Multilingualism and Mobility

Linguistic practices and the construction of identity
Project management

Melissa Moyer, Università Autonoma de Barcelona

01.2010 - 12.2012
Diversity, Inequality, Institutions, Migration
Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Plan Nacional de la Ciencia I+D

This project focuses on the study of multilingualism from the perspective of the recent mobilities and globalisation paradigm. This paradigm takes up the analysis of linguistic practices by mobile people with transnational trajectories such as the immigrants or tourists who come to Spain and need to interact and communicate with civic institutions, on the one hand, and with autochthonous people whose life trajectories are more stable, on the other. This research departs from the point of view of these transnational people, taking into account the ways in which they construct their identities through and within their social networks and how they get involved with the local communities through their multilingual linguistic practices. Our hypothesis is that the way in which information relevant to mobile citizens is organised and the everyday multilingual practices of immigrants and tourists does not coincide with the predictions of the institutions belonging to the public, private and NGO-like sectors that welcome people from increasingly diverse backgrounds. The present project also seeks to examine the categories immigrant and tourist and to characterize their linguistic practices and to understand the intersections of language and multilingual practices with social class, ethnicity, gender and age.