International Workshop on Heritage Languages

International Workshop:

Heritage languages:

language contact-change-maintenance and loss

in the wave of new migration landscapes

Bergische Universität Wuppertal
4-6 October 2012

The 17th Wuppertal Linguistic Colloquium takes place as international workshop Heritage languages: language contact-change-maintenance and loss in the wave of new migration landscapes at the University of Wuppertal (Neuer Senatssaal, K.11.07) from October 4 to 6, 2012. The organizers,
Prof. Dr. Katrin Schmitz,
Prof. Dr. Natascha Müller (Wuppertal) and
Prof. Dr. Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes (Plymouth/England)
are looking forward to many interested colleagues and students.
In a global world it is increasingly important to consider movement of people and language changes in the emigrated communities within Europe and beyond which would help us to shape our understanding of how language has an impact on the landscape of our society with particular reference to migrant populations.

Whereas much attention has been devoted to the study of heritage language and language transmissions together with their direct implications for policy and education policy makers in the US, very little or no attention has been attracted in Europe, despite the fact that huge floods of immigration have characterized recent and past history in the formation of the old continent of Europe. In that regard, one of the fundamental questions we would like to discuss, among many others, is whether we should be concerned by the fact that more and more heritage speakers do not have a norm as described by a prescriptive grammar of a typical monolingual speaker.

Ultimately, one of the main components relevant to our field is to start discussing the results of research on various heritage languages, changes in the feature composition of various grammatical phenomena in the heritage language and comparison of results of various researchers and language combinations (e.g., Turkish, Spanish and Italian in Germany, Moroccan Arabic and Turkish in the Netherlands, German in Italy and the US). Another important component is to find out the role of social factors, education and general policy for migration and the interaction of these factors among each other and with the speech of the migrants as well as bilingual children and language change.

In short, this colloquium will provide a forum for researchers concerned with aspects of multilingualism to compare findings  and exchange analyses of different settings working from different sub- and cross-disciplines, and in so doing contribute to theory- and practice building in this emerging field.
The participation in the workshop is free. In order to guarantee an optimal organization, we kindly ask you to pre-register by sending a mail to Mrs. Di Venanzio:

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