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Towards a theory of motivation: describing commitment to the Maori language

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Title:Towards a theory of motivation: describing commitment to the Maori language
Authors:King, Jeanette
Gully, Nichole
Contributors:King, Jeanette (speaker)
Gully, Nichole (speaker)
Date Issued:14 Mar 2009
Description:Just what movitates indigenous peoples to revitalise their languages? In his study of Tewa and Haida, Frederick White (2006) finds little in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory to adequately capture the aspects of commitment involved. Typically SLA theory describes the motivation of immigrant and other communities who are involved in learning a Language of Wider Communication (LWC). With indigenous languages the situation is quite different: indigenous languages are almost by definition minority languages. This paper reports on a study designed to evaluate what motivates second language speaking adults who are proficient speakers of Maori in their commitment to speaking Maori. In analysing the results we propose a model of Indigenous Language Acquisition (ILA), which draws on four interlinking aspects: the importance of identity, participation in the target culture, responsibility (towards the language itself and to others) and a sense of fulfilment. Although the particular components of the ILA situation in New Zealand differ somewhat from the situation of, for example, North American indigenous languages, the paper will discuss the application of this theory to other language situations. A theory of motivation is particularly relevant at the moment in New Zealand where we now have a second generation involved in language revitalisation and increasing language planning by both national and tribal institutions. White, F. (2006). Rethinking Native American Language Revitalization. American Indian Quarterly, 30(1 & 2), 91-109.
Rights:Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections: 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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