Negotiating mother tongue ideologies in language-biographical interviews
At: Multilingualism Seminar ; Sheffield ; 09/12/2019 ; A speaker’s linguistic repertoire is intricately linked to the lived experience of language and to language ideologies circulating in specific social spaces (Busch, 2017). One set of such ideologies are those of a “personal and national possession” (Bonfiglio, 2010:221) of a named language, linking it to nationality and assigning linguistic authority to some subjects while negating it to others. In my talk, I will show how students in South Tyrol, Italy, engage with such mother tongue ideologies during language-biographical interviews that I conducted with the use of language portraits (Busch, 2017) with 24 secondary school students (age 12-18). I will illustrate how students employ such ideologies as an interactional resource but also negotiate them in the interviews. Finally, I will argue that mother tongue ideologies operate as a structuring principle in South Tyrol’s education system and in different aspects of social life in the province (Baur, Mezzalira & Pichler, 2009).