Presentation Title

Whose Heritage? A Social Approach

Abstract

Bilingualism, heritage language, and community have long been key terms in the sociolinguistic study of migration and diasporas. However, even well-established concepts require some theoretical and practical revision from time to time: what exactly do we mean by them, where is the focus, what is missed out, and what are the implications of our scholarly interpretations? In this presentation, by drawing on a social and constructivist approach to bi/multilingualism and diasporization, I will outline what are the research topics that can adequately be addressed, and what are the research questions that have so far remained invisible for sociolinguistic inquiry due to ideological loadedness of these terms. Instead of mere theorization, I repurpose interactional data from interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in 2016 for my MA thesis with the aim of highlighting how the perspective of the speakers can contribute to the study of language and society. At the end of the talk, I will also deliver some methodological reflections and provide a brief overview on some new research trends in sociolinguistics, especially on studying digital diasporic connectivity and the rise of collaborative methods, that might have the potential to give fresh impetus in bilingualism and heritage language research

Author Biography

Gergely Szabó, Doctoral School of Linguistics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary; Information and Knowledge Society Doctoral Program, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain

Start Date

26-3-2022 1:00 PM

Comments

To see closed captioning for the video, link to https://youtu.be/2Rq_I_5nrSM

Video Length: 21:20

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Mar 26th, 1:00 PM

Whose Heritage? A Social Approach

Bilingualism, heritage language, and community have long been key terms in the sociolinguistic study of migration and diasporas. However, even well-established concepts require some theoretical and practical revision from time to time: what exactly do we mean by them, where is the focus, what is missed out, and what are the implications of our scholarly interpretations? In this presentation, by drawing on a social and constructivist approach to bi/multilingualism and diasporization, I will outline what are the research topics that can adequately be addressed, and what are the research questions that have so far remained invisible for sociolinguistic inquiry due to ideological loadedness of these terms. Instead of mere theorization, I repurpose interactional data from interviews and ethnographic observations conducted in 2016 for my MA thesis with the aim of highlighting how the perspective of the speakers can contribute to the study of language and society. At the end of the talk, I will also deliver some methodological reflections and provide a brief overview on some new research trends in sociolinguistics, especially on studying digital diasporic connectivity and the rise of collaborative methods, that might have the potential to give fresh impetus in bilingualism and heritage language research