Extinction in whose terms? Which parts of a language constitute a target for language maintenance programmes?
Source TitleLanguage endangerment and language maintenance
University of Melbourne Author/sThieberger, Nicholas
AffiliationArts: Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Document TypeBook Chapter
CitationsThieberger, N. (2002). Extinction in whose terms? Which parts of a language constitute a target for language maintenance programmes? In D. Bradley & M. Bradley (Eds.), Language endangerment and language maintenance, (pp. 310-328). Curzon.
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a publisher’s version of chapter18 in Language endangerment and language maintenance published by Taylor & Francis. This version is reproduced with the permission of Taylor & Francis. http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/
Structural linguistics has a particular view of the integrity of language which may be detrimental to the construction of appropriate language maintenance programmes for small indigenous languages. In this paper I outline ways in which 'affective' use of language may be the most useful target of language programmes in some situations. Fluency in a language may not be the achievable outcome of a language course for a number of reasons, not least among them being the enormity of the task perceived by learners of the language. For languages with few or no speakers we should be able to construct language programmes in which the use of a small number of terms in the target language, for purposes of identity, is a sufficient and realistic outcome.
Keywordslanguage revival; language policy; linguistics; language endangerment
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