Variation and change in language revitalization

Rodríguez-Ordoñez, I. and Kasstan, J. 2024. Variation and change in language revitalization. in: The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Diachronic Linguistics Wiley-Blackwell.

Chapter titleVariation and change in language revitalization
AuthorsRodríguez-Ordoñez, I. and Kasstan, J.
Abstract

The category ‘new speaker’ (NS) has emerged independently in several language-revitalization settings to refer to individuals who acquire the target language outside of the home (O’Rourke et al., 2015). In this chapter we argue that these adult learners offer the opportunity to refine our theorizations on how best to study linguistic and social change in tandem, and we propose a novel approach on which working hypotheses can be tested in this area. In particular, we consider how new speakers can be integrated into variationist research designs. Taking inspiration from adjacent sociolinguistic scholarship, our approach foregrounds the ideological shifts—or “mudes” following Pujolar & Gonzàlez, 2013—and associated changes in language practices that new speakers undergo across the lifespan. We argue that these ideological shifts are best captured by modelling mudes as a discrete social-psychological variable. In drawing on production data from a case study of variation in Basque direct object marking, we demonstrate that the incorporation of mudes into variation analysis offers a promising avenue for exploring language change under fluctuating societal conditions born of revitalization.

KeywordsNew speakers, Revitalization, Language change, Mudes, Social meaning
Book titleThe Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Diachronic Linguistics
Year2024
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Publication dates
Published24 Jan 2024
ISBN9781119898016

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