Volume 149, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
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This paper explores ‘period of residence’ as a factor in the maintenance of an immigrant language, based on the example of Hungarian in Australia. Hungarian speakers arrived in Australia from several different source countries including Hungary, Romania (Transylvania), and areas of the formers Yugoslavia (Vojvodina) and Czechoslovakia (Slovakia). The distinct waves of Hungarian speaking migrants to Australia - 1938-40; 1947-54; 1956-57; 1960s, 70s and 80s; and 1990s - reflect the close connection between sociopolitical events and immigrant source countries for speakers of Hungarian.

The data for the study comprises interviews with 22 families, encompassing all vintages and source countries noted above, supplemented by two focus groups. The study demonstrates that ‘period of residence’interacts with a number of other factors, notably country of origin, reasons for migration, and the prevailing attitudes and policies towards the reception and integration of immigrants in the host country at the time. It highlights the contradictory and ambivalent effects on language maintenance of situations of multiple identity and individual responses to conflict situations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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