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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: Be that as it may: The Unremarkable Trajectory of the English Subjunctive in North American Speech
Author: Laura Kastronic
Author: Shana Poplack
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The English subjunctive has had a checkered history, ranging from extensive use in Old English to near extinction by Late Modern English. Since then, the mandative variant was reported to have revived, while the adverbial subjunctive continued to diminish. American English is heavily implicated in these developments; it is thought to be leading the revival of the former but lagging in the decline of the latter. Observing that most references to these changes are based on the written language, we examine the diachronic trajectory of the subjunctive in North American English speech. Adopting a variationist perspective, we carried out systematic quantitative analyses of subjunctive use under hundreds of triggers. Results show that, despite the differences in their diachronic trajectories, today both types are not only extremely rare but heavily lexically constrained. We implicate violations of the Principle of Accountability in the disparities between the findings reported here and the consensus in the literature with respect to subjunctive use in North American English.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 33, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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