Linguistic shift and heritage language retention in Australia

James Forrest, Phil Benson, Frank Siciliano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Analysis of linguistic shift, heritage language retention, and the geolinguistics of post–World War II immigrants to Australia from non-English speaking backgrounds indicate the general acceptance of English as the language of choice. For many, linguistic shift is largely completed in the second generation. For fewer, heritage languages are largely retained into the third generation. However, while Australia will remain multilingual so long as immigration from non-English speaking sources continues at the rate of recent years, the general conclusion from intergenerational evidence of languages spoken at home from the 2011 Australian census is the demise of the use of heritage languages in the medium term except where they may be preserved independently of the home environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the changing world language map
EditorsStanley D. Brunn, Roland Kehrein
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030024390, 9783319734002, 9783030024383
ISBN (Print)9783030024376
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • linguistic shift
  • heritage languages
  • immigrant first through third generations
  • geolinguistics
  • Melbourne
  • Australia
  • Linguistic shift
  • Immigrant first through third generations
  • Geolinguistics
  • Heritage languages


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