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Publication - Dr James Hawkey

    The border as a site of sociolinguistic inquiry

    Findings from Northern Catalonia


    Hawkey, JW, 2019, ‘The border as a site of sociolinguistic inquiry: Findings from Northern Catalonia’. in: Kristine Horner, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain (eds) Multilingualism, (Im)mobilities and Spaces of Belonging. Multilingual Matters, Bristol


    This chapter draws upon the theoretical work in border studies that has emerged within geography and related fields (cf. Prescott 1987; Rumley and Minghi 1991; Van Houtum, Kramsch and Zierhofer 2005; Wilson and Donnan 2012 inter alia), and proposes ways that it can be used by sociolinguists in order to better understand the linguistic characteristics of borderlands. The quantitative data is taken from an attitudes questionnaire distributed to residents of Northern Catalonia, a multilingual area with two autochthonous languages (French and Catalan), and addresses issues of cross-border identity and cross-border mobility. The discussion makes inroads towards bridging the analytical distance between borderland linguistics and other disciplinary approaches to borders by utilising the latest theoretical debates in border studies (chiefly from anthropological, geographical, historical and cultural studies perspectives). It is the main aim of this chapter to show that the interdisciplinary dialogue resulting from a rapprochement of sociolinguistics and border studies is beneficial to the growth of both fields, and that each scholarly approach has much to offer the other.

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