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Language Ideologies at Work

Economies of Yupik Language Maintenance and Loss

Daria Morgounova Schwalbe

Using an ethnography of speaking approach, this article discusses the ideological aspects of language practices, as they are played out in a traditional Yupik (Eskimo) village in Chukotka, in the Far East of the Russian Federation. The article shows how local linguistic practices and language choices of individual speakers intersect with purist language ideologies, which frame certain beliefs about languages and ways of speaking, making them appear more normal and appropriate than others. Placing the “work of speaking” within the context of cross-cultural dynamics and purist language economies, this article challenges the basic assumption of linguistic purism about language and identity being intertwined.

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Speaking of citizenship

Language ideologies in Dutch citizenship regimes

Marnie Bjornson

The Dutch language has become the key technology of the Netherlands' new integration and immigration policy regime. Given the impassioned debates that accompanied language-planning policies in the 1980s, what is most remarkable about the stringent new language policy initiatives is the consensus regarding their necessity. This article analyzes the most ambitious program of the integration regime, inburgering, in the context of the transition to a post-industrial economy and the concomitant restructuring of the labor market. Introduced under the Third Way social democrats in the mid-1990s, the inburgering program was designed to produce the literate laborer of late modernity. This article traces the shift from the 'one nation, one language' ideology associated with welfare state forms of governance to the 'language as commodity' ideology promoted by the Third Way regime. I argue that the inburgering program acted as the Trojan horse of integration politics, introducing the necessity for Dutch language skills into an integration regime that has become the basis for a new politics of exclusion under the current neo-conservative administration.

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“Is It Bad That We Try to Speak Two Languages?”

Language Ideologies and Choices among Urban Sakha Bilingual Families

Jenanne Ferguson

This article discusses urban ethnic Sakha bilinguals and their language ideologies and choices, especially with regard to the language socialization of their children—both at home and within the educational system. The usage of the Sakha language within urban spaces has been on the rise in the post-Soviet years, but still tends to be acquired in the home environment as a first language, whereas Russian is acquired later in the public sphere and reinforced in the educational system. The article explores some of the ideological and structural barriers toward Sakha acquisition and maintenance that speakers face, with apprehension regarding bilingualism and the mastery of two languages in educational contexts being a key concern for many Sakha parents. The article also discusses language instruction—especially in schools—in light of the need to begin to accommodate those with little or no Sakha knowledge in order to continue to increase the usage of Sakha by urban speakers.