The Portuguese diaspora in Jersey

Jaine Beswick

Abstract



This present paper concerns recent migrations from the Portuguese mainland and from the island of Madeira to the English and French speaking territory of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. On-going research is being carried out with a group of students from the Jersey community and studying at the University of Southampton. Through a series of informal discussions and class participation exercises, a detailed evaluation of both behavioural and attitudinal evidence pertaining to these languages in context is carried out. Moreover, the students own observations about their home community’s sociolinguistic network and notions of identity afford a valuable insight into the hierarchical and attitudinal factors which determine the interpersonal communication strategies employed on a day-to-day basis. To this end, tentative conclusions are made regarding the ethnolinguistic vitality of the younger members of this particular community.

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