"Yanito" among the young population of Gibraltar: Bilingualism, Identity and Language attitudes
Project funded by own resources
Project title "Yanito" among the young population of Gibraltar: Bilingualism, Identity and Language attitudes
Principal Investigator(s) Schlumpf-Thurnherr, Sandra
Rodríguez Garcia, Marta
Organisation / Research unit Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften / Iberoromanische Linguistik (Schmid)
Project start 01.08.2019
Probable end 31.07.2023
Status Active

Gibraltar is a British territory located at the southern edge of the Iberian Peninsula in which a unique cultural and linguistic situation has evolved. Previous studies have shown interest in generational analysis, focusing special attention on linguistic changes and evolution. Those analyses register an almost-exclusive use of Spanish among the oldest generation and a drastic switch to English (official language) among the youngest generation. The use of English, not only in official and formal situations, but also in a familiar context, seems to be accompanied by the loss of Spanish among the young (Kellerman 2001; Moyer 1992; Weston 2013). However, no much research has been done on either a comprehensive analysis of bilingualism and its connection to language attitudes and identity, or on the language of younger generations.


This project focuses on getting an understanding of the linguistic situation among the young population in Gibraltar. The aim is to determine if bilingualism and the vernacular language of the community: yanito/llanito continue to be part of the linguistic and cultural identity of the new generations aged between 18 and 35. For this purpose, the project conducts an analysis of two different objects using an online methodology: first, focus groups and daily conversations in search of speech patterns and pragmatic elements; secondly, attitude questionnaires to show linguistic attitudes and perceptions of this sector of the population which represents the future of the linguistic community of Gibraltar.

Keywords Gibraltar, Yanito, Llanito, Bilingualism, Identity, Language attitudes, Generational analysis
Financed by University funds

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