Language Documentation and Description Vol 14 published

EL Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of its 14th volume of Language Documentation and Description. LDD 14 is a Special Issue on Reclaiming Languages edited by Wesley Y. Leonard and Haley De Korne. This special issue began as a panel organized for the 2014 American Anthropological Association conference in Washington (DC) that aimed to build on the conceptual foundations of language reclamation defined by Leonard (2012) through an examination of several case studies. As the panel grew into a special issue, the guest editors invited several additional contributions and shaped the emerging discussion around different language reclamation approaches, including conceptual and discursive, methodological, educational, and personal and political strategies.

The volume contains the editors’ Introduction ‘Reclaiming languages: Contesting and decolonising ‘language endangerment’ from the ground up’ plus seven new research papers. The editors describe the goal of the volume to:

contribute to the increasingly interdisciplinary discussion about ways to address language endangerment by examining language reclamation strategies, or place-specific actions through which individuals and/or groups are countering forms of marginalisation experienced by minority language speakers and communities. Focused on such responses from the ground up, the papers illustrate practices through which linguists, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders may contribute to or directly engage in initiatives that support the needs and goals of language communities. These ground-up strategies emerge from and respond to the pressures and opportunities of specific contexts, and represent some of the possible answers and actions aimed at shifting power imbalances in situations of language endangerment.

The other papers are:

  • Wesley Y. Leonard — Producing language reclamation by decolonising ‘language’
  • Jenny L. Davis — Resisting rhetorics of language endangerment: Reclamation through Indigenous language survivance
  • Mary Hermes & Mel M. Engman — Resounding the clarion call: Indigenous language learners and documentation
  • Ruth Rouvier — The role of elder speakers in language revitalisation
  • Haley De Korne — The multilingual realities of language reclamation: Working with language contact, diversity, and change in endangered language education
  • Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Strang Burton, Onowa McIvor & Aliki Marinakis — Supporting Indigenous language revitalisation through collaborative post-secondary proficiency-building curriculum
  • Nancy H. Hornberger — Portraits of three language activists in Indigenous language reclamation

We believe that the issues raised by the authors in this volume and the critical stances they adopt towards language endangerment and revitalisation, especially from a North American viewpoint, are both important and timely, and commend the volume to our readers.