Croatian as a Heritage Language in Argentina: Between Vulnerability and Linguistic Maintenance

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v28n1a05

Keywords:

Croatian language, linguistic displacement, language strengthening, language identity, heritage language, language and migration

Abstract

In the South American context, migrant population makes up for a large portion of the population who, in most cases, stop using their heritage language. This work aims to present the results of a study that inquired about the status of the Croatian language as a heritage language in South America, and analized the tensions between linguistic displacement and maintenance. The analysis is focused on Argentina, where an estimated 250 000 to 500 000 people are from Croatian descent. The study is based upon a corpus of Croatian speech gathered from second- and third-generation migrants and from official and non-official records, gathered by the authors. Findings suggest that there are signs of linguistic attrition at the phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexical levels. They also suggest that identity and language aware­ness strengthening play a significant role in the maintenance of the ancestral language in this migrating context. The study contributes to the field of minority and endangered languages, and helps understand the dynamic pro­cesses influencing the vitality of heritage languages.

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Author Biographies

Josip Bruno Bilić, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Guest Professor

Paola Cuneo, Universidad de Buenos Aires

Adjunct researcher

Ivana Franić, Universidad de Zagreb, Zagreb, Croacia

Full professor

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Published

2023-02-02

How to Cite

Bilić, J. B., Cuneo, P., & Franić, I. (2023). Croatian as a Heritage Language in Argentina: Between Vulnerability and Linguistic Maintenance. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 28(1), 86–104. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v28n1a05

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