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Investigating Obsolescence : Studies in Language Contraction and Death - Nancy C. Dorian

Investigating Obsolescence

Studies in Language Contraction and Death

By: Nancy C. Dorian (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 2nd November 1992
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Over the past 500 years, half the known languages of the world have vanished. This comprehensive overview of the study of contracting and dying languages, composed of twenty essays, investigates the wide scope of languages currently under threat of extinction. These disappearances occur in diverse speech communities where the expanding languages are both familiar, such as English or Spanish, and less familiar, such as Swedish, Thai and Arabic. The volume concludes with a look at how research into language obsolescence may affect other aspects of linguistics and anthropology--first and second language acquisition, historical linguistics, the study of pidgins and creoles, language and social process.

'... a firm basis for sociolinguists, anthropological linguists, and anyone else trying to make their way across the mire which currently tends to suck people down as they attempt to cope with the messiness of dying languages.' Jean Aitchison, Journal of Linguistics 'The book is valuable above all for the wide variety of data it presents. This is a valuable stepping stone at a time in history when numbers of dying languages are likely to increase, as major languages progressively dominate the world. It will provide a firm basis for sociolinguists, anthropological linguists, and anyone else trying to make their way across the mire which currently tends to suck people down as they attempt to cope with the messiness of dying languages.' Jean Aitchison, Journal of Linguistics

List of mapsp. vii
List of contributorsp. viii
Prefacep. x
Introductionp. 1
Focus on context
On language death in eastern Africap. 13
The disappearance of the Ugong in Thailandp. 33
Scottish and Irish Gaelic: The giant's bed-fellowsp. 41
The rise and fall of an immigrant language: Norwegian in Americap. 61
Breton vs. French: Language and the opposition of political, economic, social, and cultural valuesp. 75
"Persistence" or "tip" in Egyptian Nubianp. 91
Sociolinguistic creativity: Cape Breton Gaelic's linguistic "tip"p. 103
Skewed performance and full performance in language obsolescence: The case of an Albanian varietyp. 117
On the social meaning of linguistic variability in language death situations: Variation in Newfoundland Frenchp. 139
The social functions of relativization in obsolescent and non-obsolescent languagesp. 149
Focus on structure
Problems in obsolescence research: The Gros Ventres of Montanap. 167
The structural consequences of language deathp. 181
On signs of health and deathp. 197
Case usage among the Pennsylvania German sectarians and nonsectariansp. 211
Estonian among immigrants in Swedenp. 227
The incipient obsolescence of polysynthesis: Cayuga in Ontario and Oklahomap. 243
Urban and non-urban Egyptian Nubian: Is there a reduction in language skill?p. 259
Some lexical and morphological changes in Warlpirip. 267
Language contraction and linguistic change: The case of Welland Frenchp. 287
Lexical innovation and loss: The use and value of restricted Hungarianp. 313
Invited commentaries
Some people who don't talk right: Universal and particular in child language, aphasia, and language obsolescencep. 335
Language obsolescence and language history: Matters of linearity, leveling, loss, and the likep. 347
Language convergence and language death as social processesp. 355
Pidgins, creoles, immigrant, and dying languagesp. 369
The "up" and "down" staircase in secondary language developmentp. 385
Bibliographyp. 395
Index of languagesp. 422
General indexp. 426
Maps
World map showing main languages discussed in this volume
Eastern Africa
Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers circa 1500 and at the present day
Norwegians in the United States, 1930
Major dialects of the Breton language
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521437578
ISBN-10: 0521437571
Series: Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 460
Published: 2nd November 1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.69