‘My language, my mother tongue’: competing language ideologies and linguistic diversity among speakers of standard and non-standard varieties

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This article draws on longitudinal research of a linguistic ethnographic nature with four young women of Pontian Greek origin who migrated to Greece, from Russia and Georgia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and who speak Standardised Modern Greek and Pontian Greek; a language variety of the former. The article focuses on the ways in which the young women navigated the different ideologies about ‘language’, nationhood and heritage that they encountered in different domains of their lives. The research presented here is located at the interface between two research traditions: between research on language ideologies, on the one hand, and on the other hand, research on multilingualism and contemporary diversities, and, in particular, recent work on linguistic diversity which incorporates the Bakhtinian notion of ‘heteroglossia’ and which foregrounds the tension between language ideologies reflecting the centripetal pull towards homogeneity and ideologies reflecting the pull towards linguistic and cultural difference.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Early online date26 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • ideology, multilingualism, language varieties, Pontian Greek, identity, Heteroglossia