The USA is a rich multilingual society. However, due to the dominant ideology promoting the hegemony of English, intergenerational transmission of other languages is oftentimes weak. I present a study of linguistic practices and ideologies by multilingual families residing in NYC, in which one of the parents is born in Catalonia. Potential languages for transmission are two globalizing languages, Spanish and English, and a minoritized one, Catalan. In the sample, parents transmitted their minority language in a surprising proportion, and in many cases at the cost of Spanish, which is more locally available and globally projected. A motivational analysis revealed that the determinant factor was the distribution of integrative and personal values among the languages and the symbolic role that the minority language had in the construction of identity. In turn, the diasporic Catalan community is compared with the NYC Galician community, which presents similar social characteristics, but opposite linguistic choices. An analysis of the language ideologies in both communities reveals that the dominant linguistic ideologies in the original territory, tending to monoglossia in Catalonia and to heteroglossia in Galicia, were maintained in the diasporic context, where, in an accelerated and condensed manner, they produced divergent results regarding intergenerational transmission.
Selected Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Ana M. Carvalho and Sara Beaudrie
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