Advertisement

Resilience for Minority Languages

  • David BradleyEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Language attitudes Language endangerment Language reclamation Language shift Resilience thinking 

References

  1. Amery, R. (2000). Warrabarna Kaurna: Reclaiming an Australian Language. Lisse: Swets and Zeitlinger.Google Scholar
  2. Amery, R. (2016). Warraparna Kaurna! Reclaiming an Australian Language. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becquelin, A. M., de Vienne, E., & Guirardello-Damian, R. (2008). Working Together, the Interface Between Researchers and Native People: The Trumai Case. In K. D. Harrison, D. S. Rood, & A. M. Dwyer (Eds.), Lessons from Documented Endangered Languages (pp. 43–66). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benton, N. (1989). Education, Language Decline and Language Revitalisation: The Case of Maori in New Zealand. Language and Education, 3(2), 65–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradley, D. (1983). Identity: The Persistence of Minority Groups. In J. McKinnon & W. Bhruksasri (Eds.), Highlanders of Thailand (pp. 46–55). Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bradley, D. (2001). Language Policy for the Yi. In S. Harrell (Ed.), Perspectives on the Yi of southwest China (pp. 195–214). Berkeley: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradley, D. (2002). Language Attitudes: The Key Factor in Language Maintenance. In Language Endangerment and Language Maintenance (pp. 1–9). London: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  8. Bradley, D. (2010). Resilience Linguistics: Case Studies of Gong and Lisu. Anthropological Linguistics, 52(2), 123–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradley, D. (2011a). Resilience Linguistics, Orthography and the Gong. Language and Education, 25(4), 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bradley, D. (2011b). Resilience Thinking and Language Endangerment. In B. Bai & D. Bradley (Eds.), Extinction and Retention of Mother Tongues in China (pp. 1–43). Beijing: Nationalities Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bradley, D., & Bradley, M. (1999). Standardisation of Transnational Minority Languages: Lisu and Lahu. Bulletin Suisse de Linguistique Appliquée, 69(1), 75–93.Google Scholar
  12. Bradley, D., & Bradley, M. (Eds.). (2002). Language Endangerment and Language Maintenance. London: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  13. Bradley, D., & Bradley, M. (2018). Language Endangerment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Brenzinger, M. (Ed.). (2007). Language Diversity Endangered. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  15. Crystal, D. (2000). Language Death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dorian, N. C. (Ed.). (1989). Investigating Obsolescence: Studies in Language Contraction and Death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Easton, C., & Wroge, D. (2012). Manual for Alphabet Design Through Community Interaction for Papua New Guinea Elementary Teacher Trainers (2nd ed.). Ukarumpa: Summer Institute of Linguistics.Google Scholar
  18. Evans, N. (2001). The Last Speaker Is Dead – Long Live the Last Speaker! In P. Newman & M. Ratliff (Eds.), Linguistic Fieldwork (pp. 250–281). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gunderson, L. H., Allen, C. R., & Holling, C. S. (Eds.). (2010). Foundations of Ecological Resilience. Washington/Covelo/London: Island Press.Google Scholar
  20. Harrell, S., Bamo, Q., & Ma, E. (2000). Mountain Patterns: The Survival of Nuosu Culture in China. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hinton, L. (2001). The Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program. In L. Hinton & K. Hale (Eds.), The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice (pp. 217–226). San Diego: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ladefoged, P. (1992). Another View of Endangered Languages. Language, 68(4), 809–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2007). Encyclopedia of the World’s Endangered Languages. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Moseley, C. (Ed.). (2010). Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  25. Olthuis, M.-L., Kivelå, S., & Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2013). Revitalizing Indigenous Languages: How to Recreate a Lost Generation. Bristol/Buffalo/Toronto: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Person, K. R. (2018). Reflections on Two Decades of Bisu Language Revitalization. In S. Premsrirat & D. Hirsch (Eds.), Language Revitalization: Insights from Thailand. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  27. Purnell, H. C. (1987). Developing Practical Orthographies for the Iu Mien (Yao), 1932–1986: A Case Study. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 10(2), 128–141.Google Scholar
  28. Rice, K. D. (2009). Must There Be Two Solitudes? Language Activists and Linguists Working Together. In J. A. Reyhner & L. Lockard (Eds.), Indigenous Language Revitalization: Encouragement, Guidance and Lessons Learned (pp. 37–59). Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University.Google Scholar
  29. Roche, G. (2017). Linguistic Vitality, Endangerment and Resilience. Language Documentation and Conservation, 11, 190–223.Google Scholar
  30. Schmidt, A. (1990). The Loss of Australia’s Aboriginal Language Heritage. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.Google Scholar
  31. Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2017). Ethnologue (20th ed.). Dallas: SIL International.Google Scholar
  32. Thieberger, 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). London: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  33. van Engelenhoven, A. (2002). Concealment, Maintenance and Renaissance: Language and Ethnicity in the Moluccan Community in the Netherlands. In D. Bradley & M. Bradley (Eds.), Language Endangerment and Language Maintenance (pp. 272–309). London: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  34. Walker, B., & Salt, D. (2006). Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington/Covelo/London: Island Press.Google Scholar
  35. Walker, B., & Salt, D. (2012). Resilience Practice: Building Capacity to Absorb Disturbance and Maintain Function. Washington/Covelo/London: Island Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

Personalised recommendations