Language policy and 'new speakers': an introduction to the thematic issue

Josep Soler, Jeroen Darquennes

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In recent years, sociolinguistic research on minority languages in Europe, particularly in the Galician context, has chiefly contributed both theoretically and empirically to the growing attention given to ‘new speakers’, as well as to the emergence of a European research network in 2013 entitled ‘New Speakers in a multilingual Europe: Opportunities and challenges’ ( As documented in special issues and edited volumes, the research activities in the network not only aimed at adding the term ‘new speaker’ to the growing pool of analytical terminology in critically oriented sociolinguistics. Employing ‘new speaker’ as a lens rather than as a clear-cut notion is what we—as editors—had in mind when giving shape to this volume, drawing on discussions during the final phases of the above-mentioned research network. This seemed especially useful because such a broad take on ‘new speakerness’ opens up avenues for comparative research under a common label. In sum, it is certainly worth the effort to continue delving deeper into the notion of ‘new speakers’, and particularly to do that from the perspective of language policy. The articles collected in this thematic issue aim at contributing into that direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalLanguage Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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