Infants’ communicative ecologies and language policies in two contemporary Spanish families
Keywords:Family Language Policy, Non-conventional Families, Infants, Voicing, Language Socialization, Spanish families
This article examines linguistic socialisation and communicative practices in contemporary Spanish families during a child’s first two years of life. We focus on two families who worked towards additive bilingualism in their family communicative practices, with the goal of promoting the acquisition of more than one language early on in the children’s development. The two cases reflect non-conventional family projects, one family led by a single mother by choice and one by a lesbian couple. Our analysis focuses on three aspects: 1) the interactional and communicative ecologies that emerge as part of the linguistic decisions made by the mothers, focusing particularly on the maternal voicing of children’s ‘talk’; 2) how these ecologies develop over the first two years of children’s
lives; 3) how these interactional dynamics intertwine with the linguistic and parenting ideologies of mothers. Our analysis contributes to unpacking how Family Language Policy operates during the early stages of children’s communicative development and shows how, in fact, family language planning practices and parental projects intertwine.
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