Wednesday Seminar: “Criancinha feliz fra mamma” and “verdens beste pappa”: Affect in parent-child multilingual interactions

Rafael Lomeu Gomes (Postdoctoral Fellow, MultiLing) will discuss the role of affect in parent-child multilingual interactions in the home.

Picture of Rafael Lomeu Gomes

Rafael Lomeu Gomes


The broadening of scope of sociolinguistic approaches to family multilingualism in recent years has been characterised by a greater variety of research methods, the increasing employment of ethnographic approaches, and more diversity of geopolitical contexts, languages, and family configurations. Furthermore, some studies have tapped into discussions about the “affective turn”. Yet, oftentimes these studies overlook debates promoted by recent conceptualisations of language, such as Buschs (2017) expanded notion of the linguistic repertoire. Drawing on this notion, in this presentation I examine the affective dimension of interactions of multilingual families in the construction of familial bonds as they accomplish mundane tasks in their everyday lives. More specifically, resulting from a three-year ethnographic project in Norway, this study sets out to better understand how members of two Brazilian-Norwegian families draw on their multilingual linguistic repertoires as they construct family ties. A discursive analytical approach is employed to examine primarily audio-recordings of interactions in the home made by one of the parents of each family (i.e. around 15 hours of recordings in total). The analysis demonstrates how certain linguistic features (e.g. terms of endearment and the “You are…” frame), combined with the use of the participantsmultilingual repertoire, accomplish three interrelated social actions. They (i) convey parental value-laden aspirations of child-rearing, (ii) position children according to expected social roles, and (iii) forge parent-child ties. Focusing on the affective dimension of parent-child interactions as they draw on their multilingual repertoires to construct familial bonds contributes to an underexplored area in family multilingualism studies


Busch, Brigitta. 2017. Expanding the notion of the linguistic repertoire: On the concept of Spracherleben — The lived experience of language. Applied Linguistics, 38(3), 340-358.


Rafael Lomeu Gomes is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at MultiLing—Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, University of Oslo. He holds a PhD in sociolinguistics (University of Oslo), MA in linguistics (Queen Mary, University of London), and BA in social sciences (Pontífica Universidade Católica de São Paulo). His current research interests include multilingualism, digitally-mediated communication, and media discourse. In his latest research project, Rafael investigated the language practices and ideologies of Brazilian-Norwegian families raising their children multilingually in Norway. His research has been published in international, peer-reviewed journals such as Multilingual Margins, Multilingua, and Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. Rafael has taught language-related courses (e.g. ‘Language Acquisition’, ‘Language Policy’, and ‘Multilingualism’) at bachelor’s and master’s levels.


Published Apr. 22, 2021 12:25 PM - Last modified Apr. 22, 2021 12:25 PM