Central Europe has always been a highly multilingual region but how has
this been affected by the social and political transformations of the last
20 years? The German language in particular has long played a key role in
processes of identification here: but what role is the relationship between
German and other languages playing today in the reshaping of societies and
communities in this rapidly changing region? How is this relationship
articulated in discourses on language and language ideologies? How is it
manifested in individual repertoires and social practices? How is it
determined by social and cultural policies? How is it exploited in the
construction of European identities?
These are just some of the questions addressed in this book, in which
individual studies explore language practices in the multilingual contact
zones of central Europe and the impact of both past and present migrations.
Analysing a wide range of sources from media texts to language biographies
and from business meetings to salsa classes, the authors demonstrate the
local effects of global processes and some of the many ways in which
language figures in contemporary social change.