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'Writing it in English': script choices among young multilingual Muslims in the UK

Rosowsky, A. (2010) 'Writing it in English': script choices among young multilingual Muslims in the UK. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31 (2). pp. 163-179. ISSN 0143-4632


Much attention has been paid in the literature to matters of script choice vis-a`-vis languages. This attention, however, has focused on script choice in a national and political context. By contrast, there has not been any significant attention paid to more local and idiosyncratic instances of script choice operating on an individual and community level. These instances may take place when recourse is made to script as a ‘most appropriate technology’ on a pragmatic and functional basis. The examples outlined in this article occur in a multilingual diasporic setting. This article will seek to describe and, to an extent, interpret a recently observed religioliteracy practice in which participants make recourse to Roman script in their endeavours to record, memorise and share poetic verses and song lyrics composed in languages traditionally associated with non-Roman scripts. In a related example, the use of Roman script as a pedagogical ‘shortcut’ to the learning of a classical non-Roman script will complement the discussion on the nature of script choice in a context where ‘choice’ is problematic. It has been noted that new scripts often render literary traditions inaccessible. This article presents findings where, in certain respects, the opposite is occasionally true with a replacement script providing a means to access literary traditions otherwise out of reach.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: language shift; diaspora; heritage languages; plurilingualism; biliteracy; scripts
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr A Rosowsky
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 10:47
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2014 16:34
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434630903514204
Status: Published
Publisher: Routledge
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1080/01434630903514204
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/42610

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