Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Following a critical sociolinguistics approach to language maintenance in the diaspora, this paper investigates interplaying linguistic identities and ideologies towards home and host languages among four case-study Pakistanis living in Catalonia, a Catalan/Spanish-speaking European society. By drawing on fieldnotes, interviews, naturally-occurring conversations and visual materials gathered in a Barcelona call shop, it shows how informants invest in Spanish as the ‘integration’ language, despite being categorised as ‘deficient’ users of it. They present themselves as ‘native’ speakers of Urdu, which indexes modern ‘Muslimness’ and ‘Pakistaniness’, while Punjabi users, associated with the ‘yokels’, are silenced. English is ambivalently taken-up as an intra-group sign of educational status and political power and as an anti-Muslim ‘coloniser’ language. Overall, these stratifying sociolinguistic behaviours reveal how Pakistanis’ home/host multilingual resources get re-ideologised through linguistic hierarchisations which foster the maintenance of majority languages only, dismissing minority language speakers, in unchartered transnational contexts where these are already ‘delanguaged’.


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