Language Maintenance, Shift, and Death(and Aziz Ansari)

The section from our reading of Chapter 8 that boiled the most thought in my brain was section 8.3. In this section the author discusses examples of the maintenance, shifts and even deaths in languages throughout history.

When the author was explaining three major terms in language, I couldn’t help but think of our current situation in America. We are encountering currently a bit of a language shift in terms of the Spanish language. This is evident when you compare schools from the early 20th century to schools today. Spanish classes are booming and even sometimes required( as in the case of my 8 years in a Catholic grade school). Schools are seeing the need for people to know this language that is becoming a dominant one in our culture and society. Many jobs today are even requiring or wanting someone who is bi-lingual in Spanish in English. At the same time, I do not think we are experiencing a language death when it comes to English, I think many are trying to maintain our native English language but that we won’t see it die out and replaced by Spanish in our society any time soon.

The last thing that struck me in the Introducing Sociolinguistics writing was when they were talking about last surviving speakers of many languages. It is not only a common thing that has happened in the past, and even now, it is a tragedy to history and language itself. The loss of these languages can and have prevented us from learning about these cultures and their peoples history. I remembered reading an article on 10 different cases of this death of language happening and thought I would share it. It is really quite interesting feel free to take a read! 

12 Last Known Speakers Of A Language



One thought on “Language Maintenance, Shift, and Death(and Aziz Ansari)

  1. Good response here to the Chapter 8 sociolinguistics reading, Jenna! I’m glad it made you think about what’s going on with language in our country today. Very interesting conversations that will continue. I didn’t see you write anything about Nofsinger or Anzaldua. Right now your 3rd blog check (for Linguistics): 2/4.
    I notice in your blog you have been adding more responses to the composition unit, so I think you are trying to get caught up, which is great. I will go back and revise these if necessary.

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