Minority Languages and Group Identity
Cases and Categories
The central concern in this book is the relationship between language and group identity, a relationship that is thrown into greatest relief in ‘minority’ settings. Since much of the current interest in minority languages revolves around issues of identity politics, language rights and the plight of ‘endangered’ languages, one aim of the book is to summarise and analyse these and other pivotal themes. Furthermore, since the uniqueness of every language-contact situation does not rest upon unique elements or features – but, rather, upon the particular weightings and combinations of features that recur across settings – the second aim here is to provide a general descriptive framework within which a wide range of contact settings may be more easily understood. The book thus begins with a discussion of such matters as language decline, maintenance and revival, the dynamics of minority languages, and the ecology of language. It then offers a typological framework that draws and expands upon previous categorising efforts. Finally, the book presents four case studies that are both intrinsically interesting and – more importantly – provide specific illustrations of the generalities discussed earlier.
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society, 27] 2010. ix, 231 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. An introductory overview | pp. 1–14
Chapter 2. Languages in contact and conflict I: Small languages and their maintenance | pp. 15–36
Chapter 3. Languages in contact and conflict II: Language decline, revival and the ‘new’ ecology | pp. 37–56
Chapter 4. Parochialism and intercourse | pp. 57–72
Chapter 5. Towards a typology of minority-language settings | pp. 73–104
Chapter 6. Irish | pp. 105–128
Chapter 7. Gaelic in Scotland | pp. 129–148
Chapter 8. Gaelic in Nova Scotia | pp. 149–172
Chapter 9. Esperanto | pp. 173–194
Epilogue | pp. 195–206
References | pp. 207–228
Index | pp. 207–228
“Another masterpiece from the pen of John Edwards who continues to provide insight into the vitality and life of minority languages around the world! This time, he cleverly analyzes the state of certain endangered and constructed languages. In doing so, and while drawing on other related issues (particularly group identity), Edwards provides us with a convincing and cohesive framework that adds much-needed clarity as to what we mean by, and what constitutes, language maintenance. As ever, he writes engagingly and powerfully. This is a “must read” for seasoned scholars and students alike.”
Howard Giles, University of California, Santa Barbara
“John Edwards is argumentative, insightful, and no respecter of orthodoxy. The book challenges and unsettles.”
Colin Baker, University of Bangor
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFB – Sociolinguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General