Diaspora language

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The term Diaspora Language, coined in the 1980s,[1] is a sociolinguistic idea referring to a variety of languages spoken by peoples with common roots who have dispersed, under various pressures and often globally. The emergence and evolution of a diaspora language is usually part of a larger attempt to retain cultural identity.


Molisanne (Molise Slavic)[edit]

Though possessing certain elements of Slavic languages, Molise Slavic is also influenced by Italian. Considered an endangered language, Molise Slavic is spoken by approximately 3,500 people in the villages of Montemitro, San Felice del Molise, and Acquaviva Collecroce in southern Molise, as well as elsewhere in southern Italy. The language developed as a result of refugees arriving in Italy from the eastern Adriatic coast during the 15th and 16th centuries.


Another diaspora language is Istro-Romanian, spoken by the Istro-Romanians. Like Molise Slavic, it is considered endangered, with only 500 to 1000 speakers remaining. Istro-Romanian developed when the ancestors of these individuals migrated to Istria from Transylvania (some say Serbia) during the 12th century.

AAVE in the African American Diaspora[edit]

A study of African American enclaves in Nova Scotia, Canada and Samaná, Dominican Republic shows a high similarity in the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) spoken there and the early versions of AAVE that originated in the south during the 19th century. AAVE in the United States on the other hand has changed substantially due in part to the Great Migration that happened in the twentieth century.[2] Unusually, while most examples have a diaspora causing differences in language due to influence from another culture and languages, these enclaves maintained a form of language closer to the historical source, or branching point.

Hindlish or Hinglish[edit]

The great number of Hindi speakers in the United Kingdom has produced a strain of the language unlike that spoken on the Indian subcontinent where it began. This has given rise to Hindlish, also known as Hinglish, an informal term for the mixture of Hindi and English that includes such phrases as city kotwali or "city police station." Hinglish is not considered a full-blown diaspora language but it appears to be developing into one.

Yiddish and the Jewish Diaspora[edit]

Yiddish is a major linguistic creation of the Jewish Diaspora, originating in what is now Germany. It is one of many languages that emerged as a result of the migration of the Jewish people throughout Europe, alongside Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), Italkian (Judeo-Italian), Knaanic (Judeo-Slavic), Yevanic (Judeo-Greek), and Zarphatic (Judeo-French).[3] Of these languages, Yiddish produced the most significant literature and served as an icon of Jewish identity throughout Central and Eastern Europe.[4]

Yoruba or Lucumi[edit]

The Yoruba language can be found across the globe, on every continent, however enforced migration under colonial slavery resulted in a particular density in the Americas and pressure on Yoruba speakers to adapt or assimilate. In the Caribbean, in particular, Yoruba culture, religion, and language have co-evolved with the needs of the enslaved populations, generating extensive hybridization and surviving into the current era. The Santeria religion draws its roots from Catholic, Yoruba and Native American spiritual traditions, and its liturgical language is Lucumi, a dialect of the original predominantly Nigerian Yoruba.[5][6]

See also[edit]