Linguistic Effects of Immigration: Language Choice, Codeswitching, and Change in Western European Turkish

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Abstract

Since the 1960s, Western Europe has been host to a large Turkish immigrant community. While many such communities shift to the majority language in the space of a few generations, language maintenance is remarkably successful in this community. This is partially because of continuing immigration, but it is also typical of a transnational identity that characterizes many bilingual communities in modern Europe. The linguistic effects of this on-going contact situation include extensive codeswitching and slowly emerging changes in the lexicon and syntax. These are contained in a range of speech styles that show that in such modern migrant communities, the way in which different subgroups utilize their multilingual repertoire varies considerably, depending on background factors such as gender, locality, age, and socio-political identity.

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