teaching foreign languages at an early age

Tom Givon tgivon at uoregon.edu
Wed Jan 12 11:25:18 UTC 2011

I suppose I should have indicated by some graphemic means that I was 
using the terms 'imperial' and 'liberation' tongue in cheek. I think 
they pretty much characterize the ideological position of many of my 
Catalan friends. But as is the case in at least one other region in 
Spain, the ideological/national aspirations of one group cut into the 
legitimate rights of another. Internal migration ('imperialism' to some) 
in Spain has made all AutonomIas linguistically mixed. It is fun to 
speak Anzaluz with the taxistas in Barcelona, and once you get them 
going, they will tell you their tale of woes about Catalan linguistic 
nationalism. It is not that in Anzaluzia people don't poke fun at the 
way NorteNos speak, but at least they don't curtail their civil rights. 
These are all subtle details of multilingualism (tho Andaluz is not 
recognized as a language). My point remains tho, that once you get in 
the midst of ideological nationalist zealotry, science becomes murky.  
Best,  TG


On 1/11/2011 9:58 PM, Moore, John wrote:
> Against my better judgement I feel I should add a rejoinder to this; anything said in this domain is bound to bother many, if not all.  The linguistic situation in Catalunya is, indeed complex.  However, to refer to Catalan as 'liberation' and Spanish (or Castellano) as 'imperial' over-simplifies.  Catalan is, of course, the indigenous language of the region which was strenuously repressed during the Franco period.  Spanish, is also clearly the national language that was imposed, also during that period.  However, since around the 1950s, there was a significant internal migration of of Spanish-speaking Andalucians to Catalunya, who  formed a guest-worker-like Spanish-speaking underclass.  This leads to the question: how much of many Catalans' aversion to Spanish is because of historical repression, and how much is due to old-fashion prejudice against an under-class?
> John
> ________________________________________
> From: funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu [funknet-bounces at mailman.rice.edu] On Behalf Of Tom Givon [tgivon at uoregon.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 5:42 PM
> To: funknet at mailman.rice.edu
> Subject: Re: [FUNKNET] teaching foreign languages at an early age
> Well, maybe it is also worth mentioning that when you get into
> Catalunia, you get into thick layers of language politics and liberation
> ideology. So sometimes it is not all that easy to tell when the science
> ends and something else begins. Of course, Catalunia is not the only
> place where this can be observed. But once you get into the convoluted
> relations between a dominant/imperial language and an
> indigenous/liberation language, it becomes harder to do simple science.
> People have all kinds of axes to grind. Our earlier discussion last year
> about the Israeli-Arabic situation certainly overlapped with these
> issues. I am not so worried about the oft-subconscious effect of
> socio-linguistic factors on SLA. This should be studied as part of
> science. It is the deliberate ideologs that scare me.  Best,  TG

More information about the Funknet mailing list