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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Creating Canadian English: A systemic functional linguistic analysis of First Nations loanwords in early Canadian texts Add Dissertation
Author: Derek Irwin Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: York University, English
Completed in: 2008
Linguistic Subfield(s): Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Lexicography; Ling & Literature;
Director(s): Michael Cummings
John Lennox
Len Early

Abstract: This dissertation presents the results of my exploration of the interactions among linguistic
strata through close lexicogrammatical analyses of Canadian aboriginal loanwords in the
context of early Canadian English texts, using the tool of systemic functional linguistics.
Based on the examination of hundreds of these contextual examples, I argue that the same
tension which existed (and exists) between English-speaking settlers and the Native population
is reflected in the appropriation of words from aboriginal languages: Essentially, these words
are simultaneously employed for an exoticism that borders on fantasy while also evoking the
fear of the wild so prevalent within interactions among the inhabitants of Canada. This tension
is evident at the level of the context of culture, and is also reflected in the use of these terms in
their lexicogrammatical contexts. Further, because these words are considered an essential part
of Canadian English and its distinctiveness, such connotational meaning embedded within them
provides a valuable insight into not only the words themselves but also the culture which
employs them.