‘She’s the big dog who knows’ – power and the father’s role in minority language transmission in four transnational families in Tallinn

Colm Doyle


This paper presents the family language policies of four Estonian- non-Estonian bilingual, transnational families, with focus paid to the language management efforts of the fathers and the challenges they faced, including child agency and imbalances of power. The findings indicate that minority-language fathers also engage in ‘language work’ (Okita 2002), and demonstrated that the fathers’ language management efforts were constrained and determined by factors such as the level of competence the men’s spouse has in his L1, child agency, and access to a same languageculture community as a supportive resource.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22601/PET.2018.03.01


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ISSN 2504-6616 (print/trükis)

ISSN 2504-6624 (online/võrguväljaanne)