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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: Indigenous and Migrant Minority Languages in Changing Multilingual Environments

   
Location: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Start Date: 17-Jul-2013 - 19-Jul-2013
Contact: Julia de Bres
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Minority languages, by their very nature, exist in multilingual environments. But far-reaching developments in globalisation and migration mean these multilingual environments are currently undergoing dramatic changes. Across Europe and around the world, traditional forms of multilingualism are giving way to new and more complex forms, in which speakers of indigenous minority languages must negotiate their place alongside newer migrant minority languages, in addition to other more established majority languages.

In such contexts, several issues are raised, including:

How do speakers of indigenous minority languages construct their position in relation to speakers of both ‘old’ majority languages and ‘new’ minority languages?

How do indigenous minority language speakers view migrant minority languages? Are these languages seen in terms of threat/competition, or as facilitating acceptance of a wider range of languages within a multilingual society?

What three-way relationships exist between the indigenous minority language(s), the majority language(s), and the new migrant language(s)?

What scope is there for indigenous minority languages to gain prominence in a changing multilingual environment?

What can speakers of indigenous and migrant languages learn from each other’s minority language experiences?

What even counts as a minority language in these increasingly complex multilingual environments?

With these issues in mind, this conference addresses the overall question of:

‘What challenges and possibilities do changing forms of multilingualism pose for speakers of indigenous and migrant minority languages, and what opportunities are presented by interactions between the two?’

The conference will take place in multilingual Luxembourg, a traditionally trilingual and increasingly multilingual country that is a prime example of the changing forms of multilingualism that are the subject of the conference.

Keynote Speakers:

Stephen May, School of Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland (New Zealand)

Guus Extra, Chair of Language and Minorities, Tilburg University (Netherlands)

Melissa G. Moyer, Departament de Filologia Anglesa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Catalonia)
Linguistic Subfield: Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.3047


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