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Type: Journal article
Title: Stop, revive, survive: lessons from the Hebrew revival applicable to the reclamation, maintenance and empowerment of aboriginal languages and cultures
Author: Zuckermann, G.
Walsh, M.
Citation: Australian Journal of Linguistics, 2011; 31(1):111-127
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0726-8602
Statement of
Ghil'ad Zuckermann & Michael Walsh
Abstract: The revival of Hebrew is so far the most successful known reclamation of a sleeping tongue and is a language movement that has been in progress for more than 120 years. By comparison, language revival movements in Australia are in their infancy. This article provides comparative insights and makes information about the Hebrew revival accessible to Australian linguists and Aboriginal revival activists. Needless to say, the first stage of any desire by professional linguists to assist in language reawakening must involve a long period of thoroughly observing, carefully listening to the people, learning, mapping and characterizing the specific indigenous community. Only then can one inspire and assist. That said, this article proposes that there are linguistic constraints applicable to all revival attempts. Mastering them would be useful to endangered languages in general and to Aboriginal linguistic revival in particular. This article contributes towards the establishment of Revival Linguistics, a new linguistic discipline and paradigm. Zuckermann's term Revival Linguistics is modelled upon ‘Contact Linguistics’ (<language contact). Revival Linguistics inter alia explores the universal constraints and mechanisms involved in language reclamation, renewal and revitalization. It draws perspicacious comparative insights from one revival attempt to another, thus acting as an epistemological bridge between parallel discourses in various local attempts to revive sleeping tongues all over the globe.
Keywords: Revival Linguistics; Language Revival; Aboriginal Studies; Hebrew; Social Empowerment; Hybridity and Multiple Causation; Purism versus Compromise; Language and Identity; Contact Linguistics; Yiddish; Aboriginal English
Rights: © 2011 The Australian Linguistic Society
RMID: 0020106861
DOI: 10.1080/07268602.2011.532859
Appears in Collections:Linguistics publications

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