‘Quiere koffie?’: The multilingual familylect of transcultural families

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Scholars working on multilingualism within the family have often highlighted the dynamic nature of any single family's language policy, as well as the active role that both parents and children can play in the evolution of their family language policy and language practices. In this article, my aim is to revise the usefulness of two concepts, familylect and language repertoire, for examining multilingual families’ everyday interactions. I argue that if we consider family language policy as emerging in the interactions between children and caretakers, and we wish to investigate how such a language policy takes shape in a family's everyday interactions, the notions of a multilingual family language repertoire and a multilingual familylect may be useful lenses through which to observe these interactions, and I will tentatively illustrate their application, providing examples from two multilingual families from different (linguistic) backgrounds in Belgium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-248
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • family language policy
  • Belgium
  • multilingual familylect
  • language repertoire


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