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Palgrave Macmillan

Trilingual Talk in Sicilian-Australian Migrant Families

Playing Out Identities Through Language Alternation

ISBN 9781137383679
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This book is an indepth study of the linguistic dynamics among Sicilian migrants in Australia, one of the largest regional groups in the context of Italian emigration. Through conversations gathered within the family, language choice and language alternation among Sicilian, English and Italian are explored in talk between first and second generation. The analytical approach combines the interactional with the language and identity perspective, focusing on code-switching as a strategy to construct and contest conversational and social identities. A corpus of quantitative surveys and other Sicilian-Australian voices gathered through interviews complement the conversational data, contributing to the representation of the linguistic and cultural identities of Sicilian migrants. The study is placed in the context of the family migrant experience and the shifting attitudes towards immigrant languages in Australia.

Antonia Rubino is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her main research interests and publications are in multilingualism and contact linguistics, with a focus on changes occurring in the Italian language and dialects in the Australian context. She is editor of Using and Learning Italian in Australia and Lingua, identità e comunicazione in contesti anglofoni e italiani, and co-author of Emigrazione e comportamento linguistico: un'indagine sul trilinguismo dei siciliani e dei veneti in Australia.

1. The Context of Italian Migration
2. From Bilingualism in Sicily to Trilingualism in Australia
3. Approaches to Multilingual Talk
4. Trilingual Talk in Family A
5. Trilingual Talk in Family B
6. From Qualitative to Quantitative Data: Language Choice in the Family
7. Summary and Conclusions


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