Patterns of multilingualism among different generations of the East-Timorese diasporic community in Portugal

This study, conducted by Dr Francesco Goglia and Dr Susana Afonso focuses on multilingualism in the East-Timorese community in Portugal. The East-Timorese linguistic repertoire comprises Tetun, Portuguese (now both official national languages in East-Timor), Indonesian and other local indigenous languages. Different generations have different degrees of knowledge and use of these languages due to historical changes and resulting language policies in East-Timor.

Portuguese was banned between 1976 and 1999 and was brought back as a national language after independence and in between Indonesian was imposed as sole official language. This situation is mirrored in the East-Timorese diaspora communities, including the one in Portugal where several generations coexist and interact.

Our analysis is based on conversational interviews and questionnaires. The collected data will allow the investigation and description of the East-Timorese variety of Portuguese and co-occurring language contact phenomena such as lexical borrowings and code-switching.