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Séminaire doctoral - Pratiques langagières - terrains, méthodes, théories
Bernadette O’Rourke, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
Within the field of applied linguistics the concept of nativeness has over the recent decades come to be recognised as problematic. The debate around nativeness and the problematization of the native speaker concept has to a large extent been concerned with the implications of the spread of English as a global language. This problematization has, however, been more recent in other areas of language analysis including the field of minority language research and language revitalization, the sub-field on which I will focus in this paper. Reseachers interested in minority language communities such as Irish, Basque, Welsh, Corsican etc., and associated processes of language shift and revitalization, have by and large tended to focus much of their attention on native and/or heritage communities. Significantly less attention has been given to non-native or what we are referring to here as "new speaker" varieties and categories. This deliberate shift in terminology seeks to draw attention to the ways in which minority language research, and indeed linguistics in general, has participated in the reproduction of linguistic ideologies, essentially through abstract notions of “nativeness”. In this paper I will examine how the treatment of nativeness in language revitalization contexts fits with the broader epistemological debates around the native speaker concept in the field of applied linguistics and linguistics more generally.