As a relatively new phenomenon, languages redeveloped through revitalization pose a range of descriptive challenges to linguists, not least because they are researched and developed at the same time as they are learned and used. Successful language revitalization depends crucially on people in communities regaining authority over their languages as well as developing the ability to use them in a wide range of contexts. In this process of language reclamation, tensions can develop around the need for and implementation of standardization practices. In particular, these speakers may wish to set targets of pronunciation, lexicon and grammar defined by the norms of the language as it was spoken before contact with English. Exactly what these targets should be, how they are to be identified, taught and upheld are crucial considerations for any community reclaiming their language. We draw upon interview data with language activists from the eastern states of Australia to consider how those doing the work of language revitalization are grappling with questions of standardization and prescriptivism. We identify nonstandardized practices, which deflect and/or decline the use of standardization, and unstandardizable practices focused on language as personal or community identity-building.
|Title of host publication||Dynamics of Language Changes|
|Subtitle of host publication||Looking Within and Across Languages|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|