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LINGUIST List 17.162

Wed Jan 18 2006

Disc: Re: 17.100, Disc: Prestige & Language Maintenance

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Carol Myers-Scotton, Re: 17.100, Disc: Prestige & Language Maintenance

Message 1: Re: 17.100, Disc: Prestige & Language Maintenance
Date: 16-Jan-2006
From: Carol Myers-Scotton <carolmsgwm.sc.edu>
Subject: Re: 17.100, Disc: Prestige & Language Maintenance

I think maintenance is a combination of factors, obviously. The socio-economic
status of the group is important, as Batibo suggests. But another equally
important factor that must be taken into account is what might be called the
expectations of the group (this stems in part from the group's ethnolinguistic
vitality). That is, do members of the group perceive that socio-economic
advancement through shifting to another language is even a reasonable
expectation for them? If it is not, there is no motivation to shift and so they
maintain their L1. (In the case of some very isolated groups, there also is the
issue of whether these groups even are aware that there are better
socio-economic conditions available elsewhere.)

You can relate this idea to cases when women are in the avant guard in shifting
to a prestige dialect form AND when they are not. There is some evidence that women
are not in the avant guard when the socio-ecnomic conditions in their group (and
their expectations of leaving their group for a better life) are such that
speaking a more prestige form will bring no measure of change (for the better)
in their lives.

Carol Myers-Scotton

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

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