Turkish as an Immigrant Language in Europe


Any first-time visitor to Western Europe is likely to notice the considerable Turkish presence in its cities, the legacy of labor migration in the 1960s and 1970s. The goal of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive overview of the linguistic work that has been done to date on this immigrant community, focusing on issues such as language maintenance, language choice, code-switching, and contact-induced change.

While most studies of Turkish migrants focus on their second-language acquisition and other signs of their integration into the host society, the present chapter focuses on research that has been done on their Turkish. Many are lone studies by individual researchers; in some cases they are the result of team work, as funding agencies recognize the social relevance of work on ethnic minorities and the linguistic relevance of work on language contact. Earlier reviews of this work can be found in Bayraktarox11F_rnlu (1999), Backus (2004; of which this is an updated version; see the older version for many of the older references), and Backus, Jørgensen, and Pfaff (2010). Popular topics have included language choice patterns and the degree of maintenance or shift observed, first-language acquisition, functions of code-switching and the social meaning this practice conveys, the forms code-switching takes, and whether or not the ...

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