An ethnography of the standardization reform: a case of policy-making in the context of the Upper Perené Arawak community of Peru

Mihas, Elena (2015) An ethnography of the standardization reform: a case of policy-making in the context of the Upper Perené Arawak community of Peru. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2015 (234). pp. 161-188.

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This study offers an on-the-ground perspective on the multi-layered process of the Ashéninka and Asháninka state-initiated standardization reform, with the Upper Perené Ashéninka of Peru being a case in point. The reform is carried out in the context of the dramatic decline in the Ashéninka Perené language use due to the community-wide shift to the national language, Spanish. Presented within the ethnographic framework, the analysis focuses on the community's own view of the national language policy, revealed in the speakers' language allegiances and attitudes to its own language and literacy, and that of the competing Tambo Asháninka variety, chosen by the government actors to be the written standard. On the basis of a comprehensive video and audio corpus, the ethnography considers conflictive discursive histories of the policy-makers including those of language consultants, bilingual teachers, tribal and political leadership and educational policy agents. The on-the-ground implementation of the standardization reform is supported by the younger generation of speakers who generally have a passive knowledge of the Upper Perené language. Older policy-makers, organized into a language consultant team, have launched resistance projects including the production of Upper Perené books and dictionaries which use the language community's own spelling conventions.

Item ID: 43886
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1613-3668
Keywords: Upper Perené Ashéninka; language policy; contestation; resistance; standardization
Funders: National Science Foundation (USA), Endangered Languages Documentation Program (ELDP), Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research (FFAR), James Cook University (JCU), Language and Culture Research Centre of James Cook University
Projects and Grants: National Science Foundation Grant BCS-090119, Endangered Languages Documentation Program Small Grant 0002, Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research Grant, James Cook University Faculty Grant
Date Deposited: 27 May 2016 13:15
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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