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"Has anyone seen my ancestral language?" Italian linguistic suicide and the transmission of the Italian language in Canada, 1935-1947

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posted on 08.06.2021, 07:39 by Ryan Shadford
Very little research, if any at all, has been conducted on the ancestral language retention of Italian-Canadians during World War Two. The aim of this research study was to compile a body of literature that would begin to support the notion that World War Two Italophobic policies inflicted by the Canadian government on the Italian-Canadian community could have negatively affected the intergenerational transmission of the Italian language in Canada, 1935-1947. In order to introduce the topic, a 'boxed-in' literature review was conducted by compiling research on Italian-Canadians during the war that spanned many topics. By grouping the material into specific themes, a structure for Italian lingusitic suicide began to emerge. Two sections on theoretical perspectives and oral histories precede an analysis of three interviews conducted in the Greater Toronto area that serve to bring reality and correlational evidence to the literature review.





Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University