Language and Identity in a Multilingual, Migrating World
Language and Identity in a Multilingual, Migrating World
Language and Identity in a Multilingual, Migrating World

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Last updated on 2018-06-03

About the Book

Issues of language and identity can make or break any kind of development project—in large part because they determine the degree of access to new information, ideas and behavior, but also because they influence a community’s willingness and desire to make any kind of change in the first place. Failure to take these concepts into account can result in irrelevant projects, unused products, programs without impact, and lost opportunities. But the relationship between language and identity is complex and varied—and even more so in a highly multilingual, massively migrating world.

These are the issues that were addressed in the Pike Center symposium on the theme of Language and Identity in a Multilingual, Migrating World. The symposium was held 10–15 May 2018 in Penang, Malaysia. This volume contains the full text of the papers that were presented at the symposium.Thus far, sixteen of the papers are included, with two more yet to be incorporated. Peer review and author revision are still in progress. Also pending is a concluding chapter to be written by the editors.

Table of Contents

    • Contributors
    • 1. Introduction
      • 1.1 Part One: Understanding Multiples
      • 1.2 Part Two: Varying Contexts
      • 1.3 Part Three: Heart Matters
      • 1.4 Part Four: Descriptive Studies
      • 1.5 Afterword
      • 1.6 References
  • Part One: Understanding Multiples
    • 2. Identity choices of minoritized communities: Testing the Identity Construction Constraints
      • 2.1 Defining who we are
      • 2.2 The Identity Construction Constraints (ICC)
      • 2.3 Two case studies
      • 2.4 Applying the ICC to the case studies
      • 2.5 Critiquing the ICC approach
      • 2.6 Practical application of the ICC+
      • 2.7 References
    • 3. Remembering ethnicity: The role of language in the construction of identity
      • 3.1 Introduction
      • 3.2 The role of language as one among multiple markers of ethnic identity
      • 3.3 Identities and languages in contact
      • 3.4 Sustaining the memory of a heritage identity
      • 3.5 Strategies for preserving the memory of an ethnic identity
      • 3.6 Emerging identities, emerging languages
      • 3.7 Conclusions
      • 3.8 References
    • 4. The dynamics of identity: How migration and diaspora impact identity and multilingualism
      • 4.1 Introduction
      • 4.2 Superdiversity
      • 4.3 The value of a model and the Perceived Benefit Model
      • 4.4 The Importance of identity, affiliation, and solidarity
      • 4.5 Appropriate consideration of identity
      • 4.6 Conclusion
      • 4.7 References
    • 5. Identity and melting pots: Negotiating identity by resisting or pursuing accommodation
      • 5.1 Introduction
      • 5.2 Historical overview of the Frisians
      • 5.3 Frisians and accommodation
      • 5.4 Theory foundation
      • 5.5 Connecting practice to ideal
      • 5.6 Frysk and language of the heart
      • 5.7 Language and identity
      • 5.8 Conclusion
      • 5.9 References
  • Part Two: Varying Contexts
    • 6. New urban varieties in Africa and the identities that go with them
    • 7. Translanguaging, identity, and education in our multilingual world
      • 7.1 Introduction
      • 7.2 Multilingualism: Two kinds, but a continuum between the two
      • 7.3 Multilingualism from a multilingual perspective
      • 7.4 Multilingualism and mother tongue (MT)
      • 7.5 Translanguaging as effective linguistic performance
      • 7.6 Translanguaging and complex and fluid identity
      • 7.7 Implication of translanguaging in education
      • 7.8 Conclusion
      • 7.9 Appendix: Transcription conventions
      • 7.10 References
    • 8. Identity and Diaspora
      • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.2 Identity and Diaspora
      • 8.3 Methodology
      • 8.4 Diaspora and Territory
      • 8.5 Relational Networks and Identity Claims among Diasporas
      • 8.6 Implications
      • 8.7 Conclusion
      • 8.8 References
    • 9. Hidden language, hidden identity: Identity issues of refugees from minority language groups
      • 9.1 My personal journey
      • 9.2 Definitions of identity, ethnicity and refugee
      • 9.3 Refugee identity
      • 9.4 Language and identity
      • 9.5 Rebuilding identity
      • 9.6 Conclusion
      • 9.7 Appendix
      • 9.8 References
    • 10. African cross-border languages: Might or plight?
      • 10.1 Context and rationale for researching cross-border languages
      • 10.2 Describing the cross-border language situation of Africa
      • 10.3 The vitality of Africa’s vehicular cross border languages, and their impact on identity and language shift
      • 10.4 The vitality of Africa’s limited cross-border languages, and their impact on language shift and development
      • 10.5 Understanding the implications for development of cross-border languages
      • 10.6 Summary and conclusion
      • 10.7 References
  • Part Three: Heart Matters
    • 11. “Heart language” as a technical term: A critical review
      • 11.1 SIL’s historical language ideology
      • 11.2 Searching for the origins of “heart language”
      • 11.3 Fitting terminology to audience
      • 11.4 Perpetuating a monolingual bias
      • 11.5 Hindering academic discourse
      • 11.6 Conclusion
      • 11.7 References
    • 12. L1 and L2 comprehension and emotional impact among early proficient bilinguals
      • 12.1 Introduction
      • 12.2 Comprehension
      • 12.3 Impact
      • 12.4 Conclusion
      • 12.5 References
    • 13. When none of my heart languages is my mother tongue
      • 13.1 Introduction
      • 13.2 Comprehension
      • 13.3 Emotive impact
      • 13.4 Identity
      • 13.5 The heart language audience
      • 13.6 Heart languages and social capital
      • 13.7 Conclusion
      • 13.8 References
  • Part Four: Descriptive Studies
    • 14. Linguistic identity and dialect diversity: a conundrum with regard to Magar Kham
      • 14.1 Introduction
      • 14.2 Linguistic diversity among the Magar Kham
      • 14.3 Ethnic identity as a foil of linguistic diversity
      • 14.4 Responses to linguistic diversity
      • 14.5 Magar Kham: a family of languages or dialects
      • 14.6 Magar Kham aspirations
      • 14.7 Lack of fit
      • 14.8 Summary
      • 14.9 References
    • 15. Multilingual with multiple identities: The case of Talysh
    • 16. Language Choice and Language Attitudes in Identity Formation among the Roma of Sadova
      • 16.1 Aims
      • 16.2 Background
      • 16.3 Research Questions
      • 16.4 Theoretical Background
      • 16.5 Methodology
      • 16.6 Questionnaire Results
      • 16.7 Discussion of Interview Results in Combination with Other Observations
      • 16.8 Implications for Language Development Work
      • 16.9 References
    • 17. Ethnolinguistic landscapes of Madagascar: surviving a century of erosive language policies
      • 17.1 Imagine the scene
      • 17.2 Applying Ethnolinguistic Identity Theory (ELIT) to the case of language maintenance in Madagascar
      • 17.3 Conclusion
      • 17.4 References
      • 17.5 Additional references not cited
    • 18. Multilingualism, urbanization, and identity among the Ejagham speaking people
      • 18.1 Introductory and theoretical comments
      • 18.2 Profile of the Ejagham community
      • 18.3 Nodes of convergence
      • 18.4 Eastern Ejagham region relative to multilingualism and urbanization
      • 18.5 Western Ejagham region relative to multilingualism and urbanization
      • 18.6 Ejagham and education
      • 18.7 Diaspora relative to multilingualism and urbanization
      • 18.8 Conclusion
      • 18.9 Appendix: Excursus on “The language of the heart” or “The acquired reflex language”
      • 18.10 References
    • 19. Ethnologue as a Sourcebook for Mapping Multilingualism: The Case of Sango
      • 19.1 The Changing Role of Ethnologue in a Multilingual World
      • 19.2 Mapping the Range of L2 Use
      • 19.3 Mapping the Degree of L2 Use
      • 19.4 Identity and the Spread of Sango
      • 19.5 Conclusion
      • 19.6 References
  • Afterword
    • 20. The research agenda going forward
  • Notes

About the Editors

J. Stephen Quakenbush
J. Stephen Quakenbush

J. Stephen Quakenbush is Director of Strategic Initiatives (Language Services) with SIL International. He has served as Director of SIL Philippines, Academic Services Director for SIL Asia, and also International Academic Services Director. He has published on language development, language vitality and endangered languages. Otherwise, his publications have centered on the linguistics and sociolinguistics of Agutaynen, an Austronesian language of Palawan, Philippines, where he engaged in translation and language development work over a twenty-year period. He holds a PhD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University, and is a Fellow of the Pike Center for Integrative Scholarship.

Gary F. Simons
Gary F. Simons

Gary F. Simons is the Chief Research Officer for SIL International (Dallas, TX) and Executive Editor of the Ethnologue ( He is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (Dallas, TX). Early in his career he was involved in language development activities in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.  More recently he has contributed to the development of cyberinfrastructure for linguistics as co-founder of the Open Language Archives Community ( and co-developer of the ISO 639-3 standard of three-letter identifiers for all known languages of the world ( He holds a PhD in general linguistics (with minor emphases in computer science and classics) from Cornell University. He is an author or editor of over 100 publications (

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Pike Center

Pike Center for Integrative Scholarship is an initiative of SIL International that builds capacity for language development through scholarship. SIL works alongside ethnolinguistic communities as they discover how language development addresses the challenging areas of their daily lives—social, cultural, political, economic and spiritual.

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