ERIC Number: ED339214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Speaking in Tongues: Heritage Language Maintenance and Transfer in Canada.
This paper examines the use of heritage languages in Canada and the processes surrounding the maintenance or shift of these minority languages in Canada's different linguistic minority groups. Studies of language shift or maintenance in Canada generally concern the relative positions of English and French and the changing patterns of usage along linguistic contact zones. This paper examines the use of non-official and non-aboriginal languages in Canada as well as the shift in use towards an official language by heritage language speakers. Using data from the 1986 Census of Canada, the study examines the relationship among three components of language usage: mother tongue, home language, and knowledge of official language. Findings indicate that, generally, language maintenance and shift are related to the relative age of the linguistic group and the proportion of immigrants within the group as well as the group's age structure. When a shift in language usage does occur, it is generally toward the majority language--French in the heartland of Quebec and English elsewhere. In Montreal, a large proportion of shifts are towards the use of both official languages. An appendix listing census subdivisions and a 44-item bibliography are appended. (AF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Multilingual/Bilingual Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of the Secretary of State, Ottawa (Ontario). Multiculturalism Directorate.
Identifiers: Canada; Heritage Language; Language Shift