Does ideological clarification help language maintenance? Exploring the revitalization paradox through the case of manegacha, a Tibetan minority language
journal contributionposted on 15.06.2021, 05:09 by Gerald Roche
Studies of language maintenance and revitalization have often demonstrated an apparent paradox: even when people have positive attitudes towards a language, they may not engage in behaviors that support it. It has been suggested that contradictory ideas hinder language maintenance and revitalization, so that ideological clarification is required before beginning such programs. I question these claims through a case study of Manegacha, a minoritized language of Tibet. It seems that there is, in fact, no necessary link between contradictory attitudes and ideologies and language shift; what seems to be significant is the nature and intensity of contradiction, not its mere presence or absence.