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‘Our heart is still in Africa’: Twice migration and its sociolinguistic consequences

  • Claudia Rathore-Nigsch (a1) and Daniel Schreier (a2)

Abstract

This study is a sociophonetic investigation of dialect variation and change in the East African Asian community in Leicester, UK. The community differs from other strands of the British Asian diaspora because of its migration history: a two-stage journey (‘twice migration’) within a few generations, first from the Indian subcontinent to East Africa (late nineteenth century) and from there onward to Britain (early 1970s). We examine variation in the production of the foot, strut, and nurse vowels across two generations of East African Asian migrants with a focus on the usage of originally Indian English features, identity expression, changing sense of belonging, and desire to maintain the original culture from the East African homelands. Our sociolinguistic examination of the speakers’ migration history demonstrates that, despite a strong affiliation with East Africa, first-generation speakers have predominantly maintained Indian English patterns whereas second-generation subjects partake in accommodation to an (educated) variety of East Midlands English. (Twice migration, accommodation, identity, variation and change in the diaspora, foot, strut, and nurse vowels, Indian English, East African English, East Midlands English)*

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‘Our heart is still in Africa’: Twice migration and its sociolinguistic consequences

  • Claudia Rathore-Nigsch (a1) and Daniel Schreier (a2)

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