Intergenerational language practices, linguistic capital and place: the case of Greek-Cypriot Migrant Families in the UK
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The purpose of this paper is to examine changing heritage language practices across multiple generations of Greek-Cypriot migrants in the United Kingdom. It is now well established that language serves as one of the key markers of ethnic identity in migrant families. As a result, migrant communities often strive to transmit and maintain the heritage language among successive generations. However, less is known about the ways in which later-generations experience and practice heritage languages, particularly child members of families, and how this affects the development of the ethnic identity and feelings of belonging. Evidence from in-depth interviews with three generations of Greek-Cypriot families living in the UK is used to address this gap. In doing so, the relationship between language and intergenerationality is traced to examine how linguistic capital is transmitted, transformed and negotiated between generations and across space. Findings indicate that language proficiency and learning present both challenges and opportunities for members of migrant families and that these differ by generation.
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