SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS
THE JOURNAL OF THE LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST
1995 Abstracts, Volumes 1-2.
THE STATUS OF THE WORLD'S LANGUAGES AS REPORTED IN ETHNOLOGUE
The George Wright Society
CURRENT ISSUES AFFECTING LANGUAGE LOSS AND LANGUAGE SURVIVAL IN CALIFORNIA
University of California - Berkeley
ABSTRACT. The particular history of California, one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world, makes it now an area with one of the largest numbers of deeply endangered indigenous languages. Not a single one of the fifty living languages is being learned at home by children, and most have only a handful of native speakers left. However, California Indians are waging a battle ever more strongly to keep their languages alive. This article outlines some of the sorts of language activism that Native Californians are engaging in to try to develop new speakers and save their languages from extinction.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE VERBS GONE? AUTONOMY AND INTERACTION IN ATTRITION
State University of New York at Stony Brook
ABSTRACT. Longitudinal attrition data have shown the emergence of new forms in the first language (L1), Hebrew, of a young child acquiring a second language (L2), English. These forms, which had no precedents in acquisition data of monolingual speakers of Hebrew and could not be attributed to regression and simplification, warranted further investigation. The onset of L1 attrition is triggered by contact between the L1 and the developing L2. This contact causes restructuring in L1 and results in processes that are often unique to attrition and unlike processes that occur in acquisition. The present study explores two theoretical issues in first language attrition. The 'autonomy issue'posits that certain attrition phenomena result from the interplay of systems within the L1. The 'interaction issue' proposes that other attrition phenomena are attributable to L2 influence and result from the interaction between L1 and L2 linguistic systems. Attrition brings about an interplay between robust and permeable linguistic features from both L1 and L2. This results in restructuring of the eroding language and the emergence of new forms that are unique to attrition. These issues are explored on the basis of innovative verb formation data produced by L1 speaking children immersed in an L2 environment. The typological differences between Hebrew with its templatic morphology and English with its concatenative morphology highlight the complementary operation of autonomous and interactive processes in attrition.
NORTH FRISIAN: DIALECTALIZATION AND DEMISE?
University of California - Santa Barbara
ABSTRACT. North Frisian is an endangered language spoken in the northwest corner of Germany at the Danish border, with about 8,000 speakers representing nine dialects. Historically, North Frisian has been enriched by contact relations with a number of languages, but social and political developments of the past 130 years have resulted in full integration into the German state of the region in which the various dialects of North Frisian are spoken. As a consequence, North Frisians are today fully German as well, and the relentless cultural pressure from non-Frisian society is bringing about the structural convergence of North Frisian toward the German national standard. As this convergence proceeds, North Frisian is dialectalizing with respect to Standard German, i.e. becoming a dialect of it. If dialectalization proceeds unchecked, North Frisian seems destined to disappear as an autonomous language within a few generations. However, the existence of measures for the protection and promotion of North Frisian at regional, state, and European levels nonetheless give hope for a possible revitalization of the language.
CROSS-LINGUISTIC PARALLELS IN LANGUAGE LOSS
University of California - San Diego
ABSTRACT. What are the similarities and differences in the loss of grammatical systems across individual languages? To answer this question, I examine structural consequences of language attrition and the correspondences between language-particular and cross-linguistic phenomena under circumstances of severe attrition. However, the very formulation of this approach, involving I severe attrition', already warrants some clarification. It leads to the formulation of two collateral questions. First, how can the level of language attrition be quantified? Second, which structural features are diagnostic of the decline of grammar? I present data on structural change in six attrited languages as compared to non-attrited control languages and demonstrate that there is significant parallelism in structural change across languages. Next, I show a correlation between levels of grammatical and lexical loss and introduce a simple test allowing us to measure the level of attrition.
DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF L2 ON CHILDREN'S L1 DEVELOPMENT/ATTRITION
MURIEL SAVILLE-TROIKE, JUNLIN PAN, AND LUDMILA DUTKOVA
University of Arizona
LANGUAGE SHIFT IN THE TAMIL COMMUNITIES OF MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE: THE PARADOX OF EGALITARIAN LANGUAGE POLICY
HAROLD F. SCHIFFMAN
University of Pennsylvania
ENDANGERED DIALECTS: A NEGLECTED SITUATION IN THE ENDANGERMENT CANON
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University