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Language Maintenance and Shift


Part of Key Topics in Sociolinguistics

  • Author: Anne Pauwels, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: August 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107043695
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About the Authors
  • What motivates some linguistic minorities to maintain their language? Why do others shift away from it rather quickly? Are there specific conditions - environmental or personal - influencing these dynamics? What can families and communities do to pass on their 'threatened' language to the next generation? These and related questions are investigated in detail in Language Maintenance and Shift. In this fascinating book, Anne Pauwels analyses the patterns of language use exhibited by individuals and groups living in multilingual societies, and explores their efforts to maintain their heritage or minority language. She explores the various methods used to analyse language maintenance, from linguistic demography to linguistic biography, and offers guidance on how to research the language patterns and practices of linguistic minorities around the world.

    • Provides a comprehensive insight into the field that covers approaches, methodologies, findings and challenges
    • Combines theory with practice, offering numerous examples of how groups and communities have tried to maintain their minority language
    • Offers guidance on areas of potential future research into language maintenance and shift
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This comprehensive book is a thorough, critical discussion of language maintenance and shift that ranges from the historical evolution of the field as a focus of academic enquiry, its research methods and a presentation of the key findings and insights about the dynamics of multilingual communities. It is an essential resource for all who work in the field or who want to learn more about it.' Anthony J. Liddicoat, University of Warwick

    'Anne Pauwels has a well-known and long-standing research reputation in the field of language maintenance and language shift. This volume offers a most welcome and excellent coverage of the history and approaches in this field of research.' Guus Extra, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

    'Drawing on her many years of distinguished research, [the author] has written a most comprehensive and in-depth exploration of this growing research field. This volume will be seen as another seminal work by Professor Pauwels. Bringing together critical review and original work it will be an invaluable tool for scholars and students alike.' Antonia Rubino, University of Sydney

    'Anne Pauwels' work serves as a welcome addition to the fields of language contact and sociolinguistics. … This is the first of its kind, with all other treatises on LM and LS being included as a subdiscussion in some other general work (the author providing a sample list of such works in her introductory chapter). The main purpose of the book is to introduce the reader to the field and discuss the reasons why some linguistic minorities are able to maintain their language(s), while others shift quite rapidly to the dominant language. The author adeptly takes the reader through these topics and encourages further investigation along the way.' Tyler K. Anderson, The Linguist List (

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    25th Apr 2017 by Saburshifalova

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107043695
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 142 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. History, Concepts, Contexts and Approaches:
    1. Pioneers in the study of language maintenance and language shift
    2. Concepts, contexts and approaches to the study of language maintenance and shift
    Part II. Investigating Language Maintenance and Shift: Collecting and Analysing Data:
    3. Linguistic demography: census surveys
    4. Reporting language use and exploring language attitudes: questionnaires
    5. Beyond surveys: interviews, participant observation and experiments
    Part III. Identifying and Understanding Trends and Patterns in the Dynamics of Language Maintenance and Shift:
    6. Trends and patterns in language maintenance and shift
    7. Understanding the dynamics of language maintenance and shift
    Part IV. Language Maintenance Efforts and Reversing Language Shift:
    8. Efforts, agencies and institutions for language maintenance
    9. Reversing language shift
    Part V. Future Developments in the Study of Language Maintenance and Shift:
    10. Opportunities and challenges for the future study of language maintenance and shift.

  • Author

    Anne Pauwels, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Anne Pauwels is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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