Marrying a multilingual

monolingual perspectives in linguistic intermarriage

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Linguistic intermarriage is of significant interest in understanding language practices in the context of global migration (Clyne & Kipp, 1997; Goncalves, 2013; Okita, 2002; Piller, 2001, 2002). However, the focus is almost always on the partner from the migrant and/or minority-language background. In contrast, this research focuses on those of English speaking background (ESB) who are married to migrant partners who speak a language other than English (LOTE). Using a questionnaire and interviews with 14 couples and 16 individuals which were collected over a period of eighteen months in Sydney, Australia, the role of language in the family was explored. Using discourse and content analysis, two key areas where language is implicated were identified: bilingual childrearing and communication with LOTE-speaking in-laws. It was found that expectations around bilingual childrearing and in-law communication intersected with gendered parenting roles. The research further found LOTEs were at times constructed as problematic in communication with in-laws overseas. This research has implications for the way that gendered ideologies play out in cross-linguistic intimate relationships and their intersection with dominant language ideologies such as the territorial principle.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSociolinguistics Symposium 22 - University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018


ConferenceSociolinguistics Symposium 22
CountryNew Zealand
Internet address

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    Torsh, H. (2018). Marrying a multilingual: monolingual perspectives in linguistic intermarriage. Abstract from Sociolinguistics Symposium 22, Auckland, New Zealand.