Gibraltar has a population of approximately 30,000 and covers an area of some 6 km2
at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
It has been subject to British sovereignty
since 1713, when English became the official language. The use of English was at first
restricted to the military sphere and among the British themselves, who having arrived
in the area, naturally came into contact with Spanish, the official language of Gibraltar
since 1462. English soon became the language used in most official spheres, and the
language, hence, which had to be learnt by anyone with professional aspirations. This
was especially the case after attempts by Spain to regain Gibraltar by force, first in the
19th century and then during Franco's regime (1968), fostering a strong "Hispanophobia" in the territory which persists to this day. Nevertheless, due to
Spanish roots of part of the population, as well as for obvious geographic reasons,
Spanish remains one of the languages of Gibraltar, spoken with its own distinct
Andalusian accent. In fact, the modern day population of Gibraltar can be described as
a very homogeneous ethnic group, relatively competent in both English and Spanish,
but who also speak Yanito. This is a local vernacular language which identifies
Gibraltarians and which has emerged as a result of code-switching mainly from Spanish
and English, but with minor influences from Italian, Hebrew and Arabic.
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Kellerman, Anja (2001) A New New English. Language, Politics and Identity in Gibraltar. Heidelberg: Heidelberg Schriften zur Sprache und Kultur.
Kramer, Johannes (1986) English and Spanish in Gibraltar. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
Levey, David (2008) Language Change and Variation in Gibraltar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Levey, David Trevor (2011) National Identity and Allegiance in Gibraltar. In: Catherine McGlynn, Andrew Mycock & James W. McAuley (eds), British Identities since 1707: British, Identity and Citizenship. Oxford & Bern: Peter Lang.
Levey, David Trevor (Forthcoming) Gibraltar English. In: Jeffrey P. Williams, Edgar W. Schneider, Peter Trudgill & Daniel Schreier (eds), The Lesser-Known Varieties of English vol 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moyer, Melissa G. (1998) Bilingual conversation strategies in Gibraltar. In: Peter Auer (ed.), Code–Switching in Conversation: Language, Interaction and Identity, 215–234. New York: Routledge.
Suárez-Gómez, Cristina (2012) English in contact with other European languages (Italian, Spanish, Slavic). In: Alexander Bergs & Laurel J. Brinton (eds.), Historical Linguistics of English: An International Handbook. Volume II (Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 34.2), 1738-1753. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter
Weston, D. (2011) Gibraltar’s position in the Dynamic Model of Postcolonial English. English World-Wide 32(3): 338-367.
Weston, D. (2013) Code-switching variation in Gibraltar. International Journal of Bilingualism 17(1): 3-22.
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