Nee speaks at Found in Translation working group

February 5, 2021

Julia Nee will be giving a talk at the Berkeley Language Center's Found in Translation (FIT) working group on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 2 to 3pm:

Using Long-Format Speech Environment Recordings to Understand the Full Range of Zapotec Learners' Language Abilities

Zoom link (Meeting ID: 961 6335 9441, Passcode: 555992)

In addition to requiring exposure to the language, one common barrier to language revitalization is the presence of an “ideology of contempt” towards a language (Dorian, 1998), and language revitalization projects will not be successful in the long run if negative language attitudes are not addressed (Dauenhauer & Dauenhauer, 1998). In Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico, ~35 children participate in Zapotec language revitalization camps for children 6-12 promoting positive Zapotec language ideologies and encouraging Zapotec use at home. This study addresses the gap in our understanding of naturalistic language use and development of language attitudes in such an endangered language context by addressing three key questions: (1) What do long-format speech environment (LFSE) recordings suggest about children's language use and attitudes in Teotitlán?; (2) How do patterns in LFSE data compare to other measures of language use?; and (3) What methodological challenges are presented in collecting LFSE data from children ages 6-12? I show that LFSE recordings provide evidence that Zapotec learners’ exposure to and abilities in Zapotec are greater than suggested by other measures, including reported language use and observations of classroom language use. Furthermore, participants’ recordings suggest that learners have acquired significant abilities in Zapotec, and that providing supportive contexts for language use can increase learner investment and result in greater Zapotec use (cf. Riestenberg & Sherris, 2018).