In the 1996 census it is reported:
Italian is Windsor’s third language… Italian is spoken
at home by 6,075 people, which makes it the second most common language.
Nearly half of the 12,640 Windsor-area people who say Italian is their
mother tongue speak it at home. Most Italians speak regional dialects,
and most often the language of communication among Italians of different
regions and with their Canadian born children is English rather than
standard Italian. (Walter Temelini, The Italian cultural presence in
Italian speaking community has been a linguistics case study of
the adaptation of the community to the new environment. It shows
how a language is able to change according to the outside factors
of the environment.
Italians have used their mother tongue in their ethnic community
and especially in their families. The
Canadian version of Italian is referred to in studies as an “ethnolect”.
When the ethnolect and the primary, dominant language are in contact
, the first one borrows words. The process is known by
the term loanwords. This process had happened to the first
generation of immigrants. As they adapted to a new life,
the social-cultural factors of the new environment resulted
in a new way of speaking the language.
The vocabulary used by the family refers to everyday life.
As this vocabulary is used throughout the community, adjustments
are made to
and the grammar. This process is called nativization.