Maite Puigdevall | “New Speakers of Minority Languages” | November 9, 2020

Monday, 9 November 2020 , Olot

Maite Puigdevall | “New Speakers of Minority Languages” | November 9, 2020

Maite Puigdevall | “New Speakers of Minority Languages” | November 9, 2020

Resum de la ponència

On Monday, November the 9th from 5 to 6:30 pm I gave an online lecture to students enrolled at the Master's Degree in Humanities Research of the UdG, more specifically those who study  the subject “The question of the language in the contemporary world”.

The presentation entitled "New Speakers of Minority Languages" focused on, first of all, in explaining from what theoretical stand point within sociolinguistics we conduct our research as well as reviewing the methodologies we use regarding our object of study, this is, new speakers. I then discussed the concept of "new speaker" and why we find it useful to understand what it means to be a speaker of a language that has not been learned during childhood at home, but has been learned and started to be used at different moments or biographical junctures in the life cycle. I reviewed what these moments of “muda” were and why these changes also meant the change of people's language repertoire.

A good part of the presentation was dedicated to talking about the concept of linguistic "muda" and also of the spaces of “muda”, that is, places, physical and social spaces that become “safe spaces” so new speakers get used to speaking the new language without being judged.

Once the presentation ended, the debate with the students and the lecturer focused on talking about the current situation of the language and what they could say about their personal experiences with this type of speakers. It was very interesting to hear the opinion of Karim, one of the students of the Master’s degree. Karim is from Vic, the son of Moroccan immigrants of Tamazight culture. He learned Catalan at school and felt very identified with many of the aspects mentioned in the presentation, especially those related to the fact that despite speaking Catalan from a young age, many are that switch to Spanish when he is speaking in Catalan and that he has to justify and explain himself sometimes with the of being Catalan speaker.