Special Issue: New Speakers of Minority Languages: The Challenging Opportunity

Bernadette O'Rourke (Editor), Joan Pujolar (Editor), Fernando Ramallo (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


In this special issue we examine and reflect upon the emergence of “new speakers” in the context of some of Europe’s minority languages. The “new speaker” label is used here to describe individuals with little or no home or community exposure to a minority language but who instead acquire it through immersion or bilingual educational programs, revitalization projects or as adult language learners. The emergence of this profile of speaker draws our attention to the ways in which minority linguistic communities are changing because of globalization and the new profiles of speakers that this new social order is creating. The concept also focuses our attention on some of the fundamental principles which had for a long time been taken for granted in much sociolinguistic research and in particular, language planning associated with linguistic revitalization. The authors of the eight articles included in this volume engage with these issues through their analyses of new speaker communities across a variety of European contexts including the Basque Country, Brittany, Catalonia, Corsica, Galicia, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Occitania.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Issue number231
Early online date18 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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