Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Of interest to: Students
Primary Theme: Indigeneity
Much recent work in linguistic anthropology in Native North America has been grounded within a language ideological perspective. Much of this work has thoughtfully teased out the ideological underpinnings--both explicit and implicit--of current concerns regarding negative trajectories of language change (language shift and language endangerment) or a consequential ideological change, as with the spread of a language ideology that sees standardization not just as needed but as natural. What has been less well-developed, and what this session seeks to engage with, has been the ways that language ideologies--always plural--are bundled together into nested clusterings or assemblages. Using Paul Kroskrity's concern with language ideological assemblages (LIA; 2018), a model/approach that seeks to "redirect attention to the interaction of clusters of ideologies that occur within or across linguistic communities,"these papers consider how the complicated bundling of ideologies in their various contexts across speech communities informs contemporary practices for language use as well as language ideologies themselves, impacting language revitalization efforts within those speech communities--from language revitalization and multilingualism to new technologies and linguistic innovation. Such an approach makes visible, as well, the histories of our current moment, mapping out the ways that multiple language ideologies have informed contemporary practices. Here, of course, we do not seek a unified story, but rather one that takes responsibility for the complexities of language ideologies, their often contradictory visions of languages in the world, and their situatedness in material conditions. Language ideological assemblages allow for a robust rethinking of language ideologies as they relate to Native North America (and beyond).