By Joshua A. Fishman
This e-book is ready the idea and perform of suggestions to speech-communities whose local languages are threatened simply because their intergenerational continuity is continuing negatively, with fewer and less audio system (or readers, writers or even understanders) each iteration. ordinarily, this ebook is set why so much efforts to opposite language shift are just indifferently profitable at top, and outright disasters or maybe contra-indicated and destructive undertakings at worst. It makes an attempt to diagnose such problems and to prescribe ameliorative and restorative efforts in a sociolinguistically educated manner. It attracts upon the adventure of prior and present practitioners of language recovery, it stories pertinent sociolinguistic examine and thought, it examines a reasonably large variety of situations of tried reversals of language shift on a number of continents, and it seeks to signify a extra rational, systematic method of what has usually hitherto been a essentially emotion-laden, "let's test every thing we in all probability can and maybe anything will work", form of commitment.
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Additional resources for Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages
Why Should I Be so Concerned about Being or Remaining an Xman? Our argument began with whether RLS is possible. Once an opponent of RLS grants that some degree of reversal is always possible, he or she may then shift to the topic of whether it is really necessary to know Xish in order to be a good Xman. If, thanks to the success of an RLS movement's educational efforts, any hitherto anti-RLSers become unable to deny this claim (or to do so as adamantly as was previously the case), then they may still withdraw to the inevitable fall-back position which claims that it is not really all that necessary or desirable to be an Xman or 'just an Xman'.
Uniformation is never an optimal human solution. It necessarily involves subjugation of the weak by the strong, of the few by the many: in short, the law of the jungle. It represents an impatience with the most human qualities and the imposition of a 'mass market' or 'efficiency' model in intergroup and interpersonal relations. Thus, while it is true that the world is slowly also tending toward higher order identities, the lower order ones (the family, the friendship network, the ethnic bond) still have many functions to fulfill and many satisfactions to provide.
All in all, the charge that the RLS leadership (and ethnic leadership more generally) is corrupt, and that it leads its followers astray out of self-interest, can just as justifiably be turned against the anti-RLS leadership (or against any leadership whatsoever, for that matter). This charge is basically unfair. It places the rank-and-file membership in a two-way bind. If the leadership is supported, this confirms the charge of 'brainwashing by a self-interest-governed leadership', and if the leadership is abandoned, this weakens and potentially defeats the movement.
Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages by Joshua A. Fishman