This chapter explores why and with which effect ‘new speakers’ invest in delineated minority languages rather than in poly- or translingualism. ‘New speakers’ refer here to individuals who have had limited home or community exposure to a minority language but acquired it through immersion or bilingual educational programmes, revitalisation projects or as adult language learners. Based on the case of Galician, a minoritised language in north-western Spain and drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out between 2012 and 2016, the chapter looks at the linguistic practices and ideologies of Galician new speakers in their attempt to carve out ‘safe spaces’ in Spanish-dominant contexts. While contemporary social and geographical mobility has prompted a shift away from a view of language as bounded and unitary and towards one which embraces hybridity, multiplicity and fluidity, Galician new speakers do not necessarily align themselves to this view. Although new speaker research has prompted a rethinking of existing models of language revitalisation, in this chapter I will argue that it also needs critical reflection so as to take into account that some new speakers do not always see multilingual practices as desirable and, in some instances even perceive them as dangerous.
|Title of host publication||Critical Perspectives on Linguistic Fixity and Fluidity|
|Subtitle of host publication||Languagised Lives|
|Editors||Jürgen Jaspers, Lian Malai Madsen|
|Publication status||Published - 13 Dec 2018|