiddish

New speakers and 'authentic' Yiddish

As a member of Work Group 1 of the COST New Speaker network, I am particularly interested in the maintenance of (and expansion in) the use of minority languages in connection with those current and potential speakers who have acquired, or who are in the process of acquiring, a lesser-used language by means other than through intergenerational transmission.

Having already carried out some investigations among new speakers of Breton in the past, I was able to expand my range of examples with reference to another minority language, Yiddish, thanks to a short term scientific mission (STSM) and engage with what might be termed a community of practice (CofP) of new speakers of Yiddish in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Working closely with Bernie O’Rourke at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, who is also the chair of this COST New Speaker network, I was able to compare the linguistic attitudes and practices of new speakers of Yiddish in the Scottish capital with my own previous work, and also engage in discussion with Bernie on the particularities of the Galician situation.

One point of similarity we quickly discovered was the contestation around those linguistic varieties deemed 'minority' which are closely related to a more widely spoken, more prestigious variety, e.g. Galician and Castilian, Yiddish and 'High German'.

Such contestation can be manifested in certain linguistic practices where speakers attempt to avoid identical lexical items in both varieties and distance themselves from the prestigious variety (the Ausbau or ‘building away from’ model of language planning) or, the converse, where some speakers are “accused” of mixed language practices, in that their speech demonstrates increasing influence from the majority language (for example, accent or syntax), to the point where new speakers of Galician, for example, can be accused of speaking “bad” or “corrupt” Spanish.

The same holds true for some younger speakers of Lemko (an eastern Slavic language in Poland I have also worked on), whose linguistic output can sound like “bad” Polish.

This is an issue Bernie and I wish to take forward in some comparative work in the future.

Continue reading
1195 Hits
0 Comments

Posts Calendar

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar