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African(ist) perspectives on vitality: Fluidity, small speaker numbers, and adaptive multilingualism make vibrant ecologies (Response to Mufwene)

African(ist) perspectives on vitality: Fluidity, small speaker numbers, and adaptive... <p>Abstract:</p><p> This paper addresses language vitality from an Africanist perspective. I identify central components for the paradigm Mufwene (2017) invites us to conceive: the investigation of communicative practices in language ecologies (rather than the study of a language), of fluid speech and its relation to imaginary reifications, of indexical functions of speech and language, and of language ideologies and the perspectives contained in them. I argue that the study of small-scale multilingual ecologies driven by adaptivity, rather than by fixed ethnolinguistic identities and ancestral languages, and the recognition of small languages as causally related to language vitality, not to endangerment, are crucial for a rethinking of linguistic vitality and diversity. </p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Language Linguistic Society of America

African(ist) perspectives on vitality: Fluidity, small speaker numbers, and adaptive multilingualism make vibrant ecologies (Response to Mufwene)

Language , Volume 93 (4) – Dec 21, 2017

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Publisher
Linguistic Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © Linguistic Society of America.
ISSN
1535-0665

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p> This paper addresses language vitality from an Africanist perspective. I identify central components for the paradigm Mufwene (2017) invites us to conceive: the investigation of communicative practices in language ecologies (rather than the study of a language), of fluid speech and its relation to imaginary reifications, of indexical functions of speech and language, and of language ideologies and the perspectives contained in them. I argue that the study of small-scale multilingual ecologies driven by adaptivity, rather than by fixed ethnolinguistic identities and ancestral languages, and the recognition of small languages as causally related to language vitality, not to endangerment, are crucial for a rethinking of linguistic vitality and diversity. </p>

Journal

LanguageLinguistic Society of America

Published: Dec 21, 2017

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