Multilingualism raises complex questions around diversity and identity, with implications both for the individual and for society, especially in fields such as politics, education and the public space. We focus on multilingualism in Ireland and France, which offer contrasting scenarios. Ireland has an official national language which is both minoritized and dialectal. France’s sole official language is highly standardized and, until recently, dominant on all fronts despite a rich heritage of regional languages and a multiplicity of languages (e.g. Arabic, Romany) in superdiverse urban contexts. This strand will thus offer a strong comparative dimension, focusing on current issues such as urban language in multicultural contexts, regional identities, and language and social cohesion/peace-building. We ask:
We will blend quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative analysis will result from corpus analysis and fieldwork using questionnaire methodology relating to identity, diversity and language use with speakers and learners of particular languages, including their attitudes to those languages and their motivations for learning them. Qualitative research will include exploration of questions around history, politics, demographics and government policy.
The Co-Is, PDRAs, PhD students and our collaborators Gadet, Bras, and Vergez-Couret will concentrate on learners and speakers of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, speakers of French who form part of a multi-ethnic peer group in superdiverse urban contexts, and learners of Occitan. Our other collaborators (Blackwood, Mar-Molinero) will cover Corsican and Spanish.