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Academic Paper

Title: Rapa Nui ways of Speaking Spanish: Language shift and socialization
Author: Miki Makihara
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Queens College (CUNY)
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: This article examines evolving linguistic practices in the Spanish-Rapa Nui (Polynesian) bilingual community of Easter Island, Chile, and in particular the transformation of Rapa Nui Spanish speech styles. The island's rapid integration into the national and world economy and a vibrant indigenous movement have profoundly influenced the everyday lives of island residents. Although community-wide language shift toward Spanish has been evident over the past four decades, the Rapa Nui have in this period also expanded their speech style repertoire by creating Rapa Nui Spanish and syncretic Rapa Nui speech styles. Predominantly Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui children who have imperfect command over Rapa Nui are today adopting a new Rapa Nui Spanish style. Ethnographic and linguistic analysis of recorded face-to-face verbal interactions are utilized to analyze the development, structure, and social significance of Rapa Nui Spanish varieties and to locate them within the complex process of language shift.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 34, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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