New speakers and indigenous minority languages

The aim of this WG is to take stock of existing research on “new speakers” in the context of indigenous minorities. It identifies similarities and differences in “new speaker” profiles across Europe’s indigenous language contexts and explores the theoretical underpinnings of what it means to be a “new speaker” of such a language in a multilingual Europe.  Of the three multilingual strands explored in the Action, this is where the new speaker concept has received most focused attention (see for example O’Rourke and Ramallo 2011, 2013 and O’Rourke and Pujolar 2013). The aim of the WG is to move this discussion forward by extending the number of case studies beyond those included to date. The WG adopts a cross-case approach to examine the extent to which new speaker practices in one indigenous language context are similar or different to others and whether or not some set of generalizable trends can be identified across all cases. WG meetings are arranged around a number of general themes and consist of presentations from participants about how their individual case studies fit into (or not) that particular theme or framework.

These will include some of the following themes:

  • ‘Becoming’ a new speaker
  • Linguistic “mudes”
  • Authenticity, legitimacy and the relationship with the native speaker
  • Ideological contestation and the new speaker
  • New speakers and language policy
  • New speakers and standardization
  • New speakers and gender

Get in Touch

John Walsh

Pia Lane