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Multilingualism, Regional & Minority Languages: Paradigms for ‘Languages of the Wider World’ School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 16– 17 April 2009 Once isolated; now multilingual? Language practices & attitudes in Volendam and Inner Mongolia Lisa Lim, Anna Karregat & Wu Yuncang University of Amsterdam
Once isolated… Volendam Inner Mongolia • • • C. 1462: poor fishing village, part of Edam, in North Holland, on Zuiderzee, with poor connections to Edam and rest of NL Individual cultural identity: traditional costume, special customs, catholic religion, Volendam dialect 1927 -33: Zuiderzee dammed to become IJsselmeer Post WW 2: connections outside • • • C. 12 th. C: Mongol tribes, 13 th C: Great Mongol Empire After 14 th C Ming Dynasty: expelled to N or S of Great Desert: the latter --> Inner Mongolia ‘horse-back tribe’, with nomadic pastoral life, hunting & herding, diet distinct from agricultural people, traditional dress, own ethnic history, music, poetry, Mongol language 1947: autonomous region of PR China Modern day assimilation into larger nation state --> ?
Institutional support Media: • Std Dutch, Putonghua dominant – Volendams: 1 (/25) radio channel, 3 (/31) TV channels which use Dutch – Mongol: 1 radio & 1 TV channel (provincial level) Education: • Std Dutch, Putonghua dominant – Volendams prohibited – before Cultural Revolution 1965, own Mongol education system; present support for minority languages but encouragement of Putonghua; Putonghua (and English) compulsory from primary sschool, necessary for college entrance exam; decrease in Mongol MOI schools
Demography Volendam Inner Mongolia • • High group concentration in Volendam (74% within Edam. Volendam; but 0. 13% in NL); pop. c. 21, 000 Little immigration/emigration; Volendammers want to live in V their entire life, including young people Typical dense and multiplex social network • • Substantial Han Chinese immigration (industry, settlement in developing area); Mongols --> farming ~15% Mongol; pop. c. 4. 2 mill Public domains: 95% Han Chinese Migration of Mongols to urban regions (occupational, economic opportunities in industrialising China) Substantial mixed marriage (38% of minority group mixed marriage with Han Chinese)
Another LWW: Enter English Volendam Inner Mongolia • • English dominant on radio (popular music), frequent on TV • • 1949: one of compulsory courses from primary school to college College entrance exam Jobs require English (not Mongol)
Language use (domains, interlocutors): Inner Mongolia
Language use (domains, interlocutors): Volendam
Language use (daily activities): Inner Mongolia
Language use (daily activities): Volendam
Attitudes: Inner Mongolia
Attitudes towards transmission: Inner Mongolia
Attitudes towards transmission: Volendam
… Now multilingual? Volendam Inner Mongolia Increase in Dutch, via • Parents with children in home domain Increase in Putonghua, via • Parents in home domain (1/4 cf. 1/10 in parents’ generation) • Media (3/4 cf. 1/4) Increase in English, via • Internet (40 -50% cf. 20% in parents’ generation), and chatrooms etc (5% cf. 0) Increase in English, via • School (100% cf. 0 in parents’ generation) • Media (1/4 cf. 0) ‘Leakiness’ between Volendams and Dutch with youngest generation (mid teens) – ‘leaky diglossia’; glocalisation Bilingual CS (Mongolian-Putonghua) as increasingly frequent code amongst younger generation – CS as unmarked; monolectal CS
References Karregat, Anna. 2008. Language maintenance or shift in Volendam. MA dissertation, University of Amsterdam. Wu Yuncang. 2008. Language Maintenance or Shift: The Mongols in Inner Mongolia of China. MA dissertation, University of Amsterdam.