Based on the study “Turning Points of Our Lives – Transylvania” conducted in 2006, the paper analyzes the conditions under which ethno-cultural reproduction is accomplished among the Hungarians living in Transylvania. Although in the past decades demographic processes affecting the Hungarian community from Transylvania have constituted a major topic for sociological analyses, these works have primarily focused on census data, without taking socio-linguistic aspects into consideration. The present paper describes and analyzes the odds and risks of linguistic reproduction among the Hungarians, aiming at a more nuanced picture of the ethno-cultural assimilation processes. The empirical data and especially the sampling logic that have been used serve this purpose very well. Unlike other studies conducted among Hungarians from Transylvania, in this research the 2,500 respondents were not selected according to their ethnic identification, but based on their linguistic skills. In other words, the population being studied is not necessarily the one that considers itself as being ethnic Hungarian, but that of the people who speak Hungarian well enough to understand and answer the questionnaire.
In the first part of the paper the author analyses the sub-sample of those who do not regard themselves as ethnic Hungarians, but do speak Hungarian (about 14 per cent), focusing on the conditions and circumstances under which these individuals acquired Hungarian linguistic skills. The next issue addressed is that of the linguistic reproduction rate among people born in ethnically mixed marriages. Bilingualism among Hungarians from Transylvania is being analyzed within the conceptual framework of the language shift paradigm. Based on their linguistic skills, attitudes and practices, Horváth develops the five-item typology of Hungarian bilingualism. After presenting the conditions under which the linguistic shift in dominance occurs, the author describes in sociological terms the population (approximately 8 percent of the entire sample) characterised by high risk of linguistic reproduction failure within the family. Horváth István is a sociologist and works as an associate professor at the Department of Sociology, BBU (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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