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Article

A Long-Lasting CofP of New and Native Speakers—Practices, Identities of Belonging and Motives for Participation

Competence Centre for the Teaching of Low German, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Germany
Received: 3 December 2020 / Revised: 2 February 2021 / Accepted: 5 February 2021 / Published: 15 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Attitudes, Vitality and Development)
Within sociolinguistic research on small languages like Low German, differentiation into new and native speakers has become established. The relationship between the two different groups of speakers is sometimes conceptualized as an insurmountable “gap”. In addition to different acquisition paths and competencies, identity discourses of belonging, authority and authenticity, as well as typical practices, are all crucial elements of these differences. Despite these differences, the intergenerational language-centered analog community of practice (CofP) “Plattdüütschkring” consisting of approximately 10 new and native speakers of the regional language Low German has existed since 2005. This article is based on an explorative case-study analyzing the network “Plattdüütschkring” as an example of successful cooperation between new speakers and native speakers on the basis of typical attitudes and linguistic practices. In order to gain authentic, subjectively experienced insights into identities, normative conceptions and individual language experiences within and outside the network, meta-linguistic reflections of the members themselves were analyzed. These meta-linguistic reflections were collected through narrative interviews with the same and different members at the two survey dates 2010/11 and 2020. The findings show norms of monolingual language use, narrative identities of a normative hierarchy of acquisition scenarios and competences as aspects of belonging. Social and learning-oriented and thus multiple individually appropriate functions of the network can explain the motivation for long-term membership. These outcomes help to understand the role of language attitudes in CofP in the language development of small languages as well as abstract characteristics of successful language-centered networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: new speakers; network analysis; narrative interviews; belonging; language attitudes; language use; small language; regional language; sociolinguistic approach; CofP new speakers; network analysis; narrative interviews; belonging; language attitudes; language use; small language; regional language; sociolinguistic approach; CofP
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arendt, B. A Long-Lasting CofP of New and Native Speakers—Practices, Identities of Belonging and Motives for Participation. Languages 2021, 6, 30. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010030

AMA Style

Arendt B. A Long-Lasting CofP of New and Native Speakers—Practices, Identities of Belonging and Motives for Participation. Languages. 2021; 6(1):30. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010030

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arendt, Birte. 2021. "A Long-Lasting CofP of New and Native Speakers—Practices, Identities of Belonging and Motives for Participation" Languages 6, no. 1: 30. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/languages6010030

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