Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of - download pdf or read online

By Bernard C. Perley

ISBN-10: 0803225296

ISBN-13: 9780803225299

Published throughout the recuperating Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by way of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Today, indigenous groups all through North the USA are grappling with the twin problems with language loss and revitalization. whereas many groups are making efforts to carry their conventional languages again via academic courses, for a few groups those efforts aren't sufficient or have come too overdue to stem the tide of language dying, which happens while there are not any ultimate fluent audio system and the language isn't any longer utilized in common verbal exchange. The Maliseet language, as spoken within the Tobique First state of latest Brunswick, Canada, is one such endangered language that may both be revitalized and live on or will die off.

Defying Maliseet Language Death is an ethnographic research by way of Bernard C. Perley, a member of this primary state, that examines the function of the Maliseet language and its survival in Maliseet id procedures. Perley examines what's being performed to maintain the Maliseet language alive, who's actively interested by those procedures, and the way those components mix to advertise Maliseet language survival. He additionally explores questions of identification, asking the $64000 query: “If Maliseet is not any longer spoken, are we nonetheless Maliseet?” This well timed quantity joins the twin problems with language survival and indigenous identification to provide a distinct viewpoint at the position of language inside culture.

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Extra resources for Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada

Sample text

Fortunately, assumptions about language based on European languages were challenged by research in American Indian languages, most notably by Franz Boas (Boas 1940; Harris 1993), Edward Sapir (Mandelbaum 1985), and Benjamin Lee Whorf (Whorf 1970). Boas in particular, in 1917, set the agenda for research in Native American linguistics in his introduction to the “International Journal of American Linguistics” (Boas 1940). In the introduction Boas acknowledges the difficult task of documenting language change through extended contact with European languages (1940:201).

From United Native Nations Report, Vancouver)4 To emphasize the finality of language death, Nancy Dorian provides the following East Sutherland proverb in the front of her book on Scots Gaelic: “Tha leigheas air gach càs, Ach cha’n eil leigheas air a’bhàs” (There’s a cure for every condition except death; Dorian 1981:vi). There is no cure for Maliseet language death. However, the Maliseet language is not dead yet. Perhaps language obsolescence is a better descriptor for the state of the Maliseet language.

Of course it is not that simple either. That is why intersubjectivity plays an important role. Discerning the linguistic and cultural forms that the community apprehends as Maliseet and who determines Maliseetness requires an analysis of “embodied constellations of voices,” an analysis that includes not only my contributions to the emergence of linguistic and cultural forms but also outside hegemonic contributions to formative constellations of Maliseetness. Those questions have no easy answers, as Teresa O’Nell had discovered while working among the Flatheads of Montana.

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Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada by Bernard C. Perley

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