Event Title

An overview of the Chinese Languages Situation in Mauritius: Vitality, Transmission and Language Shift

Presenter Information

Julie Lefort

Start Date

13-9-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

13-9-2018 3:30 PM

Description

Abstract: Studies on the Chinese languages of Mauritius mainly focus on the mandarin language acquisition and the Moyen Hakka variety while other varieties are also spoken and speakers’ community present a great heterogeneity. Ancestral languages (Moyen & Fokien Hakka and Cantonese) have been isolated from their source spoken in China present archaism and innovations induced by contact language. The speakers’ speech can vary greatly from one speaker to another and often features code-mixing/switching with Creole, French and English. On the other hand, Mandarin, an artificial language imported from China Main Land, is not an ancestral language but is the Chinese variety taught at school and used in media. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the historical background of Chinese immigration to Mauritius, the different varieties spoken in the current context and the different domains of use of each of this varieties. I will give concrete examples and analyze family situations illustrating the great complexity and diversity of the different sociolinguistic situations observed in Mauritius.

Comments

Bio: Dr Julie Lefort holds a PhD in Science Language from EHESS Paris. I have been a part time Chinese language teacher and lecturer at MGI & UOM, a freelance translator and an independent researcher since 2010. My main research focus is on contact language situations involving Chinese Varieties in China and in Mauritius.

Publication Date

2018

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Sep 13th, 3:00 PM Sep 13th, 3:30 PM

An overview of the Chinese Languages Situation in Mauritius: Vitality, Transmission and Language Shift

Abstract: Studies on the Chinese languages of Mauritius mainly focus on the mandarin language acquisition and the Moyen Hakka variety while other varieties are also spoken and speakers’ community present a great heterogeneity. Ancestral languages (Moyen & Fokien Hakka and Cantonese) have been isolated from their source spoken in China present archaism and innovations induced by contact language. The speakers’ speech can vary greatly from one speaker to another and often features code-mixing/switching with Creole, French and English. On the other hand, Mandarin, an artificial language imported from China Main Land, is not an ancestral language but is the Chinese variety taught at school and used in media. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the historical background of Chinese immigration to Mauritius, the different varieties spoken in the current context and the different domains of use of each of this varieties. I will give concrete examples and analyze family situations illustrating the great complexity and diversity of the different sociolinguistic situations observed in Mauritius.