¿Falas galego?: The effects of socio-political change on language attitudes and use in the Galician sociolinguistic context
Keywords:Galician, Sociolinguistics, Sociology of language, Lesser-used languages
Over the past two decades, much discussion in sociolinguistics and the sociology of language has centred on concerns over the survival prospects of lesser-used or minority languages. The aim of the research being reported on here was to shed light on one such language case --- Galician, spoken in the Autonomous Community of Galicia in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Of Spain’s officially recognized regional languages, Galician, known to its speakers as ‘galego’, shows greatest numerical strength within its own territorial region. According to census results, an overwhelming majority of the Galician population report an ability to speak the language and sociolinguistic surveys reveal that Galician is the habitual language of over two-thirds of the population. However, despite its apparent strength in numerical terms, as the following pages will show, a closer analysis of the Galician sociolinguistic context highlights a more precarious future for the language.