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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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Academic Paper

Title: The Nishnaabemwin restructuring controversy: new empirical evidence
Author: Dustin Bowers
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Algonquin
Abstract: The categorical deletion of unstressed vowels from iterative feet differentiates serial theories of phonology from parallel theories. Of at least equal importance is whether language learners acquire rhythmic syncope. A potentially illustrative case comes from the recent development of Nishnaabemwin (Algonquian), which extended unstressed vowel reduction until it approximated categorical rhythmic syncope. In response, an entire generational cohort reportedly carried out a dramatic restructuring by innovating a novel set of person prefixes and losing the surface alternations. However, the original reports are subject to some dispute. To shed further light on the status of rhythmic syncope in Modern Nishnaabemwin, this paper details three surveys of the first cohort of speakers born during the near-syncope period. The surveys indicate that, despite familiarity with the original system, the entire generational cohort uniformly adopted the innovative system.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 36, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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