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Endangered LanguagesBeliefs and Ideologies in Language Documentation and Revitalization$
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Peter K. Austin and Julia Sallabank

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265765

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265765.001.0001

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Local Language Ideologies and Language Revitalization among the Sumu-Mayangna Indians of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast Region

Local Language Ideologies and Language Revitalization among the Sumu-Mayangna Indians of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast Region

Chapter:
(p.167) 9 Local Language Ideologies and Language Revitalization among the Sumu-Mayangna Indians of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast Region
Source:
Endangered Languages
Author(s):

Jane Freeland

Eloy Frank Gómez

Gloria Fenly

Stringham Montero Cisneros

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265765.003.0009

Through contrastive case studies, this chapter shows how language ideologies can vary not only between but within ethnic groups. It discusses implications for current models of language shift and revitalization, especially as applied to multilingual linguistic ecologies found in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast region. The Mayangna language enjoys institutional support under Nicaragua’s progressive language policies: official status, intercultural-bilingual education programmes, and strong backing from the local university, URACCAN. Another more powerful indigenous language, Miskitu, also forms part of repertoires of the Mayangna communities. The authors trace the historical development in two sets of Mayangna communities of two very different social ecologies of language and their concomitant language ideologies as expressed through informal discourse about language and daily communicative practices. It is argued that language maintenance or revitalization efforts must entail prior establishment of the ideological position(s) of the community that claims the language as its own.

Keywords:   Nicaragua, Caribbean Coast, Mayangna, models of language shift and revitalization, official and local ideologies, prior ideological clarification, linguistic repertoire, intercultural bilingual education, communicative practices

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