The Germanic Mosaic: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Society

By Carol Aisha Blackshire-Belay | Go to book overview

themselves. One of the things that make this linguistic system so interesting is the fact that there is a striking similarity in the way speakers of different first languages speak German, and this observation has been of interest to linguists and scientists for some time now. In an attempt to account for uniformity and variation in the German of the foreign workers, researchers have discussed "the process of acquisition," 10 the "transfer hypothesis," 11 the "pidgin hypothesis," 12 the "foreigner-talk hypothesis," 13 and the "universal simplification hypothesis." 14 This author finds the most interesting and intriguing aspect of all concerning FWG is that there appears to be a remarkable similarity in FWG among speakers of different first languages, and none of the aforementioned theories have sufficiently accounted for this observable fact. 15

To conclude, Maria's life story reflects the lives of many minority women who migrated upon the wishes of their spouses. The consequences of such a move are overwhelming as has been demonstrated in the conversation with Maria. Without a doubt, minority women who remain in Germany will continue to face the complex problems of migration, linguistic existence, and proper care for the children. In addition, minority women who remain will continue to share the unequal treatment of their people, a minority group at the bottom of the ethnic ladder. Back home they would face the subordination of women to some unknown degree. Staying in Germany means coping with the situation, unemployment, but on the other hand, better educational opportunities for the children, and relatively greater personal freedom than at home in their own countries. To have these advantages, however, minority women have to face the burden, and the challenge, of a form of discrimination unknown to them before, but one that has become a part of life for them in their new country.


NOTES
1
For further information on this topic please consult the Council of Women: Deutscher Frauenrat, Südstr. 125, 5300 Bonn 2, Germany.
2
Only 5.1 percent of all university professors and 2.3 percent of the full professors (holders of chairs) in the western part of the country are women.
3
See Römer, ( 1988).
4
Ravenstein ( 1985: 196).
5
Prior to the 1973 federal government ban on further recruitment of foreign workers to the former Federal Republic. That ban remains in force today in the unified Germany.
6
Source: Ausländische Arbeitneluner 1969, Table 6, 110-111.
7
Enderle, 3.
8
Verbunt, 9.

-166-

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