Working Papers in Linguistics - 2023

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    A preliminary investigation on the influence of ecotourism on indigenous language maintenance
    (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2023-10-27) Sou, Jennifer
    Language conservation methods have not innovated in the past decades to address the pressure economics contributes to language loss in Indigenous and minority language communities. While it is a known fact that economics plays a role, it is widely circumvented, due to its enormity and complexity. If one factor of language shift is economic, then what strategies are available to resist it? In our interconnected world, ecotourism has been recognized as a possible method of economic benefit for local populations. Therefore, this preliminary investigation asked the question, "Can minority language communities that engage in ecotourism, and more specifically, community-based ecotourism, demonstrate measurable positive influences in language maintenance?" Through surveying language attitudes of minority language communities across the globe, initial findings indicate stabilizing effects in communities that engage in ecotourism, but there could be other factors maintaining the language as well, which demonstrates a need for additional in-depth studies. The novel approach to studying the impact of ecotourism on language maintenance in this paper strives to be a foundation for future investigation into the economic realm, thereby utilizing an economic approach to potentially benefit and sustain minority language communities facing challenges to their way of life.