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Author: Subject: Dołowy-Rybińska, Nicole: Concerning Language Endangerment, Revitalization and Language Ideologies. The Polemi
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 06:47 PM
Dołowy-Rybińska, Nicole: Concerning Language Endangerment, Revitalization and Language Ideologies. The Polemics around Tadeusz Lewaszkiewicz’s Article.


Lětopis Abstract 2016 2: Dołowy-Rybińska, Nicole: Concerning Language Endangerment, Revitalization and Language Ideologies. The Polemics around Tadeusz Lewaszkiewicz’s Article.

In his article entitled “Lower and Upper Sorbian – Endangered or Dying Languages?” published in Slavia Occidentalis 71 (2014) 1, Tadeusz Lewaszkiewicz presents the situation of the two Sorbian languages and claims that they are doomed to die before the end of the 22nd Century. He blames the critical situation of these languages on the Sorbs themselves who – according to him – “care mainly for material comfort and national aims are of secondary importance.” In my opinion, Lewaszkiewicz’s article presents a number of false theses (relating to bilingualism, the role of the education process for language revitalization etc.) and represents itself as a document that could be called applied language ideology. In my paper I discuss some of the ideas presented by Lewaszkiewicz. Using Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic power and Chromik’s idea of three levels of language ideology, the mechanism of the minority language abandonment process is explained. It is also demonstrated why – from the point of view of language revitalization – creating a prognosis for the death of a language is dangerous for motivation and language attitudes within a speech community and also by the same token for the future of minority languages themselves.
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