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Challenging Diglossic Models: Translingual Practice in La Réunion

  • Natalia Bremner
Chapter

Abstract

Though the Réunionese linguistic situation was traditionally characterised as diglossic, Réunion language mixing has also been theorised as a continuum, an interlect, or a ‘parler réunionnais’ [‘Réunionese way of speaking’] combining hybridised elements of both Réunionese Creole and French. All of these models, however, continue to reflect the assumption that languages operate as discrete systems. In contrast, the concept of translingual practice proposes a redefinition of linguistic competency as translingual and transcultural, thereby countering assumptions that languages should not be mixed. In a context where linguistic inequalities mirror social inequalities, understanding contemporary expression in everyday life and popular culture in La Réunion as translingual practice could encourage recognition of the hitherto ignored linguistic competencies of the Réunionese population, in particular of its least socioeconomically advantaged members.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Bremner
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherLondonUK

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