Reference : Digital superdiversity in Luxembourg: The case of ’Free your stuff Luxembourg’
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Digital superdiversity in Luxembourg: The case of ’Free your stuff Luxembourg’
Belling, Luc mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Although Luxembourg has a national language (Luxembourgish), it stands in competition with German and French as the main language of the country. Due to the country’s favourable economic situation (based historically on the steel industry and currently the financial sector), Luxembourgish society has been formed by different migration processes over recent decades. These include historical waves of Italian and Portuguese migrants, migrants from European countries who work in EU institutions or multinational companies, as well as daily migrants from Belgium, France and Germany. The high level of migration in addition to Luxembourg’s existing multilingual profile means the population deals on a daily basis with highly multilingual situations. This multilingualism is increased by digital media processes, including Social Network Sites, which represent a forum for Luxembourgers to communicate with each other and with friends of other national and linguistic backgrounds resident within and outside Luxembourg.
Due to the superdiverse language situation in Luxembourg, users of SNS have developed specific linguistic strategies to handle multilingual communication. Communication through users' ‘walls’ is shaped not only by the unique superdiversity of Luxembourg, but also the technological features of SNS. This communication method is characterized by the uncertainty of potential readers and respondents, the multicultural composition of friendslists and the semi-public nature of the communication. Luxembourgers can make three main language choices to communicate through their walls and status updates: (i) writing exclusively in Luxembourgish, (ii) switching to a foreign language (English, French, German, Portuguese) or (iii) adapting to responses and switching between different languages. The linguistic structures of Luxembourgish communication are highly influenced by the country's migration characteristics and population formation. Based as they are on Luxembourgers’ relationships with friends of different foreign nationalities, users' walls represent a perfect platform to analyze the complex linguistic situation in Luxembourg.
For the purpose of this paper, a corpus consisting of public comments and messages by Luxembourgers will be used, based on a six-month longitudinal analysis of Facebook status updates. An analysis of the language used in the posts will reveal the digital literacy practices adopted in response to the superdiverse Luxembourgish situation. The paper will consider how digital communication flows (traceable in SNS) relate to the changed population structure. Do the writers prefer language changes to express certain content in specific situations or not? The study will show if Luxembourgish is still the primary language or if other communication languages are preferred. A special focus lies on code-switching processes in discussions as a method to adapt to special communication circumstances. What are the motivations and circumstances of code-switching? Are the code-switching patterns related to single messages within the discussions or to the entire discussion? The paper thus aims to highlight the multilingual communication methods of Luxembourgers in SNS. The analysis will show specific linguistic patterns, and link these to migration processes in Luxembourg and its developing multilingual situation.
Sociolinguistic Symposium SS 19
21-08-2012 to 24-08-2012
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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