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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: Situ in situ: towards a dialectology of Jiāróng (rGyalrong)
Paper URL:
Author: Jesse Gates
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, EHESS
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Jiarong
Subject LANGUAGE Family: Tibeto-Burman
Abstract: The language varieties classified under the official ISO heading Jiarong [ISO 639-3: jya], a.k.a. rGyalrong, spoken in parts of the mountainous north-western Sìchuān province of China, have been generally accepted as a single, distinct, synchronic language belonging to the rGyalrongic subgroup within Tibeto-Burman. The research provided in this thesis casts doubt on the hypothesis that rGyalrong is a single synchronic language and reveals some of the previously undocumented variation within rGyalrongic. The research in this study provides evidence that intelligibility of a representative lect from the east-central rGyalrongic region is low among speakers of many lects in the southern rGyalrongic region. In addition, ethnic identity at the lowest embedded layer is not cohesive throughout the rGyalrongic regions. Language attitudes, contact, ethnohistory, perceptual dialectology, core lexical comparisons, and structural comparisons are also examined. As a result rGyalrong emerges as five distinct languages—Situ, South-central, Japhug, Tshobdun, Zbu—with Situ and Japhug having the most robust evidence. This study integrates the field research of the author—including the first rigorous intelligibility testing among rGyalrongic language varieties—as well as previous research by external sources.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Trinity Western University, MA thesis.
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