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Una sola isola, tante lingue


Nel territorio dell’Australia esiste una piccola isola davvero particolare. Si chiama South Goulburn ed ospita circa 500 abitanti che appartengono a etnie indigene diverse. Per questo, oltre all’inglese, su questa isola si parlano ben 9 lingue diverse.

Sull’isola infatti esiste la comunità Warruwi, persone che vivono in un’area molto piccola ma che parlano diverse lingue indigene. Ma allora come fanno a capirsi quando parlano? Non tutti parlano inglese, e quasi nessuno è in grado di parlare un’altra lingua oltre la propria.

Nonostante ciò, ogni abitante è in grado di capire tutte le altre lingue indigene (o quasi) quando gli viene rivolta la parola, ma poi sa rispondere solo nella propria. Questo fenomeno si chiama multilinguismo recettivo.

One island, many languages

In Australia there is a small and very peculiar island. Its name is South Goulburn, and it is home to approximately 500 people from various indigenous groups. For this reason, the inhabitants of the island speak 9 different languages, as well as English.

On the island lives the Warruwi community, composed of people who live in a very small area but who speak different indigenous languages. So then, how do they understand each other? Not everyone speaks English, and almost nobody is able to speak another language besides their own.

Despite this, every inhabitant is able to understand all the other indigenous languages (or almost) when being addressed, but can only answer in their own. This phenomenon is called receptive multilingualism.

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