Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

5-8-2024 9:00 AM

End Date

5-8-2024 11:00 AM

Subjects

Applied Linguistics, Serbia, War

Advisor

Kim Brown

Student Level

Masters

Abstract

War disrupts everything, including a child’s developing language and cultural identity. My father grew up in both Serbia and Germany during the post-WWII political upheaval. By the time he was an adult, he knew five languages, yet lacked his own language and languaculture (Agar, 1994).

It benefits us to understand more completely the effects of language loss as political borders continue to shift and human migration increases. Research in social sciences, psychology, and biology all examine the effects of trauma, the brain, and child development. Applied linguistics examines language loss in relation to Second Language Acquisition (Altarriba & Heredia, 2018).

My presentation shifts the focus of this research onto a family ethnography around language and identity loss; about war, trauma, and forced migration; about the effects of shame. Using interviews, field research, and family history, this presentation utilizes the methodology employed by ethnographers to draw on “thick, rich description” (Geertz, 1973; Spradley, 1979). In this re-telling of my father's story, I intend to use the following questions as a guide (1) How does language get lost?; and (2) What are the effects? This story is particular to my family but it could be one of many across the globe.

Creative Commons License or Rights Statement

IN COPYRIGHT:
© Copyright the author(s)
https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Share

COinS
 
May 8th, 9:00 AM May 8th, 11:00 AM

My Father's Story: An Ethnography About Language Loss

War disrupts everything, including a child’s developing language and cultural identity. My father grew up in both Serbia and Germany during the post-WWII political upheaval. By the time he was an adult, he knew five languages, yet lacked his own language and languaculture (Agar, 1994).

It benefits us to understand more completely the effects of language loss as political borders continue to shift and human migration increases. Research in social sciences, psychology, and biology all examine the effects of trauma, the brain, and child development. Applied linguistics examines language loss in relation to Second Language Acquisition (Altarriba & Heredia, 2018).

My presentation shifts the focus of this research onto a family ethnography around language and identity loss; about war, trauma, and forced migration; about the effects of shame. Using interviews, field research, and family history, this presentation utilizes the methodology employed by ethnographers to draw on “thick, rich description” (Geertz, 1973; Spradley, 1979). In this re-telling of my father's story, I intend to use the following questions as a guide (1) How does language get lost?; and (2) What are the effects? This story is particular to my family but it could be one of many across the globe.