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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: A new role for an ancient variable in Appalachia: Paradigm leveling and standardization in West Virginia
Author: Kirk Hazen
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: West Virginia University
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In many rural English-speaking communities, linguistic processes such as paradigm leveling come into direct conflict with social processes of standardization. In the US region of Appalachia, an analysis of past be leveling illustrates the progression of the sociolinguistic clashes between these forces. A quantitative sociolinguistic examination of leveled was (e.g., We was there) for 67 native Appalachian speakers was conducted to assess the status of past be in light of economic and educational improvements over the 20th century. The results indicate that leveled was declined sharply, with the youngest speakers demonstrating more standardized patterns. Although the overall rate of was leveling declined across apparent time, the rate of was contraction (e.g., We's there last night) increased, offering native Appalachians a reduced variant to contest the social push toward a fully standardized system.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 26, Issue 1.

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