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Lüpke, Friederike (2017) 'African(ist) perspectives on vitality: fluidity, small speaker numbers and adaptive multilingualism make vibrant ecologies.' Language, 93 (4). e275-e279.

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This paper addresses language vitality from an Africanist perspective. I identify central components for the paradigm Mufwene (2017) invites us to conceive: the investigation of communicative practices in language ecologies (rather than the study of a language), of fluid speech and its relation to imaginary reifications, of indexical functions of speech and language, and of language ideologies and the perspectives contained in them. I argue that the study of small-scale multilingual ecologies driven by adaptivity, rather than by fixed ethnolinguistic identities and ancestral languages, and the recognition of small languages as causally related to language vitality, not to endangerment, are crucial for a rethinking of linguistic vitality and diversity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of a response to a target article by Salikoko Mufwene to be published in Language.
Keywords: language vitality, Africa, small-scale multilingualism, rural multilingualism, transdisciplinary perspectives, language ecologies
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
ISSN: 00978507
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 08:09
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

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