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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: American myths of linguistic assimilation: A sociolinguistic rebuttal
Author: Daniel Erker
Author: Ricardo Otheguy
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study examines the behavior of 331 Spanish speakers, 269 immigrants to the United States and sixty-two native-born individuals, through questionnaires and sociolinguistic interviews. Results show that increased US life experience correlates with expanded use of English in both private and public domains of life. Additionally, greater use of English co-exists with maintenance of fine-grained patterns of structured linguistic variation in Spanish, such that US-born speakers demonstrate remarkable similarity to the immigrant generation in their usage of three variables: (i) subject pronoun presence vs. absence, (ii) grammatical subject position, and (iii) syllable-final /s/. The co-occurence of increased use of English, on one hand, and intergenerational structural continuity in variable linguistic behavior in Spanish, on the other, challenges two misconceptions about Spanish in the United States: that (a) Spanish-speaking immigrants and their US-born children are unwilling or unable to learn English, and (b) regular use of English entails attrition and/or failed acquisition of Spanish. Neither of these views finds empirical support in our data. (Spanish in the United States, comparative variationist linguistics, subject personal pronouns, grammatical subject position, syllable final /s/, bilingualism)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 50, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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