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LINGUIST List 18.3551

Tue Nov 27 2007

Diss: Socioling: Gogonas: 'Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Language Ma...'

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        1.    Nikolaos Gogonas, Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Language Maintenance in Second-generation Migrants: a study of Albanian and Egyptian pupils in Athens


Message 1: Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Language Maintenance in Second-generation Migrants: a study of Albanian and Egyptian pupils in Athens
Date: 27-Nov-2007
From: Nikolaos Gogonas <nikgoghotmail.com>
Subject: Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Language Maintenance in Second-generation Migrants: a study of Albanian and Egyptian pupils in Athens
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Institution: University of Sussex
Program: DPhil Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Nikolaos Gogonas

Dissertation Title: Ethnolinguistic Vitality and Language Maintenance in Second-generation Migrants: a study of Albanian and Egyptian pupils in Athens

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Russell King
Nicola J. Woods

Dissertation Abstract:

In this study I investigate the factors affecting language maintenance
among second-generation Albanian and Egyptian migrant pupils in
Greece. Using a combined quantitative and qualitative methodology, I
explore the influence of three sets of variables on language
maintenance. These are a) ethnolinguistic vitality, defined by the
demography, status and institutional support of each group in Greece,
as well as migrant and indigenous pupils' perceptions regarding these
factors; b) migrant parents' attitudes to language maintenance and
their role in language transmission in the home; and c) the attitudes of
teachers and the institutional approaches of mainstream Greek
education to linguistic and cultural diversity.

As regards the ethnolinguistic vitality component of the study, findings
indicate that numerical strength is not a factor that accounts for
language maintenance: this is illustrated by the fact that despite the
numerical superiority of the Albanian group vis-à-vis the Egyptian
migrant community, the latter fares better in terms of language
maintenance. The main reason for this was found to be the Egyptians'
better social status ascribed by the Greek society as compared to the
Albanians who have been suffering stigmatisation.

Regarding the role of the family in language maintenance, I found that
religion and language form core values for Egyptian parents, a fact
that leads - especially Muslim Egyptians - to a higher mobilisation for
the transmission of the ethnic language to their children compared to
the Albanians. On the other hand, the lack of a 'religious tradition' in
combination with a general 'fluidity' of ethnic identity that characterises
the Albanian parents, leads them to embrace the Greek language at
the cost of ethnic language maintenance and its transmission to the
next generation.

Finally, the role of mainstream Greek education in language
maintenance was found to be determining. The emphasis placed on
Ancient Greek and Western European languages and the
simultaneous undervaluation of all other languages and cultures leads
to the marginalisation of languages such as Albanian and Arabic. In
this exclusionary context, migrant pupils' linguistic capital is considered
as a deficit; as a result, migrant pupils internalise the negative
attitudes to their languages and the possibilities of language
maintenance are minimised.





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