School and extended family in the transmission and revitalisation of Gallo in upper-Brittany

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  • John Shaun Nolan

This paper examines the transmission patterns of Eastern Brittany's Romance language variety, Gallo, based on quantitative data showing learning patterns of school pupils of the language and their parents in 2003 and 2004. Results confirm the sharp decline in Gallo transmission between generations. Nevertheless, Gallo transmission has not completely ceased. This study shows that for the pupil category, grandparents play a critical role in their acquisition of Gallo. As well as showing how many respondents in this study's parent category are not transmitting Gallo to their children, their reported learning patterns of Gallo also demonstrate how they may be representative of a rupture with a greater and more stable use of Gallo in the past. Data also indicate that of those parents who do play a transmission role, there are fewer females than in previous generations. The school system has become a vital player in Gallo's revitalisation and it is, to some degree, brought out of its rural familial environment. However, Gallo is but an optional subject and in the context of issues raised by RLS theory, the decreasing trigenerational transmission pattern means that current revitalisation activity in Upper Brittany may not provide a sufficient basis upon which Gallo can be maintained.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)216-234
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Education, France, Gallo, Language revitalisation, Language shift, Language transmission

ID: 186031089