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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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Language maintenance and attitudes of Mandarin speaking families in New Zealand

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Abstract

In this paper, we report on the attitudes Mandarin-speaking families in New Zealand hold on Mandarin and its maintenance. Data was collected as a part of a wider project investigating the phonological development of Mandarin-English bilingual children (n=330). Parents were interviewed about the family’s use of Mandarin, attitudes to maintaining Mandarin and the strategies employed in their language maintenance. Findings show a broad consensus in regard to the high value families place on Mandarin, and are in line with earlier research on language maintenance strategies employed by families to maintain their home language. Findings also reveal how factors specific to this Mandarin-speaking community play a role. Of particular note are participant attitudes towards Mandarin and other (non-dominant) Chinese ‘dialects’ and the cross generational support for Mandarin.

1.   Introduction: our study

With changes to immigration policy in the late 1980s New Zealand has become more linguistically and culturally diverse in the last 20 years (Spoonley & Bedford 2012). The impact of migration has led to significant growth in the Asian population and this particular population is projected to continue to grow by 3,4% a year (Statistics New Zealand, 2013). This population is diverse, but the Chinese are the largest Asian ethnicity with 36,3% people identifying themselves as Chinese (Statistics New Zealand, 2014). Of the Chinese, 73,4% were born overseas and come from a diverse range of countries. The largest proportion comes from China (51%) but there are also...

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