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16 - English in Gibraltar: Applying the EIF Model to English in Non-Postcolonial Overseas Territories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Sarah Buschfeld
Affiliation:
TU Dortmund University
Alexander Kautzsch
Affiliation:
University of Regensburg
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. As a British territory, English is its official language, although due to the Spanish roots of part of the population, as well as the coexistence of other ethnic groups historically (Maltese, Genoese, Jewish, Moroccans, among the most notable), it has developed a local vernacular language, known as Yanito, which has coexisted with Spanish and English. However, a recent increase in the use of English at home among younger Gibraltarians has been reported (Kellerman 2001: 91–93; Levey 2008: 58, 95–98; Weston 2013) and English is becoming the first language of most Gibraltarians, to the extent that an emerging variety of English appears to be in the process of becoming nativized, labeled Gibraltar English (Kellerman 2001; Levey 2008; Weston 2011), which “carries an identity function for its users” (Weston 2011: 361; see also Levey 2015: 51). The aim of this chapter is to consider how this new variety of English fits within the most influential models of analysis within World Englishes and then to apply the latest model, known as the Extra- and Intra-territorial Forces Model (EIF Model), developed by Buschfeld and Kautzsch (2017). The chapter is structured as follows: section 2 briefly describes the demographic, historical, and sociocultural situation of Gibraltar; section 3 analyzes the status of English in Gibraltar from a historical point of view, as well as the emergence of Gibraltar English, a new variety of English resulting from the language contact situation in Gibraltar; section 4 presents Gibraltar English according to the most influential analytical frameworks of World Englishes; section 5 analyzes the current status and linguistic forms of Gibraltar English from the EIF perspective; finally, section 6 presents some conclusions.

GIBRALTAR: DEMOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND SOCIOCULTURAL BACKGROUND

Gibraltar is a territory located on the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, bordered to the north by Spain. It has an area of almost 7 km2 and a population of 32,194 people (see Figure 16.1), according to the latest census report (Census of Gibraltar 2012), of which 25,111 (78 percent) are considered Gibraltarians, 4,249 (13.2 percent) British, and the remaining 2,501 (7.8 percent) form a heterogeneous group, of which the most numerous are Moroccans (522).

Type
Chapter
Information
Modelling World Englishes
A Joint Approach to Postcolonial and Non-Postcolonial Varieties
, pp. 347 - 370
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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