Defying Maliseet Language Death

Defying Maliseet Language Death

Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity in Eastern Canada

Bernard C. Perley

256 pages
1 map

Hardcover

November 2011

978-0-8032-2529-9

$60.00 Add to Cart
Paperback

October 2012

978-0-8032-4363-7

$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
 
Today, indigenous communities throughout North America are grappling with the dual issues of language loss and revitalization. While many communities are making efforts to bring their traditional languages back through educational programs, for some communities these efforts are not enough or have come too late to stem the tide of language death, which occurs when there are no remaining fluent speakers and the language is no longer used in regular communication. The Maliseet language, as spoken in the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick, Canada, is one such endangered language that will either be revitalized and survive or will die off.
 
Defying Maliseet Language Death is an ethnographic study by Bernard C. Perley, a member of this First Nation, that examines the role of the Maliseet language and its survival in Maliseet identity processes. Perley examines what is being done to keep the Maliseet language alive, who is actively involved in these processes, and how these two factors combine to promote Maliseet language survival. He also explores questions of identity, asking the important question: “If Maliseet is no longer spoken, are we still Maliseet?” This timely volume joins the dual issues of language survival and indigenous identity to present a unique perspective on the place of language within culture.

Author Bio

Bernard C. Perley is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Notes on Terminology and Orthography
1. The Specter of Language Death
2. "Tipping" toward Maliseet Language Death
3. Programming Language Maintenance
4. From Spoken Maliseet to Text
5. Elementary Language Curriculum and Practice
6. Death by Suicide
7. Language and Being in Maliseet Worlds
8. Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Identity
Notes
References
Index

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