Youth Culture, Language Endangerment and Linguistic Survivance Leisy Thornton Wyman
- Hardback - 320 pages
- 03 Jul 2012
- Multilingual Matters
- 210 x 148 (A5)
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Detailing a decade of life and language use in a remote Alaskan Yup'ik community, Youth Culture, Language Endangerment and Linguistic Survivance provides rare insight into young people's language brokering and Indigenous people's contemporary linguistic ecologies. This book examines how two consecutive groups of youth in a Yup'ik village negotiated eroding heritage language learning resources, changing language ideologies, and gendered subsistence practices while transforming community language use over time. Wyman shows how villagers used specific Yup'ik forms, genres, and discourse practices to foster learning in and out of school, underscoring the stakes of language endangerment. At the same time, by demonstrating how the youth and adults in the study used multiple languages, literacies and translanguaging to sustain a unique subarctic way of life, Wyman illuminates Indigenous peoples’ wide-ranging forms of linguistic survivance in an interconnected world.
Based on two decades of work with the Alaska Native village of “Piniq,” Leisy Wyman’s masterful ethnography reveals the complex ways in which youth peer culture and family language policies intersect with those of the school, how youth “talk back” to pressures of language shift, and the far-reaching impacts of tacit and official policies on a community’s linguistic future….A beautifully written sociolinguistic portrait of one community’s fight for linguistic, cultural, and educational self-determination, and a “must read” for language scholars and practitioners alike.
Teresa L. McCarty, Arizona State University, USA
With great sensitivity and insight Leisy Wyman takes us on a journey to the inner recesses of an indigenous language and culture struggling to maintain a way of life that is undergoing rapid cross-generational transformation and linguistic upheaval. Drawing on both an insider and outsider perspective, Wyman provides detailed documentation of family, community, institutional and societal influences on Yup’ik youth as they navigate the shifting linguistic ecologies impacting their homeland.
Ray Barnhardt, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
This book is essential reading for those concerned about endangered languages. Wyman complicates and problematizes our existing understanding of heritage language maintenance by examining ways in which youth develop strategies of languaging and translanguaging for linguistic “survivance.” It is an invaluable resource for students of bilingualism, for concerned educators, and for members of minority communities around the world.
Guadalupe Valdés, Stanford University, USA
Leisy Thornton Wyman has worked for over 20 years with Yup’ik communities in Alaska, and is an associate professor in the Language, Reading and Culture (LRC) program at the University of Arizona. Her scholarly works include a theme issue on Indigenous Youth and Bilingualism for the Journal of Language, Identity and Education (McCarty & Wyman, 2009), a forthcoming book on North American Indigenous youth language (Wyman et al, in progress), and a volume of Yup’ik elders' narratives, (Fredson et al., 1998). Her research appears in multiple edited volumes, the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Journal of American Indian Education, and World Studies in Education.