New speakers of Minderico: Dynamics and tensions in the revitalization process

Date
2016-02
Authors
Ferreira, Vera
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University of Hawai'i Press
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26
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37
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Abstract
From the sixteenth century on, the blankets of Minde, a small village in the center of Portugal, became famous all over the country. The wool combers, blanket producers, and traders of Minde began to use Minderico in order to protect their business from “intruders”. Later, this secret language extended to all social and professional groups and became the main means of communication in the village. During this process, Minderico turned into a full-fledged language with a very characteristic intonation and a complex morphosyntax, differentiating itself from Portuguese. However, the number of speakers declined drastically during the last 50 years. Minderico is now actively spoken by 150 speakers, but only 23 of them are fluent speakers. More than half of the fluent speakers are new speakers of the language. New speakerness is a relatively new phenomenon in the Minderico speaking community and a direct result of the revitalization process which was initiated in 2009. This paper examines the role of the new speakers in the revitalization of Minderico, considering issues of authenticity and socio-linguistic legitimacy.
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Ferreira, Vera. 2016. New speakers of Minderico: Dynamics and tensions in the revitalization process. In Vera Ferreira and Peter Bouda (eds.). Language Documentation and Conservation in Europe. 26-37. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
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