Native American Language Ideologies: Beliefs, Practices, and Struggles in Indian Country – ( 2009 )
Beliefs and feelings about language vary dramatically within and across NativeAmerican cultural groups and are an acknowledged part of the processes oflanguage shift and language death. This volume samples the language ideologiesof a wide range of Native American communities—from the Canadian Yukon toGuatemala—to show their role in sociocultural transformation.These studies take up such active issues as “insiderness” in Cherokee languageideologies, contradictions of space-time for the Northern Arapaho, languagesocialization and Paiute identity, and orthography choices and language renewalamong the Kiowa.
The authors—including members of indigenous speech communitieswho participate in language renewal efforts—discuss not only NativeAmericans’ conscious language ideologies but also the often-revealing relationshipbetween these beliefs and other more implicit realizations of language useas embedded in community practice.The articles discuss the impact of contemporary language issues related togrammar, language use, the relation between language and social identity, andemergent language ideologies themselves in Native American speech communities.And although they portray obvious variation in attitudes toward languageacross communities, they also reveal commonalities—notably the emergentideological process of iconization between a language and various national,ethnic, and tribal identities.As fewer Native Americans continue to speak their own language, thistimely volume provides valuable grounded studies of language ideologies inaction—those indigenous to Native communities as well as those imposed byoutside institutions or language researchers. It considers the emergent interactionof indigenous and imported ideologies and the resulting effect on languagebeliefs, practices, and struggles in today’s Indian Country as it demonstratesthe practical implications of recognizing a multiplicity of indigenous languageideologies and their impact on heritage language maintenance and renewal.