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Norman languages of the Channel Islands: Current situation, language maintenance and revitalisation

Sallabank, Julia (2011) 'Norman languages of the Channel Islands: Current situation, language maintenance and revitalisation.' Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, 5 (2). pp. 19-44.

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Abstract

The Channel Islands have been self-governing dependencies of the British Crown since 1204, but their geographical location, indigenous languages and older cultural traditions are much closer to Normandy (north-west France). However, acculturation to English language and customs has accelerated in the last 200 years, and is now pervasive. This paper examines the situation of the indigenous languages of the islands, which are now highly endangered: practically all native speakers are aged over 70. The island varieties of Norman have traditionally had low status, which contributed to their decline, but in recent years there have been attempts to raise their status and to raise awareness of their imminent disappearance; these attempts have borne fruit with a degree of support from the islands’ governments. The paper first describes some of the linguistic features of Channel Island Norman, and then discusses efforts to preserve this aspect of island culture. The outcomes of the various revitalisation measures are also considered.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: Channel Islands, indigenous languages, endangered language revitalisation, Norman French, symbolic identity
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 18346057
Copyright Statement: Copyright for articles published in this journal is held jointly by the authors and Shima and no reproduction of material is allowed without permission.
Depositing User: Julia Sallabank
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2012 16:17
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13290

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