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The native speaker concept; ethnographic investigations of native speaker effects.


The native speaker concept; ethnographic investigations of native speaker effects.

Ed. by Neriko Musha Doerr.

De Gruyter Mouton


390 pages



Language, power and social process; 26


This collection of articles discuses the concept of being a native speaker. Doerr, a lecturer at Brookdale Community College, conceived the project after a session at the 2005 American Anthropological Association annual meeting. The authors address the imagined standardization of language by governments and institutions versus the reality of wide variations in the speech of "native speakers". Languages considered include Catalan, Japanese, Rapa Nui, and many forms of English. The daily language of people living in a multilingual society, such as South Africa, or of immigrants living among other immigrants, as is the case with Mayan/Spanish/English speakers working in San Francisco brings into doubt the idea that everyone has a native language that they are fluent in. The ramifications of this altering of a paradigm are forceful for the teaching of a second language. Added to this is the new language of the Internet, which may well become a "native language" to the next generation. Each of the articles is enlightening and thought-provoking.

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Title Annotation:Language, power and social process: 26
Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:May 1, 2010
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