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ERIC Number: EJ898612
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
"Shawthan Dan," "Shawthan Kwanje": Good People, Good Words--Creating a "dan k'e" Speech Community in an Elementary School
Ferguson, Jenanne
Current Issues in Language Planning, v11 n2 p152-172 May 2010
This paper investigates how the processes of language transmission among speakers of Southern Tutchone ("dan k'e"), an indigenous Athapaskan language of the southern Yukon Territory, Canada, bear out an emerging theoretical interest in how bottom-up communicative practices shape language policy. An examination of "dan k'e" language practices illuminates how both fluent speakers and novices can actively create a speech community dedicated to the continued maintenance of their language. Drawing upon fieldwork conducted in an elementary school in Whitehorse, Yukon, I examine how language-teaching methods and language practices both inside and outside of the classroom function as ways to challenge the English-dominant speech community of the school. The shifting of linguistic frames in teaching, the addition of "dan k'e" to the school's linguistic landscape, and the introduction of speaking practices that reinforce the use of "dan k'e" all promote language use in a way that empowers speakers and encourages language maintenance. Exploring the agency of individual speakers and how their language practices both reproduce and challenge top-down policies reveals how speech communities can be shaped through the bottom-up planning of the speakers themselves. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 10 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada