SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS
THE JOURNAL OF THE LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST
1996 Abstracts, Volumes 1-2.
BACK FROM THE BRINK? REVIVAL, RESTORATION, AND MAINTENANCE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER LANGUAGES
RICHARD B. BALDAUF, JR.
National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia
ABSTRACT. At the time of European settlement of Australia, just over 200 years ago, there were between 250 and 300 languages and upwards of 500,000 Aboriginal people with a history going back 40,000 years. Now there are far fewer languages, perhaps 100-150, many with only a few remaining speakers. Eurocentric linguists have been pronouncing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages dead at the rate of nearly one a year. But, from an Aboriginal perspective perhaps these languages are only sleeping. In 1991 the Australian Government funded, at about A$3 million a year for four years, an Aboriginal Languages Initiatives Project to maintain, protect, revive, and promote the right and freedom of indigenous Australians to use and develop their languages. What has this policy and funding achieved? Is there life after language death? What is the linguistic ecology which might support and maintain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia?
LANGUAGE LOSS IN GAUL: SOCIO-HISTORICAL AND LINGUISTIC FACTORS IN LANGUAGE CONFLICT
BRIGITTE L.M. BAUER
University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
ABSTRACT. The history of Latin offers a textbook example of language conflict and its short and long term effects. The conquest of Gaul by the Romans and the subsequent process of Romanization, which permeated political, socioeconomic, and cultural life, created a situation in which the learning of Latin became a means as well as a symbol of personal success. Romanization also affected daily life and stimulated the willingness of the Gauls to learn Latin. In addition to these socio-historical factors, purely linguistic factors also played an important role: the linguistic similarities between the two languages was a decisive factor in the relative swiftness with which Latin replaced Gaulish in all communicative functions. The position of Gaulish and the linguistic, political, and economic processes by which it succumbed to Latin have gained new interest in the context of the increasingly rapid extinction of native languages in the Americas and around the world and the impact of English on national languages in Europe and elsewhere.
LANGUAGE ATTRITION AND LANGUAGE PLANNING IN ACCOMMODATION PERSPECTIVE
N. LOUANNA FURBEE
University of Missouri-Columbia
LORI A. STANLEY
ABSTRACT. The rapid decline of the Chiwere Siouan language presents a case study that is typical for many Great Plains languages. Here we propose an explanation for this attrition, one that derives from adopting an accommodation theory perspective. Both convergent and divergent accommodation have been involved in the decline of Chiwere. In particular, a Chiwere social courtesy that requires that younger persons invite the discourse of older persons but not engage in vigorous conversational turntaking with them (a convergent accommodation) prevented a generation of children from gaining fluency in the home once English had become the dominant language outside the household. Thus, although this generation grew up with a passive understanding of Chiwere, they did not gain active fluency since they used English with their age mates outside the home (also convergent accommodation). We suggest that accommodation theory can guide our understanding of the processes of language attrition and death and our efforts at retrodicting structural changes and reconstructing the language. We offer a two-part plan for the renewal of Chiwere, one that proposes to train specialists in the intricacies of the language so they may function as reservoirs and creators of ritual knowledge, and to teach less motivated individuals essential vocabulary and appropriate ritual phrases that are central to cultural conceptions.
LANGUAGE, DISCOURSE, AND CULTURAL MODELS: THREE LEVELS OF LANGUAGE SHIFT AND MAINTENANCE
RAINER ENRIQUE HAMEL
Universidad Autonóma Metropolitana, México, D.F.
ABSTRACT. This paper explores the situation of language conflict and language shift among the Hñähñú Indians of Mexico. It attempts to broaden our understanding of language shift by focusing not on the outcome, but on the process of dislocation, as manifested in verbal interaction. This study of language use combines ethnography with discourse analysis. It argues theoretically and demonstrates empirically how language structure, discourse strategies, and cultural models form constitutive components of the language displacement process. I conclude that the mechanisms of language shift are defined less by domain analysis of the distributions of Spanish and Hñähñú than by clashes of cultural models and discourse styles.
LOSING SPECIES, LOSING LANGUAGES: CONNECTIONS BETWEEN BIOLOGICAL AND LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY
The George Wright Society
ELDERLY SECOND-GENERATION SPEAKERS OF YIDDISH: TOWARD A MODEL OF L1 LOSS, INCOMPLETE L1 ACQUISITION COMPETENCE, AND CONTROL
GLENN S. LEVINE
University of Texas-Austin
THE FALL AND RISE AND FALL OF THE CHANTYAL LANGUAGE
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SPANISH PROFICIENCY AND LANGUAGE USE IN A CALIFORNIA MEXICANO COMMUNITY
University of California-Santa Cruz
University of Texas-San Antonio
ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a multifaceted study of Spanish language proficiency among Mexican-descent children in northern California. Results of multiple measures on a variety of tasks (a receptive vocabulary test, narrative production) and linguistic variables (preterit/imperfect tense marking, referential cohesion, null and overt subject pronoun variation) converge on the conclusion that children from immigrant families are quite successful at maintaining oral proficiency in Spanish, regardless of language use patterns outside the home, as long as approximately equal amounts of Spanish and English are used in adult-child interactions at home. Once English predominates at home, children's Spanish proficiency drops sharply. These findings bring into question the view that there is a simple linear relationship between amount of exposure to a language and proficiency in that language. Rather, the results suggest that the type of exposure and the social context in which it occurs are of greater importance than simple amount of exposure. The implications for educational policy for language minority children are explored.
WORD ORDER PATTERNS IN CONTACT: TURKISH IN THE NETHERLANDS
University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
ABSTRACT: This paper deals with word order patterns in the Turkish of immigrants in the Netherlands. An experimental task on sentence interpretation was carried out, and the results were analyzed with special attention to the role word order patterns play. Additionally, the use of different word order patterns in spontaneous speech was studied. The results for both perception and production of first and second generation Turkish immigrants are compared to the results of a monolingual control group in the country of origin. The differences that were found between the groups are evaluated in terms of two possible explanations for changes in word order patterns: cross-linguistic influence from Dutch and language internal pressures. The conclusion is that if the deviations we found can be considered as indications of language loss or change, it is likely that they are partly due to the influence of Dutch as the dominant language and partly due to universal intra-language processes.