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Garifuna children's language shame: Ethnic stereotypes, national affiliation, and transnational immigration as factors in language choice in southern Belize

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 March 2001

DONNA M. BONNER
Affiliation:
Center for Research & Study at Maryknoll, P.O. Box 305, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0305, dbonner@maryknoll.org

Abstract

This article explores the effects of ethnic stereotypes, demographic shifts, and nationalism on language choice in the town of Dangriga, Belize. Dangriga was founded during the nineteenth century by members of an ethnic minority of West African and Native American heritage, known as the Garinagu or Garifuna. Today, it is a multilingual and multiethnic town populated primarily by Garinagu, Belizean Creoles, and both native-born and foreign-born Spanish speakers. In this context, language choice is in part a question of affiliation with a variety of ethnic and national identities. This article examines the manner in which ethnic and national stereotypes and images, as well as current demographic shifts in the Belizean population, affect language choice in multilingual contexts. Particular attention is paid to the position of young Garinagu vis-à-vis the Garifuna language and Belizean English Creole.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2001 Cambridge University Press

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Garifuna children's language shame: Ethnic stereotypes, national affiliation, and transnational immigration as factors in language choice in southern Belize
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Garifuna children's language shame: Ethnic stereotypes, national affiliation, and transnational immigration as factors in language choice in southern Belize
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