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

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • 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
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3J679027
  • License
    Copyright © 2008 David Beck and Yvonne Lam
  • Language
  • 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.