Resilience for Minority Languages

  • David BradleyEmail author


Around the world, minority languages are at risk. Dominant national and international languages are taking over more and more domains of use, and many minority communities have started to value their languages less, and use them less or not at all, even within the group. Once the process of language shift has started, it is difficult to reverse. Taking a cue from resilience thinking, which has developed over the last 20 years within ecology and in other disciplines, this chapter shows how a minority community can choose to halt or reverse language shift, reclaim their language, and achieve a new stable equilibrium for the language. Firstly, the extent of these effects and their negative impact on language shift are very briefly discussed, as well as some of the major factors in language endangerment. Then, the methods for reversing this shift and reclaiming a minority’s traditional language are briefly outlined, with some examples. Finally, some of the advantages of doing so are suggested.


Language attitudes Language endangerment Language reclamation Language shift Resilience thinking 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

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