A New New English: Language, Politics, and Identity in Gibraltar

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BoD – Books on Demand, 2001 - English language - 468 pages
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Gibraltar is a mere 2.5 square miles of British rock at the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula. Yet this microcosm is home to 20,000 Gibraltarians. In the wake of age-old geo-political, social and cultural tensions, a unique language contact situation has emerged. Since the arrival of the British in 1704, Spanish and English have coexisted in the colony: English as the language of the colonial masters, and Spanish/Yanito as that of the local people. Over the last 60 years, however, this diglossic situation has gradually changed, with the Gibraltarians adopting English as their 'mother tongue'. The result has been the institutionalisation of the language and the emergence of a new New English. This empirical study conducts an instrumental analysis of this localised form of English, revealing its nativisation process. The analysis pinpoints the distinctive features of 'Gibraltarian English' and posits that a focussing process is in progress. Implementing a qualitative/quantitative analysis of sociolinguistic data, the author also explores the mechanisms behind the speech community's language usage, attitudes and ideology. Over time Gibraltarians' changing conceptions about English and Spanish have reflected their perceived identity of themselves as British and/or Gibraltarians. This book reveals Gibraltar as speech community in search of an identity. It is a people aware of its multicultural heritage, determined in its continued rejection of Spanish claims on sovereignty, and increasingly ambivalent toward its colonial past.
 

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Contents

On the Origin of YanitoLlanito
8
METHODOLOGY
49
THE SOCIOLINGUISTICS OF GIBRALTAR
85
Recognition of a Localised Form of English LFE
139
GIBRALTARIAN ENGLISH AND ITS DYNAMICS
281
CONCLUSION
411
Research Instruments Questionnaires
453
Other Questionnaires
466
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