Mayan Language Revival and Revitalization Politics: Linguists and Linguistic Ideologies

  • England N
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Abstract

Although spoken by a relatively large population, Mayan languages show signs of language shift and loss because the children in some of the speech communities are no longer learning the language. At the same time, Mayas are participating in a move- ment of cultural reaffirmation, a principle focus of which is language. Maya linguists are central in formulating and reshaping language ideologies to further the goals of revitalization, and they play a significant role in cultural/linguistic activism. This article shows the ex- tent of the contribution of linguistics to Mayan language vitality through an analysis of language ideologies and how they have been reformulated by Maya linguists, and by a review of an apparently successful attempt at reversing language loss that has arisen through an integrated community-based program of cultural revitalization that centers, to a large extent, on language and makes specific use of linguistics. [Keywords: language shift, language ideologies, language revitalization, Mayan languages, Maya movement] T

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mayan langauge
  • Mayan people
  • language ideaologies
  • language revitalization
  • language shift
  • linguistic activism
  • reversing language shift

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Authors

  • Nora C. England

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