Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood

oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Longitudinal ethnographic research in a superdiverse neighborhood in inner-city Antwerp (Belgium) shows that, in spite of continuously and rapidly changing demographic patterns, a relatively stable lingua franca has emerged, which I call “oecumenical Dutch”. Rather than one identifiable variety, oecumenical Dutch is best seen as a continuum of “accented” varieties of vernacular Dutch, ranging from minimal operational registers such as those of simple shopping routines to fully developed multigeneric and multimodal varieties. This lingua franca operates as an “infrastructure” in the neighborhood, and ensures relatively smooth modes of interaction at the level of conviviality. Conviviality, however, is not (as often suggested) a superficial level of social engagement; in the superdiverse neighborhood, conviviality provides elementary and critical levels of social cohesion and integration. The resources required for oecumenical Dutch are low-threshold, “demotic” ones, and newcomers quickly acquire sufficient levels of proficiency. The tremendous social importance of this lingua franca should not obscure the fact that oecumenical Dutch enables specific trajectories of integration – those of convivial community membership – but does not qualify as a resource for integration towards full citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage, Culture, Identity
EditorsJacqueline Knörr, Wilson Trajano Filho
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Chapter3
Pages39-58
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9789004363427
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameBrill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture
PublisherBrill
Volume17
ISSN (Print)1879-5412

Fingerprint

social cohesion
social integration
Belgium
resources
citizenship
infrastructure
interaction
community

Keywords

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Superdiversity
  • creolization
  • lingua franca
  • language variation
  • Dutch Language
  • Antwerp
  • linguistic anthropology
  • Integration
  • conviviality

Cite this

Blommaert, J. (2018). Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood: oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp. In J. Knörr, & W. Trajano Filho (Eds.), Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity (pp. 39-58). (Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture; Vol. 17). Leiden: Brill.
Blommaert, Jan. / Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood : oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp. Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity. editor / Jacqueline Knörr ; Wilson Trajano Filho. Leiden : Brill, 2018. pp. 39-58 (Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture).
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abstract = "Longitudinal ethnographic research in a superdiverse neighborhood in inner-city Antwerp (Belgium) shows that, in spite of continuously and rapidly changing demographic patterns, a relatively stable lingua franca has emerged, which I call “oecumenical Dutch”. Rather than one identifiable variety, oecumenical Dutch is best seen as a continuum of “accented” varieties of vernacular Dutch, ranging from minimal operational registers such as those of simple shopping routines to fully developed multigeneric and multimodal varieties. This lingua franca operates as an “infrastructure” in the neighborhood, and ensures relatively smooth modes of interaction at the level of conviviality. Conviviality, however, is not (as often suggested) a superficial level of social engagement; in the superdiverse neighborhood, conviviality provides elementary and critical levels of social cohesion and integration. The resources required for oecumenical Dutch are low-threshold, “demotic” ones, and newcomers quickly acquire sufficient levels of proficiency. The tremendous social importance of this lingua franca should not obscure the fact that oecumenical Dutch enables specific trajectories of integration – those of convivial community membership – but does not qualify as a resource for integration towards full citizenship.",
keywords = "Sociolinguistics, Superdiversity, creolization, lingua franca, language variation, Dutch Language, Antwerp, linguistic anthropology, Integration, conviviality",
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year = "2018",
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Blommaert, J 2018, Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood: oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp. in J Knörr & W Trajano Filho (eds), Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity. Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, vol. 17, Brill, Leiden, pp. 39-58.

Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood : oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp. / Blommaert, Jan.

Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity. ed. / Jacqueline Knörr; Wilson Trajano Filho. Leiden : Brill, 2018. p. 39-58 (Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture; Vol. 17).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

TY - CHAP

T1 - Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood

T2 - oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp

AU - Blommaert, Jan

PY - 2018/2/21

Y1 - 2018/2/21

N2 - Longitudinal ethnographic research in a superdiverse neighborhood in inner-city Antwerp (Belgium) shows that, in spite of continuously and rapidly changing demographic patterns, a relatively stable lingua franca has emerged, which I call “oecumenical Dutch”. Rather than one identifiable variety, oecumenical Dutch is best seen as a continuum of “accented” varieties of vernacular Dutch, ranging from minimal operational registers such as those of simple shopping routines to fully developed multigeneric and multimodal varieties. This lingua franca operates as an “infrastructure” in the neighborhood, and ensures relatively smooth modes of interaction at the level of conviviality. Conviviality, however, is not (as often suggested) a superficial level of social engagement; in the superdiverse neighborhood, conviviality provides elementary and critical levels of social cohesion and integration. The resources required for oecumenical Dutch are low-threshold, “demotic” ones, and newcomers quickly acquire sufficient levels of proficiency. The tremendous social importance of this lingua franca should not obscure the fact that oecumenical Dutch enables specific trajectories of integration – those of convivial community membership – but does not qualify as a resource for integration towards full citizenship.

AB - Longitudinal ethnographic research in a superdiverse neighborhood in inner-city Antwerp (Belgium) shows that, in spite of continuously and rapidly changing demographic patterns, a relatively stable lingua franca has emerged, which I call “oecumenical Dutch”. Rather than one identifiable variety, oecumenical Dutch is best seen as a continuum of “accented” varieties of vernacular Dutch, ranging from minimal operational registers such as those of simple shopping routines to fully developed multigeneric and multimodal varieties. This lingua franca operates as an “infrastructure” in the neighborhood, and ensures relatively smooth modes of interaction at the level of conviviality. Conviviality, however, is not (as often suggested) a superficial level of social engagement; in the superdiverse neighborhood, conviviality provides elementary and critical levels of social cohesion and integration. The resources required for oecumenical Dutch are low-threshold, “demotic” ones, and newcomers quickly acquire sufficient levels of proficiency. The tremendous social importance of this lingua franca should not obscure the fact that oecumenical Dutch enables specific trajectories of integration – those of convivial community membership – but does not qualify as a resource for integration towards full citizenship.

KW - Sociolinguistics

KW - Superdiversity

KW - creolization

KW - lingua franca

KW - language variation

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KW - Antwerp

KW - linguistic anthropology

KW - Integration

KW - conviviality

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9789004363427

T3 - Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture

SP - 39

EP - 58

BT - Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity

A2 - Knörr, Jacqueline

A2 - Trajano Filho, Wilson

PB - Brill

CY - Leiden

ER -

Blommaert J. Lingua franca onset in a superdiverse neighborhood: oecumenical Dutch in Antwerp. In Knörr J, Trajano Filho W, editors, Creolization and Pidginization in Contexts of Postcolonial Diversity: Language, Culture, Identity. Leiden: Brill. 2018. p. 39-58. (Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture).