ERIC Number: ED431570
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Reversing Language Shift: Can Kwak'wala Be Revived?
Anonby, Stan J.
Among the indigenous peoples of British Columbia are the Kwakwaka'wakw--at least 12 tribes that speak Kwak'wala, a language of the Kwakiutlian group of the Wakashan language family. This master's thesis reports on the condition of Kwak'wala, outlines a proposal for its revitalization, and describes an attempt to implement the proposal. Chapter 1 examines the history of Kwak'wala-speaking peoples, relationships between speakers of the five Kwak'wala dialects, and factors in the shift from Kwak'wala to English. This chapter also provides details on the extent of Kwak'wala usage and formal instruction in Port Hardy, Alert Bay, Gilford Island, Campbell River, and urban centers such as Victoria. Chapter 2 reviews successful language revival projects (such as Catalan, Hebrew, Navajo, Irish, Maori, and French in Quebec) that demonstrate the importance of five factors: large population of speakers and potential speakers, solidarity through culture or a larger social movement, literacy, immersion environments, and media use of the language. These five essential elements are used in chapter 3 to develop a proposal for reviving Kwak'wala that focuses on a clear vision, the paramount role of the family and community, and the proper role of formal language instruction at various levels of schooling and for adults. Chapter 4 describes efforts to implement the proposal in Alert Bay and community resistance to most approaches that were not school-based. It concludes that Kwak'wala will die in a few decades unless the community radically changes its approach to the language. Contains 61 references and a map of Kwakwaka'wakw settlements. (SV)
Descriptors: Adult Education, American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Canada Natives, Community Attitudes, Community Education, Community Responsibility, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Language Maintenance, Language Usage, Preschool Education, Second Language Instruction
Web site: http:/www.und.nodak.edu/dept/linguistics/theses/theses.htm.
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada