Anthropology and Ethics

Linguistic Ideologies of Native American Language Revitalization

Doing the Lost Language Ghost Dance

Authors: Leedom Shaul, David

  • Offers a critique of the standard language revitalization efforts for Native American communities
  • Proposes a new model of language revitalization that is based on Native American linguistic ideologies
  • Examines successful language revitalization strategies in Native American speech communities
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eBook $39.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-05293-9
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05292-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The concept of this volume is that the paradigm of European national languages (official orthography; language standardization; full use of language in most everyday contexts) is imposed in cookie-cutter fashion on most language revitalization efforts of Native American languages.  While this model fits the sovereign status of many Native American groups, it does not meet the linguistic ideology of Native American communities, and creates projects and products that do not engage the communities which they are intended to serve.  The concern over heritage language loss has generated since 1990 enormous activity that is supposed to restore full private and public function of heritage languages in Native American speech communities. The thinking goes:  if you do what the volume terms the "Lost Language Ghost Dance," your heritage language will flourish once more. Yet the heritage language only flourishes on paper, and not in any meaningful way for the community it is trying to help.   Instead, this volume proposes a model of Native American language revitalization that is different from the national/official language model, one that respects and incorporates language variation, and entertains variable outcomes.  This is because it is based on Native American linguistic ideologies.  This volume argues that the cookie-cutter application of the official language ideology is unethical because it undermines the intent of language revitalization itself:  the continued daily, meaningful use of a heritage language in its speech community. 

About the authors

David Leedom Shaul is an anthropological linguist who works with languages of the central coast of California (Costanoan/Ohlonean: Mutsun, Rumsen, Ausaima, Chalon; Salinan; Esselen; and Northern Chumash). He is also one of the world's leading experts on the Uto-Aztecan language family. He has worked with Native American languages for over 30 years in the areas of language documentation and revitalization. Currently, Dr. Shaul is a Research Linguist on a Documenting Endangered Languages project (National Science Foundation) at the University of Wyoming. The project is to create a dictionary database of Eastern Shoshone, which is spoken on the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming. There are four different varieties in the Wind River Shoshone speech community. The dictionary database and associated grammar are based on archival and published information about Eastern Shoshone. The results of the project will be a working dictionary of Eastern Shoshone, with a companion survey of Eastern Shoshone grammar (with indications of where research is needed). Both products will be in pdf format. Dr. Shaul recently completed a book manuscript, Chasing the Uto-Aztecans. This work chronicles the prehistory of western North America by using data from the Uto-Aztecan language family to document prehistoric interactions between Uto-Aztecan speech communities and speakers of other languages.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Languages and Language Loss

    Shaul, David Leedom

    Pages 1-9

  • Language Preservation Begets Language Documentation

    Shaul, David Leedom

    Pages 11-21

  • Language Acquisition vs. Language Learning

    Shaul, David Leedom

    Pages 23-30

  • Language Revitalization and Revival

    Shaul, David Leedom

    Pages 31-44

  • Linguistic Ideologies of Language Revitalization

    Shaul, David Leedom

    Pages 45-53

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05293-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05292-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Linguistic Ideologies of Native American Language Revitalization
Book Subtitle
Doing the Lost Language Ghost Dance
Authors
Series Title
Anthropology and Ethics
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-05293-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-05293-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-05292-2
Series ISSN
2195-0822
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 62
Topics