Our project is focusing on the language use in religious institutes, through the work of my group mates, I have seen a well-presented and comprehensive view of local religious institutes and the analysis about the languages that have been used in these communities. Within the similar research approach, we have visited these religious institutes including Greek church, Coptic Orthodox church, Hindu Temple and two synagogues. Hence, this project provided us with a very diverse context and enabled our group to look into the similarity and differences between the language use in different religious institutes and the cultural communities.

As Spolsky suggested, the divine communication nature has powerful impact on the language use in religious centers. And the important interrelationship between the institutes and the cultural community groups were further displayed in our project. In general, we selected the religious institutes that are mainly formed by immigrants. Thus it can be observed that almost all of these places shared the same functions besides its religious service   , they also played the role as social community, where people can use their mother languages of the cultural community. And often these languages can be multiple and mixed at the same time. Such as the Hindu temple which has multiple languages speakers from India and Sri Lanka, and the Coptic Church which has Arabic, English and Mandarin speakers.

Yet the differences between these institute might reflect on the attitude of the cultural heritage and inheriting of the community culture. In Synagogues, a large number of the people would use Hebrew, code-switching might occurs sometimes, but one feature of the Jewish group is that a large proportion of the younger generation are encouraged to learn and use the language. Also,it can be seen that the cultural heritage that carried by the language was greatly valued in this community. In contrast, the Greek church and the Orthodox church were more flexible with the language using, while the effort that the community in general put on language inheriting might be not as much as the Jewish group.

Overall, this project presented the major similarities and differences between the sites, and provided an interesting perspective on the relationship between cultural community and the language heritage with the religious institutes.


Mingyu Tang  z3475282