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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: How listening is silenced: A monolingual Taiwanese elder constructs identity through television viewing
Author: Shumin Lin
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Min Nan
Abstract: Despite a growing literature on the production and reproduction of linguistic inequality in mass media, we know little about how individuals experience such sociolinguistic marginalization. To fill this gap, this study examines a monolingual Taiwanese elderly woman’s experiences of television viewing. In the context of language shift in Taiwan after 40 years of Mandarin-only policy, language hierarchy persists despite the current policy of multilingualism. Although the subject does not understand the referential meaning of most shows because of language barriers, she recognizes socially indexical meanings about the ranking of languages and how she is positioned and excluded. The unequal participant structure in the dynamic interactions between two overlapping communicative events of television viewing and family discussions of the shows doubly marginalizes her. This study demonstrates how the choice of linguistic code in television programming conveys meaning and structures participation frameworks that engage minority monolingual individuals in dialogic processes of identity construction.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 38, Issue 3.

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