Language revitalisation processes and prospects: Quichua in the ecuadorian andes

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Abstract

This paper examines efforts to reverse language shift in two indigenous communities of southern Ecuador. The ongoing decline and rapid pace of extinction of many of the world’s languages have received increasing amounts of attention. Yet while the linguistic and social processes of language loss and language death have been extensively investigated and analysed, relatively little work of similar scope and detail has addressed the processes of and prospects for language revitalisation. The paper presents findings from ethnographic work which investigated language use, language attitudes, and language instruction in two Andean communities which are attempting to revitalise their once native Quichua. The study finds that for different reasons in neither community is Quichua transmission occurring successfully and reveals how and why communities which are socially, economically, and culturally secure are most likely to be supportive of and participate in language revitalisation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalLanguage and Education
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

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