The material cultures of multilingualism in a minoritized setting
the maintenance and transformation of Lemko language and culture
Minority cultures and associated efforts to maintain and promote their linguistic varieties in situations of unbalanced multilingualism face many challenges. Pressure to adapt to modernity and globalization mean that cultural and linguistic minorities are having to find new and creative ways to express their identities and collective sense of community. This article examines the situation of the Lemko language in Poland, estimated to be spoken by around 11,000 people (Przynależność narodowo-etniczna ludności, GUS. 2011. Materiał na konferencję prasową w dniu 29. 01. 2013. p 3. Accessed on 6 Mar 2013). Educational programmes, such as the Russian-with-Lemko degree taught at the University of Cracow, or the teaching of Lemko in selected schools in the traditional Lemko areas, are complemented by events and festivals which might equip younger generations of speakers of the language with the cultural material they require in order to achieve "authentic speakerhood". This concept will be examined in the present article, drawing on fieldwork undertaken in 2012 and 2013 at a number of sites in Poland, and linking it to the concept of the "material culture of multilingualism" (Aronin L. Stud Second Lang Learn Teach 2(2):79–191, 2012) in order to explore the role cultural and semiotic artefacts play in the construction of a Lemko multilingual identity in the twenty-first century.
Hornsby, M. (2018)., The material cultures of multilingualism in a minoritized setting: the maintenance and transformation of Lemko language and culture, in L. Aronin, M. Hornsby & G. Kiliańska-Przybyło (eds.), The material culture of multilingualism, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 175-188.
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