Migrations: Literary and Linguistic Aspects

by Ivo Fabijanić (Volume editor) Lidija Štrmelj (Volume editor) Vesna Ukić Košta (Volume editor) Monika Bregović (Volume editor)
©2019 Conference proceedings 398 Pages


Migrations focuses on the impact of migrations on English language, literature and language acquisition. Contributions to the volume bring together diverse methods and historical periods, spanning fields such as literature and cultural studies, film and theatre, general linguistics, sociolinguistics, and English language history. Migrations comprises stimulating essays on language contact, ELF, lexicology, mono-, bi-, multilingualism, exile literature, multicultural identity, migrant experience, colonialism, and war on terror. The variety of approaches underscores migration as an all-encompassing phenomenon, and provides the readers with a wide array of tools for further research. Appealing to experienced academics and students alike.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Migrations: Literary Aspects
  • Of Lice and Men: The Palatine Emigration to Britain, 1709
  • The Irish and the Croats in the Great Migration: A Comparative Perspective
  • Female Emigration in Short Stories as a Code for Understanding Irish Culture
  • Belonging Nowhere: Displacement in John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger
  • Tainted Identity: Immigrant Condition and Englishness in Muriel Spark’s “The Black Madonna”
  • On Mothers, Daughters and Black Scottish Identity in Jackie Kay’s The Adoption Papers
  • Displacement and Borders in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić and Bern O’Donoghue
  • Reading Frankenstein in the Light of the Immigration Crisis
  • Amal Kassir: Words versus Weapons
  • Literal and Communicational Borders in Alejandro González Iñárritu´s Babel (2006)
  • Exile as a “One-way Trip”: Illusory Return in Charles Baudelaire, Isidora Sekulić, Thomas Bernhard, and Milan Kundera
  • Migrations: Linguistic Aspects
  • Migrations across Authors or Clarissa Goes West: Identifying Intertextual Links between Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours
  • Visual Representation of Language in Shaun Tan’s The Arrival – from Foreignness to Communication
  • English in 21st Century Europe: A Language on the Move for People on the Move
  • Crossing Borders with ELF: A Study on Learning and Using English among Erasmus Students
  • Remigration as a Linguistic Experience: Language-Related Aspects of “Homecoming”
  • Semantic Adaptation of Turkisms in the Vrgorac Dialect
  • Printing in the Frame of Late Mediaeval and Post-Mediaeval Migrations in England and Croatia
  • From Writing to Speech – An Optimality Theoretic Approach to Formation of Acronyms in the English Language
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables

List of Contributors

Pierre Lurbe

Université Paris-Sorbonne

Jelena Šesnić

University of Zagreb

Tea Raše

University of Zagreb

Mia Žulić

University of Zadar

Monika Bregović

University of Zadar

Armela Panajoti

University of Vlora “Ismail Qemali”

Vesna Ukić Košta

University of Zadar

Elena Marchevska

London South Bank University

Martina Domines Veliki

University of Zagreb

Ana Popović

University of Zagreb

Jelena Pataki

University of Osijek

Snežana Kalinić

University of Belgrade

Gašper Ilc

University of Ljubljana

Smiljana Narančić Kovač

University of Zagreb

Lieven Buysse

University of Leuven

Anna Martinović

University of Zadar

Dino Dumančić

University of Zadar

Marijana Kresić Vukosav

University of Zadar

Eva-Maria Thüne

University of Bologna

Marina Bokšić

University of Zadar

Ivo Fabijanić

University of Zadar

Lidija Štrmelj

University of Zadar

Frane Malenica

University of Zadar


Migrations: Literary and Linguistic Aspects

Migrations have always had an important influence on human history, society, and social change, across different historical periods and various contexts. They can be rural, urban, and suburban or national and international, external or internal, forced or voluntary, permanent or temporary, organized or spontaneous, and seasonal. Due to the diverse causes and effects of contemporary migrations, the research into issues raised by migration phenomena encompasses various scientific disciplines and methods. Different academic skills and methodological approaches used in research on migrations produce different scientific results.

Postcolonial research into British culture, colonial literature, and sociolinguistic issues of language contact (e.g., pidgin and Creole languages) has for a long time occupied an important position in the study of English. However, new migration phenomena that appeared in the 20th century raise new research questions on the impact of migrations on culture and language. After the waves of migration set off by colonial expansion and imperial conquest subsided, the new political developments in the 20th century set in motion new migration flows in Europe and across the world. Massive waves of migration have been set off by World War II due to the totalitarian politics which excluded anyone perceived as a threat to the national ideology. New forms of migration have also been triggered by the contemporary political scene which is on the one hand marked by globalization, and on the other hand by new political tendencies which strive to unite the European countries into a single state – the European Union. Contemporary migration trends are accounted for by the crumbling of the modern nation-state and the establishment of new transnational communities. The fluidity of national and cultural boundaries became increasingly important with respect to global terrorism and war on terror. The new economic climate grounded in liberal capitalism, and free market economy encourages economic migration. In addition, the last few years have been marked by the migrant crisis set in motion by numerous armed conflicts in the Middle East.

The chapters included in this book stem from the “Migrations” conference held at the University of Zadar in November 2016, organized in collaboration with the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Association of English Studies. The aim of the conference was to initiate research into the impact of migrations on English language and literature, in various historical periods, and from diverse perspectives. The “Migrations” conference proved important for the ←13 | 14→history of English studies in Croatia, being the third national conference organized by the Croatian Association of English Studies after a twenty-year break. It also opened up a space where MA and PhD students and budding scholars were given an opportunity to present their research alongside experienced academics and professors. The conference included four European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) keynote speakers, and was open to both ESSE members and non-members. The topics of the chapters in the book reflect both traditional and contemporary approaches to the issue of migration, such as migrations and colonialism, English as a global language, language contact, migrations and terrorism, or migrations and nationalism, and religion.

The literary section of this book opens with Pierre Lurbe’s chapter “Of Lice and Men: The Palatine Emigration to Britain, 1709.” Lurbe explores the issue of “the Poor Palatines,” or over 10,000 German refugees who made their way to England from south-western Germany over the spring and early summer of 1709. The author demonstrates how the sudden influx of thousands of immigrants took the British authorities by surprise and triggered an intensely polarizing national debate, which exacerbated political and religious differences. At one extreme, the anonymous author of a particularly abusive satirical tract referred to the Palatines as “lice”; at the other extreme, the Bishop of Oxford called his flock to exercise Christian charity towards these fellow “men.” Lurbe suggests that various, conflicting narratives were attempts to come to grips with and make sense of one of the most important migrations within Europe in the early modern period.

In “The Irish and the Croats in the Great Migration: A Comparative Perspective,” Jelena Šesnić offers a comparative perspective on the process of the Great Migration overtaking in the course of the 19th century the Irish and incorporating the Croats at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is contended that despite their telling differences, both migrations led to the creation of considerable diasporas in North America while exhibiting along the way some common features allowing us to place these migratory trails in the context of the global core-periphery model, as well as placing the acculturation process in the ambit of contemporary social studies theories. Šesnić argues that both migrations led to the creation of considerable diasporas in North America, as exemplified by Colum McCann’s novel Transatlantic (2013) and Mary Helen Stefaniak’s novel The Turk and My Mother (2004).

The chapter “Female Emigration in Short Stories as a Code for Understanding Irish Culture” by Tea Raše attempts at providing a chronological overview of the development of the character of the mobile Irish woman, as an element which continued to undermine nationally privileged mythologemes of dedicated ←14 | 15→mothers or pure virgins as the only appropriate roles for women for the entire 20th century. The author demonstrates that short stories featuring female emigration, in a Catholic country with a long colonial tradition like Ireland, provide interesting insight into how a subaltern female subjectivity transforms into one functioning as a template for acts of transgression and boundary shifting, contributing to the process of decolonization.

Monika Bregović and Mia Žulić in their chapter entitled “Belonging Nowhere: Displacement in John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger” discuss the issue of displacement in John Osborne’s famous play by focusing on the historical context in which the play emerged. By highlighting the social and political issues, such as class inequality and lack of belief in national ideology, present in the post-WWII Britain, the authors argue that the feelings of displacement expressed in the play reflect the general sentiment of the period. The issue of non-belonging, which accounts for the popularity of the play with contemporary audiences, is presented as a product of colonial migration, preservation of class privilege regardless of Socialist reforms, and the absence of national goals.

In “Tainted Identity: Immigrant Condition and Englishness in Muriel Spark’s ‘The Black Madonna’,” Armela Panajoti explores the issue of migration by analysing Muriel Spark’s short story “The Black Madonna,” which deals with issues of mixed race and national identity in the chronotope of the 1950s England. In the story, the birth of a black baby girl reveals the covert racism of her white parents, who decide to give her up for adoption. The skin colour of the baby, indicating a hidden genetic heritage, subverts the notion of race as a fixed category and reveals the multiculturalism and hybridity inherent to English identity. The author points out that the short story might be viewed as affirming the notion of Englishness as encompassing many cultures, identities, and realities, thereby challenging the idea of purity when it comes to identity.

In “On Mothers, Daughters and Black Scottish Identity in Jackie Kay’s The Adoption Papers,Vesna Ukić Košta discusses Jackie Kay’s 1991 semi-autobiographical sequence of poems The Adoption Papers. In the sequence, Kay re-visits imaginatively what her own adoption process might have been like and addresses the formation of the highly complex identity of a transracial adoptee in a predominantly white Scottish community. The chapter focuses on how the multi-voice representation (as Kay employs three distinctive voices throughout the poems: those of the birth mother, the adoptive mother, and the daughter who has been given up for adoption) tackles identity formation which has been in/directly influenced by migration and argues that identity resulting from the “zone of contact” raises a plethora of questions concerning race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.

←15 |

In her chapter, “Displacement and Borders in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić and Bern O’Donoghue”, Elena Marchevska focuses on the issue of migration by analysing the performances and artworks of two artists, Tanja Ostojić and Bern O’Donoghue, which are relevant for contemporary migration crises. While Tanja Ostojić’s “Displaced Women” constructs the in-between space of the border by the performer’s act of packing and unpacking in public, Bern O’Donoghue’s “Dead Reckoning” seeks to humanize the individuals who have died during migration, instead of viewing them merely in terms of statistics. Both authors include audiences in their work in order to make them more sensitive to the suffering of the migrants and counter their objectification by the mainstream media, which often present the migrants as a threat to European security.

The chapter entitled “Reading Frankenstein in the light of the immigration crisis” by Martina Domines Veliki discusses the similarities between Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Elke Sasse’s documentaries My Escape 1 & 2 in order to highlight the persistence of the fear of the other in the Western imaginary. By using Kristeva’s theory of abjection, the chapter argues that Victor in Frankenstein recognizes the same threat of breaking the borders in the monster as Europe recognizes the threat of the immigrants crossing its borders. DominesVeliki claims that the story of Frankenstein persists in our culture because Frankenstein is the most powerful metaphor for our contemporary society unwilling to show compassion and take action.

Ana Popović in “Amal Kassir: Word Versus Weapons” examines so-called Mahjar poetry, which includes “literature of the Arab diasporic writers in America,” by focusing on the slam poetry of Amal Kassir, a second-generation immigrant with Syrian background. The genre of slam is particularly suitable for giving a voice to the underprivileged, as it subverts the established conventions of high literature. Kassir’s poetry works to subvert the binary between the two worlds commonly perceived as opposites, the Arab and the Western one, by tackling issues such as gender, religion, belonging, and terrorism. The author argues that Kassir’s poetry overcomes its culture-specific context in order to address oppression as a universal issue.

“Literal and Communicational Borders in Alejandro González Iñárritu´s Babel” by Jelena Pataki focuses on the topic of migration by taking as its starting point the film’s unconventional treatment of the issue. In Babel, the affluent American tourists profit from their visit to Morocco and end up changing their prejudiced attitude towards the citizens of the country, which subverts the common perception of migration as a process in which non-Westerners profit from migrating to Western countries. In addition, the author highlights the issue of “internalized inferiority” of the members of non-dominant countries, reflected ←16 | 17→in embracing stereotypical attitudes towards members of one’s own community. The mosaic structure of the film, which offers the viewers the context in which actions based on stereotype and misconception take place, reinforces the emotional reaction of the audience to the injustice rooted in prejudice.

Snežana Kalinić analyses several literary representations of illusory return from exile and various kinds of non-belonging, all of which demonstrate Edward Said’s claim that “homecoming is out of the question.” The chapter titled “Exile as a ‘One-way Trip’: Illusory Return in Charles Baudelaire, Isidora Sekulić, Thomas Bernhard and Milan Kundera” explores Baudelaire’s poem “The Swan,” Kundera’s novel Ignorance, Bernhard’s play Heldenplatz, and Isidora Sekulić’s travelogue Letters from Norway in the light of Said’s Reflections on Exile. Kalinić points out that instead of an authentic return from enforced exile, Baudelaire’s, Kundera’s, and Bernhard’s texts address various kinds of impossible return, while Sekulić’s Letters articulate a constantly postponed return from the voluntary exile.

The second part of the book concerned with linguistic aspects of migrations starts with Gašper Ilc’s chapter “Migrations across Authors or Clarissa Goes West: Identifying Intertextual Links between Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours.” The chapter analyses two literary extracts from two narratives – Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Cunningham’s The Hours – in terms of intertextuality. The central aim of the chapter is to identify linguistic factors that facilitate intertextuality. For the purposes of the analysis, the two extracts have been processed by two automated text-analysis tools: Complete Lexical Tutor version 8 and Coh-Metrix Version 3.0. The results of the automated text-analysis show that the intertextual links between the two texts are established predominantly at the level of the story line and vocabulary selection. At the structural and discoursive level, however, Cunningham’s deviation from Woolfian narrative technique and style can be observed. As a result, the extract from The Hours can be seen as a good example of hybridization, which is typical of postmodernist authors who create new narratives by combining, rearranging, and modifying different elements and narrative modes/techniques from previously existing texts.

Smiljana Narančić Kovač, in her chapter “Visual Representation of Language in Shaun Tan’s The Arrival – from Foreignness to Communication,” discusses Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (2006), which is a piece about migration, about coming to a strange and remote culture, and about finding a place there. The narrative presents the story of an immigrant’s experience and, at the same time, the essence of any migrant situation. The inability to communicate is closely connected with feelings of fear and loneliness. On the other hand, the narrative reflects the power of human understanding and friendliness. In the discourse of the narrative, language is given a special place. The chapter analyses the way in which ←17 | 18→language in The Arrival is visually presented to reflect the main themes and forms of the narrative used in the process. It is shown that the author employs the narrative potential of intraiconic text and modifies the visual discourse convention, typical for picture books, to convey specific narrative meanings. The thematic complexity of the narrative is visually presented through the metaphor of language. For Tan, the notion of belonging is a basic existential issue and one of the main themes of the narrative.

Lieven Buysse in “English in 21st Century Europe: A Language on the Move for People on the Move”, points out that English has become a widespread means of communication between people who do not share the same mother tongue. On the one hand, this practice – which has even been claimed to constitute a distinct variety of English – has posed a challenge to the notion of standard in English in general and more specifically for foreign language learners of English. On the other hand, English is not only used for tourist, academic, and business purposes, but also serves as a broker of communication for “newcomers” in European countries, which does not necessarily uphold the image of English as the language of opportunity.

Anna Martinović and Dino Dumančić, in their chapter “Crossing Borders with ELF: A Study on Learning and Using English among Erasmus Students,” analyse students’ motivation to learn and use English as an L2 and to explore their ELF identity while they were participating in their student exchange programmes in Europe. The introduction of the Bologna process to European universities has stimulated the movement of students through various student exchange programmes, such as the Erasmus programme. Although the European Union encourages multilingualism, the use of English, which has become the world’s lingua franca, is the most dominant. Today, English is viewed as an indispensable tool for speakers who differ in language and cultural background, and yet want to establish a meaningful communication. The focus of the chapter is on several variables, including motivation to learn English, L2 self-concept (ideal L2 self), L2 anxiety, English speaking self-efficacy, as well as ELF identity. The results show that students were generally motivated to learn and use English, with females showing higher levels of motivation compared to males. Students’ ELF identity was connected to their perceptions of themselves as global citizens, and they did not perceive it as a threat to their L1 identity and viewed the use of ELF as an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and develop as individuals.

The starting point of the chapter “Remigration as a Linguistic Experience: Language-Related Aspects of Homecoming,” by Marijana Kresić Vukosav and Eva-Maria Thüne, is based on the assumption that homecoming, as a form of remigration and transborder experience, comprises specific ←18 | 19→linguistic aspects that are characteristic of this type of experience. The concept of homecoming is conceived of as a narrative or counter-narrative of an essentially language-related experience which can involve different linguistic dimensions and aspects: mother tongue/first language vs. second language/language learning, monolinguality vs. multilinguality, linguistic coherence/security vs. linguistic diversity/insecurity, language maintenance vs. language attrition, as well as all the implications that these phenomena have for the experience and construction of identity. Different manifestations and expressions of the language-related dimension of homecoming are analysed on the basis of linguistic approaches in various types of texts: biographical accounts of homecoming in fictional works; linguistic biographies of mono-, bi-, and multilingual migrants; and narrative interviews in the “Emigrantendeutsch in Israel” corpus [Emigrants’ German in Israel]. The findings of the linguistic analyses of the (counter-)narratives of homecoming are also related to the theoretical concepts of “Spracherleben” [the lived experience of language], “Sein-in-der-Sprache” [existence in the language], and multilingual identity. It is argued that the linguistic criterion should be included in typologies of migration in general and in approaches describing processes of homecoming in particular.

Marina Bokšić and Ivo Fabijanić, in “Semantic Adaptation of Turkisms in the Vrgorac Dialect,” analyse the contact between the Turkish language and a Croatian dialect spoken in the town of Vrgorac, Croatia. Turkish words were borrowed during the Ottoman occupation, which lasted for more than two centuries. Many of the lexemes changed their meanings after being adapted into the system of the receiving language, which was the main reason for analysing them on the semantic level. Turkisms under analysis were grouped into semantic fields of animals, clothes, everyday activities, food, household, plants, and tools, and analysed according to the degrees of semantic adaptation, i.e. into those that were adapted by a) zero extension, b) restriction of meaning in number or field, and c) expansion of meaning in number or field.

In her chapter “Printing in the Frame of Late Mediaeval and Post-Mediaeval Migrations in England and Croatia,” Lidija Štrmelj approaches migrations from a diachronic perspective. Her starting point is that external linguistic factors should be explored in general not only in relation to the respective languages they affect, (as is often the case in historical linguistics), but in relation to other external linguistic factors, since one external factor might encourage the appearance of another, producing thus a chain of events or discourage it. Judging from the historical data given in the chapter, the case of migrations seems to support such a viewpoint. Late mediaeval migrations in England definitely motivated the spread of printing and consequently language standardization, ←19 | 20→while post-mediaeval migrations in Croatia only hindered them. In conclusion, the impact of one and the same external linguistic factor might prove to be completely opposite in different environments. Additionally, in this chapter, the author also analyses the direct impact of migrations on English and Croatian, focusing on the attested relocation of dialects in both countries.

The chapter “From Writing to Speech – an Optimality Theoretic Approach to Formation of Acronyms” by Frane Malenica discusses the possibilities of analysing formation of English acronyms within the framework of Optimality Theory. The absence of systematic distribution of abbreviations into their respective types with clear-cut delineation between the categories is best reflected in the fact that scholars often fail to distinguish between abbreviations that are pronounced as single words (acronyms) and those pronounced letter-by-letter (initialisms/alphabetisms). The aim of the chapter is to show how the creation of acronyms, despite their apparent unpredictable features, is nevertheless a result of interaction of specific morphological and prosodic constraints and that the system of constraints provided by the Optimality Theory can help shed some light on their creation.

We are hopeful that this volume might be of interest to scholars, researchers, and students interested in various literary and/or linguistic aspects of migrations, especially in the area of English language and literature. Finally, we would like to thank all our contributors for making this volume a small contribution to the study of migration, a phenomenon which nowadays happens to be more current than ever.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (March)
migrant experience hybrid identity multiculturalism intertextuality remigration language contact
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien. 2019. 398 pp., 2 b/w ill., 21 b/w tab.

Biographical notes

Ivo Fabijanić (Volume editor) Lidija Štrmelj (Volume editor) Vesna Ukić Košta (Volume editor) Monika Bregović (Volume editor)

Ivo Fabijanić, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof., teaches Phonetics and Phonology, Lexicology, and Contact Linguistics at the University of Zadar. He has published several dozen papers on contacts between English, Russian and Croatian, and on some specific lexicological topics. Lidija Štrmelj, Ph.D., Assist. Prof., teaches Intro to Linguistics, History of English and Intro to the Language of Shakespeare at the University of Zadar. She had dealt with and published on diachronic linguistics as well as some aspects of cognitive linguistics, such as conceptual metaphor. Vesna Ukić Košta, Ph.D., is Assist. Prof. in the English department, University of Zadar. In her doctoral dissertation she explored Catholicism in the works of Irish women novelists. Her research centers on twentieth-century British and Irish fiction and poetry, and popular culture. Monika Bregović holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from the University of Zagreb. She is employed at the University of Zadar, where she teaches courses in Contemporary British Drama, Modern British Novel, and Shakespeare. She has published on performing arts, contemporary drama and theatre.


Title: Migrations: Literary and Linguistic Aspects
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
book preview page numper 25
book preview page numper 26
book preview page numper 27
book preview page numper 28
book preview page numper 29
book preview page numper 30
book preview page numper 31
book preview page numper 32
book preview page numper 33
book preview page numper 34
book preview page numper 35
book preview page numper 36
book preview page numper 37
book preview page numper 38
book preview page numper 39
book preview page numper 40
399 pages