Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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This article presents the first results of a research project which investigates patterns of language use in the Italo-Australian community in Sydney. All three languages spoken by the majority of Italo-Australians are taken into account: Italian, dialect and English. This article focusses on English. Use of English by 202 subjects (of different generations, Italian regions, age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds) is explored in 46 situations in four domains (family, friendship, work/school and transactions), taking into account congruent and incongruent situations with regard to three main factors: interlocutor, topic of conversation and place where it takes place.

The data show a widespread shift to English which starts among younger subjects of the first generation and increases dramatically among the second generation. Furthermore, use of English by Italo-Australians depends more on personal characteristics of speakers and addressees (such as age and generation) than on topic or place of conversation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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