Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Smith-Christmas, C
Journal Of Multilingual And Multicultural Development
Being socialised into language shift: the impact of extended family members on family language policy
Optional Fields
This paper examines a family language policy (FLP) in the context of an extended bilingual Gaelic-English family on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. It demonstrates how certain family members (namely, the children's mother and paternal grandmother) negotiate and reify a strongly Gaelic-centred FLP. It then discusses how other extended family members (the children's father, his sister and brother) occasionally participate in this Gaelic-centred FLP; however, at the same time, these speakers also participate in language shift by maintaining English as their peer group language and replying in English when addressed in Gaelic. The paper argues that these linguistic practices socialise the children into the norms of language shift, resulting in the children's low use of Gaelic. The paper also discusses the possible negative impact of the father's use of Gaelic in disciplining his children.
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