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Case report

Getting Language Rights, Shifting Linguistic Traditions*

Joseph Errington

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page 43-48

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»Endangerment,« »loss,« »death,« and related terms are increasingly familiar in descriptions
of sociolinguistic changes now occurring at an unprecedented scale due to
forces of globalization. They can serve both as names for shared concerns of linguists
and anthropologists, and as descriptions of otherwise different scenes of social encounter,
because they are subject to multiple uses and interpretations. This paper focuses on
tacit, enabling assumptions of three distinct strategies for framing and redressing »threats«
to marginalized languages and speech communities. Recognition of their ideological
grounds helps develop a sharper sense of their different uses, and the different social
saliences which linguistic descriptions can have in and for marginalized communities.


language rights; language endangerment; diversity; environment

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