New speaker parents as grassroots policy makers in contemporary Galicia: Ideologies, management and practices

Bernadette O'Rourke, Anik Nandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines the role of new speaker parents who have made a conscious decision to bring up their children in Galician, a language which they themselves did not acquire in the home. Although intergenerational transmission has for long been considered a crucial part of linguistic vitality, new speakers bring complexity to this paradigm and in particular prompt questions about their role as parents and as potential agents of sociolinguistic change in the process of language revitalization. Through their individual as well as collective linguistic practices, new speaker parents have the potential to generate visible and/or invisible language planning on the ground, influencing their children’s language learning and creating future generations of speakers. As such, these parents, through their own linguistic behaviour, can play a potentially significant role in the revitalization and maintenance of Galician outside the school through their family language policies in the home. Drawing on two focus group discussions involving seven families in two of Galicia’s urban centres, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo, we investigate how these new speaker parents exercise their agency and become policy makers in their homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-511
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage Policy
Issue number4
Early online date6 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Bilingualism
  • Family language policy
  • Galicia
  • Language revitalization
  • New speaker parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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