Can majority support save an endangered language? A case study of language attitudes in Guernsey

Article English OPEN
Sallabank, Julia (2013)

Many studies of minority language revitalisation focus on the attitudes and perceptions of minorities, but not on those of majority group members. This paper discusses the implications of these issues, and presents research into majority andf minority attitudes towards the endangered indigenous vernacular of Guernsey, Channel Islands. The research used a multi-method approach (questionnaire and interview) to obtain attitudinal data from a representative sample of the population that included politicians and civil servants (209 participants). The findings suggested a shift in language ideology away from the post-second world war ‘culture of modernisation’ and monolingual ideal, towards recognition of the value of a bi/trilingual linguistic heritage. Public opinion in Guernsey now seems to support the maintenance of the indigenous language variety, which has led to a degree of official support. The paper then discusses to what extent this ‘attitude shift’ is reflected in linguistic behaviour and in concrete language planning measures.
  • References (42)
    42 references, page 1 of 5

    Baker, C. 1992. Attitudes and language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

    Cooper, R.L. 1989. Language planning and social change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Crossan, R.-M. 2007. Guernsey, 1814-1914: Migration and modernisation. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.

    Currie, M., and M.A. Hogg. 1994. Subjective ethnolinguistic vitality. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 108: 97-115.

    Dauenhauer, N.M., and R. Dauenhauer. 1998. Technical, emotional, and ideological issues in reversing language shift: Examples from Southeast Alaska. In Endangered languages: Language loss and community response, ed. L.A. Grenoble and L.J. Whaley, 57-98. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    de Bres, J. 2011. Promoting the Māori language to non-Māori: Evaluating the New Zealand government's approach. Language Policy 10: 361-376.

    Domaille, D.R.F. 1996. Analyse sociolinguistique du Guernesiais. Unpublished MA Dissertation, University of Bristol.

    Dorian, N.C. 1981. Language death: The life cycle of a Scottish Gaelic dialect. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

    Dorian, N.C. 1993. A response to Ladefoged's other view of endangered languages. Language 69: 575-579.

    Ellis, P.B. 1974. The Cornish language and its literature. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    331
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    SOAS Research Online - IRUS-UK 0 331
Share - Bookmark