Multiculturalism and Integration: A Harmonious Relationship by James Jupp & Michael Clyne
Chapter 3: Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Integration
For my undergraduate degree I studied joint honours Linguistics with Japanese Language. Although it has been a few years since I graduated, linguistics is still a prominent interest of mine. Last night I read the chapter mentioned above from Multiculturalism and Integration. This research is focused on Australia, and the chapter in question was looking at the relationships between English and community (non-Indigenous) languages.
Here I will highlight what I found most interesting, and also provide a few definitions and translations of interesting vocabulary.
Exogamy: the custom of marrying outside a community, clan, or tribe.
I was particularly fascinated by the section Changes in the structure of community languages. Although it may seem almost inevitable that English lexical items would be transferred into the various community languages, the nature of the recipient language brings about variances in how English items are integrated.
Although it has not yet been mentioned on this blog I am currently learning Italian, and was quite interested in the following:
Italian fattoria (Italian small farm) takes on the meaning of the similar sounding factory, while Australian farms are referred to by the integrated English transfer, farma.
I can understand why the Italian fattoria underwent a change in meaning (at least in the communities analysed), as this is a word I often mix-up when using Italian as it really does sound like factory.
The chapter mentions briefly that English-derived nouns are assigned to genders in a particular way in Croatian and Romanian, and that major typological changes (word order) have been seen in Dutch. As these sound like fascinating areas of research I may attempt to find such research and do some further reading.
Next, in the section Language shift, there was discussion about the use of English vs. community languages and how this differs between genders:
The census statistics indicate that for most groups from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, men maintain community languages more than women… among those born in Japan, Korea and the Philippines, and to a lesser extent those from Cambodia, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, the shift is greater among women
The research appears to show that this is due to second set of countries (except India) being those from which women have married out more than men.
The final section, Family communication, offers another interesting finding about Italian communities in Australia. It was found that trilingual people have a more clear-cut functional differentiation between languages. Sicilian-Italian-English and Venetian-Italian-English trilinguals in Sydney apparently use Italian to express personal identity, Sicilian or Venetian for family identity, and English for everyday wider communication.
Although this has been a brief look into the insights of Australian community languages provided in the chapter, I have tried to encompass what stood out to me most prominently. I hope that as I continue to read such chapters/articles I will be able to give a more in depth analysis of what I have read.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions for anything I can read!