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Attitudes to Endangered Languages
Identities and Policies


  • Author: Julia Sallabank, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: December 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107030619

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About the Authors
  • Language attitudes and ideologies are of key importance in assessing the chances of success of revitalisation efforts for endangered languages. However, few book-length studies relate attitudes to language policies, or address the changing attitudes of non-speakers and the motivations of members of language movements. Through a combination of ethnographic research and quantitative surveys, this book presents an in-depth study of revitalisation efforts for indigenous languages in three small islands round the British Isles. The author identifies and confronts key issues commonly faced by practitioners and researchers working in small language communities with little institutional support. This book explores the complex relationship of ideologies, identity and language-related beliefs and practices, and examines the implications of these factors for language revitalisation measures. Essential reading for researchers interested in language endangerment and revitalisation, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and language policy and planning, as well as language planners and campaigners.

    • Focuses on small, highly endangered language communities in Europe and makes reference to programmes internationally so readers are able to relate the case studies to other contexts
    • Unlike most books on language policy, which focus on national languages or on larger minority languages, this book focuses on small communities which have little institutional support and identifies the main issues confronting practitioners and researchers in such communities
    • Filling a gap in the literature, this book examines the motivations of those people involved in language movements and the attitudes of non-speakers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This important work should make us all think about the purpose and processes of language revitalisation, and the realities of language survival.' Adrian Cain, Manx Heritage Foundation

    'Sallabank combines her usual brilliant scholarship with an insider perspective on the endangerment and revitalisation of Guernaise, her own heritage language. The book alternates between a macro-study of the issues in endangered language scholarship and the micro-study of the languages of Guernsey and two other islands under the British crown, Jersey and the Isle of Man … A must-read for linguists working with endangered languages anywhere.' Leanne Hinton, Professor Emerita of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107030619
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 3 maps 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Language endangerment, language revitalisation and language policy
    2. Small islands on the periphery of Britain
    3. Researching language attitudes and ideologies
    4. Local language practices on a small island in the twenty-first century
    5. Language attitudes, ideologies and identity on a small island
    6. Language planning and policy: bottom-up and top-down
    7. Implications.

  • Author

    Julia Sallabank, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Julia Sallabank is Senior Lecturer in Language Support and Revitalisation in the Endangered Languages Academic Programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

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