Socio-Demographic Determinants of Language Transition among the Children of French- and Spanish-Caribbean Immigrants in the US

Kevin J.A. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, language transition among the children of Caribbean immigrants in the US is examined from two main perspectives. First, speeds of language transition among children in French- and Spanish-Caribbean immigrant families are compared. Second, the mediating roles of socio-demographic factors and sibling characteristics in language transition are also examined. The results reveal that, with increasing assimilation, children in French-Caribbean families experience a faster transition to English monolingualism than their counterparts with Spanish-Caribbean parents. Transition to English monolingualism is also negatively associated with the number of firstgeneration siblings within a household. However, increases in the number of second- and first-generation monolingual-English siblings significantly shift childrens language use towards complete Anglicisation. Instructively, this impact offsets the influence which ethnically endogamous parents have on the retention of the mother-tongue within immigrant families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-559
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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