Conjugating Catalonia: Language Learning in Turbulent Times

Lecture | April 25 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | B-4 Dwinelle Hall

 Greta Vollmer, Professor Emerita, English & Applied Linguistics, Sonoma State University

 Berkeley Language Center

Language learning is, as we know, a complex process. Yet when I chose to study Catalan in Spain last year, little did I know that I would receive an even greater education in the complexities of bilingualism as well as the repercussions of the independence movement on language use and language policy in Catalonia. How am I positioned by my language use? How do I choose to position myself in a highly charged political context? What is “Catalanitat” and what does it mean to be a speaker of Catalan at this moment in history? In this informal talk, I hope to explore with you some of these questions, connecting the personal experiences of an individual language learner with the broader sociolinguistic realities of a society in turmoil, and a language under duress.

 vrodic@berkeley.edu, elyseanneritchey@berkeley.edu, 510-877-4002 x19