Phase 1 (2013 to 2015)

New speakers and indigenous minority languages

Group Leaders:

  • John Walsh
  • Pia Lane

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

New Speakers and Migration

Group Leaders:

  • Luisa Martín Rojo
  • Rosina Márquez-Reiter

The aim of this WG will be to take stock of existing research on “new speakers” in the context of migration. It will identify similarities and differences in “new speaker” profiles across immigrant contexts in Europe and explore the theoretical underpinnings of what it means to be a “new speaker” of a language in the context of migration.  Multilingualism and migration has been explored from a wide variety of perspectives and has only more recently begun to be examined through the ‘new speaker’ lens. In this current budget plan, the aim of the WG will be to move this discussion forward.  The WG will adopt a cross-case approach to examine the extent to which new speaker practices in one migration context are similar or different to others and whether or not some set of generalizable trends can be identified across ‘new speaker’ practices in immigrant communities more generally. WG meetings will be arranged around a number of general themes and will 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:

  • ‘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 gender

New Speakers as Workers

Group Leaders:

  • Alexandre Duchêne
  • Sari Pietikäinen

WG 3 is concerned with new speakers as workers and offers a perspective on this notion through the lenses of work activities and professional mobilities. The category workers can include various categories of people (indigenous speakers, immigrant workers, monolingual workers, mobile workers etc.) who have in common to learn and practice languages, that are not their primary ones, in relation to work. We believe that the focus on workers helps to question what becomes a desirable language to learn in regard to job access and professional mobility, what languages might be considered as dangerous, what competence/skill is expected in order to do what, what is the importance of work in the life of new speakers, what roles new speakers specifically fill in the contemporary workplace, and the ways in which their language skills are (de)valorized and (mis)recognized or not in contemporary workplaces. In the end this WG also aims to complexify the notion of new speakers, by taking into account the ways in which categories like majority speakers, indigenous speakers and immigrant speakers are articulated into other forms of social categories, like, for instance, workers.

Methods and Concepts

Group Leaders:

  • Joan Pujolar
  • Bernadette O'Rourke
  • Tom van Hout

WG4 is an umbrella group for the ‘core’ WGs 1, 2 and 3. This umbrella function is divided into two main strands:

  1. Theories and Concepts
  2. Methods

WG4 takes stock of the theoretical perspectives and conceptual frameworks which have been used to examine the ‘new speaker’ phenomenon across different multilingual strands. It is also tasked with taking stock of the range of methodological approaches that are being used by members of the network. It explores new conceptual frameworks and methodologies relevant to the “new speaker” concept.

Phase 1 Reports

Working Group 1

Report

Working Group 2

Report

Working Group 3

Report

Working Group 4

Report