Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences | Department of Asian and African Studies | Regional Departments | African Studies | Events | Upcoming Events | 12.7. Colloquium on African linguistics: Africans in Europe - diaspora linguistics and socio-cultural development (Bodomo)

12.7. Colloquium on African linguistics: Africans in Europe - diaspora linguistics and socio-cultural development (Bodomo)

“Africans in Europe: diaspora linguistics and socio-cultural development in the context of 21st Century Africa–Europe relations” - Talk by Adams Bodomo (Universität Wien) given within the colloquium of African linguistics and languages
  • When Jul 12, 2022 from 04:15 to 05:45
  • Where Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Raum 302
  • Contact Name Christfried Naumann (christfried.naumann (AT) hu-berlin.de, please contact for Zoom access information)
  • iCal

European cities, like cities in many parts of the world, are becoming increasingly multilingual. Migration and diasporization play an important role in this process of increasing multilingualism. Multilingualism and multiplicity of languages and cultures are an important aspect of social diversity in the 21st Century. In this talk, based on a questionnaire survey of 300 members of the African community in Vienna, the capital of Austria, I construct complex profiles of various aspects of language use by Africans from different countries living in the city. The focus is on the concept of linguistic repertoire with regards to Africans in the city. The term linguistic repertoire refers to the gamut of languages that a community speaks, reads, and writes and the choices members of this community make in the use of these languages in various communication situations. The term has been defined more broadly as “…a fluid set of linguistic resources that members of an ethnic group may use variably as they index their ethnic identities.” (Benor 2011: 142). As we do more and more linguistic analysis of Diaspora communities in what may be termed “Diaspora Linguistics”, important but neglected theoretical notions such as linguistic repertoire will become more and more salient, and indeed feature prominently in sociolinguistic interactional studies (e.g. Gumperz 1962, Hillery 1955, Hymes 1972, and Labov 1972). I show how the opportunities and threats that such a migrant and diaspora community brings to a European polity and how socio-political and socio-economic issues like the integration of migrants into the host community and the provision of educational and job opportunities can be tackled by an understanding of the complex linguistic repertoires in the city. Beyond the questionnaire survey, I engage several stakeholders of the African diaspora communities in Vienna to fully understand the coping mechanisms Africans have with regards to issues such as racism, integration, identity issues, and socio-economic opportunities in the city.