The linguistic impact of migration: the case of Albanian immigrant children in Greece

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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Urania Sarri

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The present study investigates individual bilingualism of second-generation Albanian, immigrants in Greece. More specifically, it investigates the linguistic impact of migration and the phenomena of language maintenance and shift based on the example of Albanian immigrant, primary school students in Greece.
The data collected was based on interviews through which the participants’ linguistic biographies were elicited and from recordings of informal communication among them.
The aim of the present study is to identify the participants’ patterns of communication in the home and school environment, investigate the incentives, the rationales and the conditions these patterns of communication stem from, as well as the participants’ attitude towards Albanian.
Results revealed that L1 transmission is problematic for the Late Bilinguals’ group, while the possibility of non-acquisition of Albanian remains a reality for the participants who were born in Greece or came to Greece in infancy. The home context is normally the only domain where Albanian is used in fragmented patterns of communication. Findings also revealed signs of language shift for these young immigrants despite their claims for the use of Albanian that stem from symbolic reasons.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date2016


  • bilingualism, migration, language shift, maintenance

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