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  • Cited by 7
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

15 - Revitalization of endangered languages

from Part III - Responses


This chapter presents some outcomes of language contact, and linguistic and social-psychological mechanisms operating in contact situations. It discusses notions of how contact-induced change is perceived by speaker communities and others, and the question of whether contact-induced change is inevitable. The chapter explains that new languages arising from contact might also be endangered and should be documented as valuable records of sociolinguistic processes. When languages come into contact and speakers of one language are learning another, a change in language use has already taken place. The prestige of a language may be viewed differently by different groups within the community; for example, younger versus older speakers, so use of a language or linguistic form may be evaluated differently among within-community groups. Speakers may be aware that their language is endangered but not aware of or confident about their own role in its maintenance.