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Profiles of new speakers of Galician


Fernando Ramallo ,

Universidad de Vigo, ES
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Bernadette O’Rourke

Universidad Heriot-Watt de Edimburgo (Escocia)
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Although the phenomenon began much earlier – at least since the beginnings of the linguistic revival process of the mid-20th century – a distinctive feature of the Galicia’s current sociolinguistic reality is the presence of new speakers of Galician. With the introduction of Galician into new areas of use, in particular, the educational system, part of the population that socialised primarily in Spanish have relegated Spanish to a secondary position and become conscious and committed speakers of Galician. In this paper, we examine the general profiles of new speakers of Galician using the intensity of use of the learned language criterion. Thus, we differentiate between essential, functional, occasional and potential new speakers. While for academic sociolinguistics and the social imaginary of the Galician population, the new speaker is limited to what we define as an “essential” new speaker, from a less restrictive view, functional new speakers and, to a lesser extent, occasional new speakers both meet the profile of persons with L1 Spanish who incorporate Galician into their practices. Potential new speakers are a different case as in them we see the conditions required for the change even though such a change has yet to take place.

How to Cite: Ramallo, F. and O’Rourke, B., 2014. Profiles of new speakers of Galician. Digithum, (16), pp.18–24. DOI:
Published on 01 May 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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