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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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Ideologies, Beliefs, and Revitalization of Guernesiais (Guernsey)

Ideologies, Beliefs, and Revitalization of Guernesiais (Guernsey)

(p.151) 8 Ideologies, Beliefs, and Revitalization of Guernesiais (Guernsey)
Endangered Languages

Yan Marquis

Julia Sallabank

British Academy

This chapter examines language ideologies in a small community (Guernsey, Channel Islands) which reflect wider issues concerning the aims and effectiveness of language-related activities. Ideologies are largely unstated yet they profoundly influence language planning and policy at both personal and public levels. Although there has been a shift over the last 30 or so years towards broadly positive overt attitudes in favour of maintenance of Guernsey’s indigenous language, it seems that ingrained covert negative attitudes linger in some sections of the community. From these observations the authors identify two main divergent trends in beliefs and ideologies concerning who has authority to speak on behalf of ‘the community’, and to make decisions regarding the future of an endangered language. The authors relate their observations to the concept of prior ideological clarification, and compare rhetoric on language maintenance and revitalization with actions and outcomes.

Keywords:   Guernsey, purism, ownership, legitimacy, ‘new speakers’, static versus dynamic, language planning and policy, personal and public policies, prior ideological clarification

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