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Home truths: globalisation and the iconising of Welsh in a Welsh American newspaper

Coupland, Nikolas John Robert, Bishop, H. and Garrett, Peter Donald 2003. Home truths: globalisation and the iconising of Welsh in a Welsh American newspaper. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 24 (3) , pp. 153-177. 10.1080/01434630308666495

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Global population flows leave some social groups dislocated from their home territories and languages. Under these conditions processes of ethnolinguistic identification can become complex and the use of a home language can take on new symbolic values. We consider the case of Welsh-affiliating people in the United States of America, and the use of the Welsh language in one particular, long-running WelshAmerican community newspaper, Y Drych (The Mirror). Quite differently from its earliest forms in the second half of the 19th century, Y Drych nowadays positions the Welsh language as a richly iconic resource, available for ceremonial and celebratory social purposes - to celebrate Welshness at a remove from 'the homeland'. We interpret the use of Welsh in Y Drych as a form of language display, and as part of a process of retraditionalisation. Linguistic and cultural elements of 'old Wales' are re-embedded into Welsh-American consciousness and practices, in ways that might be paralleled in other sociolinguistic diasporas.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0143-4632
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:30

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