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Language Use and Identity

The Sylheti Bangladeshis in Leeds

by Shahela Hamid (Author)
©2011 Monographs XIV, 211 Pages

Summary

This is the first ethnographic survey of language behaviour, attitudes and perceptions of different generations of Sylheti migrants of rural origin. For Sylheti Bangladeshi migrants the use of the maatri bhaasha (‘mother language’) – whether this is the regional variety (Sylheti) or the standard variety (Bengali/Bangla) – is highly significant. The analysis indicates unequivocally that Sylheti is dominant among immediate and extended family and friends. It is the lingua franca of the majority in that no other language is necessary for this encapsulated community.
This book provides detailed analysis of the relationship between Sylheti Bangladeshi migrants’ language use and their understanding of the concept of ‘mother language’. It examines the socio-historic and socio-political background of the Bangla language and Bangla nationalism, the role of the mother tongue for speakers of regional language varieties, the typology of diglossia in Bangla, and linguistic differences between Sylheti and Bangla. The enduring popularity of Sylheti and evidence of Sylheti-English bilingualism serve to substantiate the concept of the additive role of minority languages in a bilingual context.

Details

Pages
XIV, 211
Year
2011
ISBN (PDF)
9783035300901
ISBN (Softcover)
9783039115594
DOI
10.3726/978-3-0353-0090-1
Language
English
Publication date
2011 (May)
Keywords
The Sylheti Bangladeshis in Leeds ethnographic survey of language behaviour, attitudes and perceptions of different generations of Sylheti migrants of rural origin language use and identity socio-historic and socio-political background
Published
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XIV, 211 pp., num. tables

Biographical notes

Shahela Hamid (Author)

Shahela Hamid was awarded her PhD by the University of York and currently works as a Forensic Linguist at J.P. French Associates, York. She has extensive fieldwork experience in ethnographic survey procedures among the Sylheti community in the UK. Her research includes functional analysis of code-switching behaviour among primary-school children of Sylheti origin in Tower Hamlets and investigation of linguistic practices and negotiation of multilingual and multicultural identities of Sylheti children attending complementary schools in the UK.

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Title: Language Use and Identity