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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3J679027

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Language Loss and Linguistic Suicide: A Case Study from the Sierra Norte De Puebla, Mexico Open Access

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Author or creator
Beck, D.
Lam. Y.
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Totonac
Language loss
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Mexico
Time
Description
In this paper we propose the term “linguistic suicide” to refer to situations where parents who are speakers of a minority language deliberately choose not to teach this language to their children and instead adopt a majority language in their home. In the case of speakers of Upper Necaxa Totonac, a language of East -Central Mexico, the principal reasons for the cessation of language transmission are the low prestige attached to the minority language and concerns about the children’s ability to achieve fluency in Spanish, the socially and economically dominant language. Although these considerations contribute in the short term to the decision by speakers to kill off their language, in the long run the speakers themselves often realize that this process is a self-destructive one.
Date created
2008
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3J679027
License information
Rights
Copyright © 2008 David Beck and Yvonne Lam
Citation for previous publication
Beck, D. & Lam, Y. (2008). Language Loss and Linguistic Suicide: A Case Study from the Sierra Norte De Puebla, Mexico. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, 27, 5-16.
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