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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: Interaction between social category and social practice: explaining was/were variation
Author: Emma Moore
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Manchester
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This paper explores the ways in which structural and practice-based social constraints contribute to the maintenance of nonstandard were in Bolton, England. Using data from a school ethnography, 2747 tokens of first- and third-person singular was/were are analyzed according to informants' social class, community of practice, self-identification, and place of birth. Varbrul analyses reveal consistencies in the linguistic constraints on variation irrespective of the type of social analysis undertaken. These patterns generally confirm the findings of previous was/were studies. However, comparisons of log likelihood results suggest that although different social factors constrain this variation with varying degrees of accuracy, no one factor alone sufficiently explains it. Comparisons of groups and individual speakers reveal that nonstandard were maintenance is in fact explained by the combined effect of an established correlation between nonstandard were and local social structures and on-going revitalization of the form in contemporary forms of social practice.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 22, Issue 3.

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