This article explores the multilingual creativity of young refugees in the Netherlands and the social contexts and situations in which it develops. Because these young refugees form an under-researched group, the authors build on different discipline-based studies on (young migrants’) multilingualism, super-diversity, conviviality, liminality and networks. The authors start with the collection of personal network data including languages used with each network member. These data show that participants use and combine the Dutch language with the majority of non-native people in their networks. To explain this, the network data are connected with participants’ ‘network stories’. In these stories, participants refer to the asylum seeker centres, where they began their lives in the Netherlands, as the breeding ground for their multilingual creations with the Dutch language. The authors show how, in the liminal and super-diverse context of these centres, young refugees’ multilingual practices and innovations enhanced conviviality and connectedness. The authors also delineate how ‘oldcomer’ and ‘newcomer’ participants’ distinct multilingual innovations relate to their different present networks. In both groups, however, these innovations are a source of belonging among the non-natives in their networks.

DOI: 10.1177/0011392120932933
ISSN: 0011-3921