Linguistic Ideologies of Native American Language Revitalization

Doing the Lost Language Ghost Dance

  • David Leedom Shaul

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Anthropology book series (BRIEFSANTHRO)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in Anthropology and Ethics book sub series (AAE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. David Leedom Shaul
    Pages 1-9
  3. David Leedom Shaul
    Pages 23-30
  4. David Leedom Shaul
    Pages 31-44
  5. David Leedom Shaul
    Pages 45-53
  6. David Leedom Shaul
    Pages 55-58
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 59-62

About this book


The concept of this volume is that the paradigm of European national languages (official orthography; language standardization; full use of language in most everyday contexts) is imposed in cookie-cutter fashion on most language revitalization efforts of Native American languages.  While this model fits the sovereign status of many Native American groups, it does not meet the linguistic ideology of Native American communities, and creates projects and products that do not engage the communities which they are intended to serve.  The concern over heritage language loss has generated since 1990 enormous activity that is supposed to restore full private and public function of heritage languages in Native American speech communities. The thinking goes:  if you do what the volume terms the "Lost Language Ghost Dance," your heritage language will flourish once more. Yet the heritage language only flourishes on paper, and not in any meaningful way for the community it is trying to help.   Instead, this volume proposes a model of Native American language revitalization that is different from the national/official language model, one that respects and incorporates language variation, and entertains variable outcomes.  This is because it is based on Native American linguistic ideologies.  This volume argues that the cookie-cutter application of the official language ideology is unethical because it undermines the intent of language revitalization itself:  the continued daily, meaningful use of a heritage language in its speech community. 


Native American linguistic heritage Native American linguistic ideologies community constructed language revitalization heritage language documentation language preservation revitalize Native American languages

Authors and affiliations

  • David Leedom Shaul
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-05292-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-05293-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2195-0806
  • Series Online ISSN 2195-0814
  • Buy this book on publisher's site