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LINGUIST List 16.2948

Wed Oct 12 2005

Diss: Sociolinguistics/Applied Linguistics: Holbrock: 'Q

Editor for this issue: Meredith Valant <av8736wayne.edu>


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        1.    Mary Jo Holbrock, Que no olviden su cultura, y tambien el idioma: a case study of Mayan literacy revival in Guatemala


Message 1: Que no olviden su cultura, y tambien el idioma: a case study of Mayan literacy revival in Guatemala
Date: 11-Oct-2005
From: Mary Jo Holbrock <maryholbrockyahoo.com>
Subject: Que no olviden su cultura, y tambien el idioma: a case study of Mayan literacy revival in Guatemala


Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Mary Jo Holbrock

Dissertation Title: Que no olviden su cultura, y tambien el idioma: a case study of Mayan literacy revival in Guatemala

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)
Language Family(ies): Mayan

Dissertation Director:
Robert T. Jimenez

Dissertation Abstract:

This study examines Mayan literacy revival in a Mayan language and culture
revitalization movement occurring in Guatemala. The research takes the
form of a case study of two communities, Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, and
San Pedro la Laguna, Solola. The Mayan languages spoken in these villages,
Q'anjob'al and Tz'utujil, respectively, are not endangered. They are in a
situation of language contact with Spanish which could lead to either
stable bilingualism or instead to language shift. While most previous
sociolinguistic research on Mayan language in Guatemala has evaluated
reported oral language use in the home domain in order to draw conclusions
about language shift, the present study focuses on reported and observed
uses of written Mayan language and other activities which can be considered
as literacy in this context for the purpose of examining revitalization.
Data for this study are qualitative and were gathered mainly during 2001.
Results are organized according to three domains: personal use, media, and
education. Findings include: a very slight increase of use of Mayan
literacy in the domain of personal use (with Mayan literacy joining
formerly Spanish-only domains), coupled with an increase of use of oral
Spanish language such that Spanish is invading formerly Mayan-only domains;
an increase of Mayan literacy in published media including books, magazines
and newspapers, thus joining formerly Spanish-only domains; and an
introduction of Mayan literacy in education, joining a formerly
Spanish-only domain. However, these gains in domain increase are
challenged by ideological factors. Traditional Mayan cultural values are
being lost as traditional Mayan clothing is replaced with used clothing
from the U.S., as a result of the introduction of Evangelical Christian
religion by outsiders, and with Maya youth adopting outsider habits
introduced partly through foreign media such as television and radio
programming. One very positive factor that could be tapped into in order
to encourage Mayan literacy revitalization in the two focal villages is a
tremendous enthusiasm on the part of local Maya primary school teachers for
the use of Mayan language and literacy in schools.





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