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Plenary: Language revitalization at home

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Item Summary

Title:Plenary: Language revitalization at home
Authors:Hinton, Leanne
Contributors:Hinton, Leanne (speaker)
Date Issued:14 Mar 2009
Description:Joshua Fishman’s famous “Intergenerational Transmission Interruption Scale” (GIDS) has as stage 6 the “intergenerational and demographically concentrated home-family-neighborhood-community, the basis of mother tongue transmission.” (1991:466). That is, using the language in daily interaction at home. He also writes “if this stage is not satisfied, all else can amount to little more than biding time” (Fishman 1991:399). Despite this warning, most language revitalization programs focus on other things: literacy, classes in colleges and schools, master-apprentice programs, and successful immersion schools. It is only now, after decades of intensive language revitalization efforts, that we begin to see a focus on the home. In this presentation I will look at several case studies of language revitalization at home, both individual family efforts (Miami, Wampanoag, and several California languages) and community-based programs that focus on the family (Gaelic, Māori, and California languages again). The majority of family efforts involve parents who have learned their ancestral language as a second language, so I will examine the various ways the parents have learned their language—through some of the aforementioned language programs or on their own from speakers or documentation—and how they are coping with the efforts to use the language with their children. From these studies we will derive lessons on how to support families trying to bring their languages into their homes. It becomes clear as well that while Fishman’s stage 6 definitely enhances the success of later stages on the scale, the later stages also feed into stage 6 in such a way that they are not just “biding time.” Audio recording of conference presentation at the 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), 12-14 March 2009, at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
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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