The Role of Songs in Intergenerational Transmission of Spanish as a Heritage Language

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Grondin, Marie-Christine




While many researchers have established a direct link between language transmission and culture, very few have focused on music as a tool in intergenerational transmission of heritage languages (HL) in linguistic minorities in diaspora. This sociolinguistic and ethnomusicological study examines the role of songs in relation to intergenerational Spanish language transmission by exploring Colombian Canadian families' narratives through the lens of qualitative interpretive methodology. Interrelations between language transmission, songs, culture, and identity in diaspora are examined. Data was collected through interviews and questionnaires. Interviews were analyzed using the general inductive approach. Findings show that songs (a) create an emotional connection to language, culture, and identity (b) serve to transmit and maintain language, culture, and identity (c) serve as language learning tools. Song-listening and singing also play a valuable role in childhood language transmission by supporting parental efforts. Findings have implications for HL programmes focusing on familial transmission and music education.






Carleton University

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Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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