When a country has two official languages but one is used more than the other

England, English
#1
Hi,

What's the word for a linguistic situation when a country has two or more official languages but one is used in more formal circumstances. For example:

During Franco's regime in Spain, there was a ______________ situation in Catalonia where the people were bilingual but only spoke Catalan at home and Castillian in public places.

I think it begins with 'd'. It's driving me mad!

Please help!

Thanks
 
  • Anna Più

    Senior Member
    Catalonia, Catalan
    #3
    Hi,
    Diglòssia (in Catalan) Diglossia (English)it could fit.

    I try to give you a translation of the DIEC definition of diglosia:
    The sociolingüistical situation in wich two lenguages o speakings are used with a diferent social value: one is used for formal functions, generally in writen issues, in front of the other, that is used for informal functions, oral basically.

    The situation of Catalan in that period was a hard diglòssia...

    Regards,
    A+
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    #5
    I can offer the following explanatory examples of the use of diglossia:
    In many speech communities two or more varieties of the same language are used by some speakers under different conditions. The term ‘diglossia’ is introduced here, modeled on the French diglossie,..since there seems to be no word in regular use for this in English.

    Linguists have proposed the term ‘diglossia’ to designate a situation where a community uses..both a more colloquial idiom of less prestige and another of more learned and refined status.
    OED

    Oops - too slow.
     

    DAH

    Senior Member
    USA/California--English
    #6
    Anna Più said:
    Hi,
    Diglossia it could fit.
    I try to give you a translation of the DIEC definition of diglosia:
    The sociolingüistical situation in which two languages or speakings are used with each having a different social value: one is used for formal functions, generally in written issues or in front of another, and the one is used for informal functions, basically oral.

    The situation of Catalan in that period was a hard diglosia...

    Regards,
    A+
    Best regards!
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    #7
    "Diglossia" does not denote the situation you describe in your question.

    One language exists in a state of diglossia when it has two principal varieties, one formal and the other colloquial. Arabic is probably the most widespread language that exists in a state of ubiquitous diglossia. Swiss German is another example.

    Diglossia has nothing to do with multiple languages, nor does it have to do with official languages in a country.
     
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