What motivates some linguistic minorities to maintain their language? Why do others shift away from it rather quickly? Are there specific conditions - environmental or personal - influencing these dynamics? What can families and communities do to pass on their 'threatened' language to the next generation? These and related questions are investigated in detail in Language Maintenance and Shift. In this fascinating book, Anne Pauwels analyses the patterns of language use exhibited by individuals and groups living in multilingual societies, and explores their efforts to maintain their heritage or minority language. She explores the various methods used to analyse language maintenance, from linguistic demography to linguistic biography, and offers guidance on how to research the language patterns and practices of linguistic minorities around the world.