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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Finding the Languages We Go Looking For*

Finding the Languages We Go Looking For*

(p.293) 14 Finding the Languages We Go Looking For*
Endangered Languages

Tonya N. Stebbins

British Academy

This chapter contends that the disciplinary context of linguistics makes certain information about languages and contiguous matters more readily available to us than others and, relatedly, it makes certain languages more readily apparent to us than others. These preoccupations and barriers to engagement reflect ideological positions within the discipline. They impact on our ability to identify languages worthy of study, to describe these languages and their social contexts adequately, and to plan for them in appropriate ways. This chapter aims to show how our ideas about what a language is predetermine to a significant extent what we are able to study (and fund) within the discipline, given that we can (and do) identify specific collections of people with shared practices that we call languages. A model for understanding the impact of these ideologies is critical insofar as work with speakers of endangered languages involves a clash in ideological perspectives.

Keywords:   language ideology, language endangerment, linguistics, language description, language documentation, disciplinary ideologies

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