The name of the language has been spelt in numerous ways: Giernesiei, Dgernesiais, Guernesiais, Guernésiais, Djernezié, etc. This paper uses the Progressive Learner Spelling that the author and local researcher Yan Marquis have developed to aid pronunciation and learning.
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2.The research was carried out in collaboration with local researcher and language teacher Yan Marquis, to whom I am indebted for information, discussions and insights.
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7.One positive development is that one of the youngest adult speakers has a small child who is being raised in both English and Giernesiei.
8.The Channel Islands were part of Normandy at the time of the Norman conquest of England in 1066; some islanders therefore consider England to be their oldest possession. Although it could be seen as an expression of pride, this phrase is usually used to stress the unchanging nature of Giernesiei.
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15.These terms reflect the island’s topology and have nothing to do with the sociolinguistic terms ‘High’ and ‘Low’. The island is triangular in shape, and the south-eastern varieties of Giernesiei are no longer extant.
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19.Giernesiei speakers often drop the first person pronoun.
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23.Since 2004 extra-curricular lessons have been run informally in approximately half of the island’s primary schools, but there are no moves to make these lessons official (see Section 2.2)
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26.It is interesting to note that members of this informal group prefer the name ‘Rememberers’, although in the terms of Grinevald and Bert (Ref. 11) ‘rememberers’ have less linguistic competence than semi-speakers. Group members consider remembering to be a more active notion than passive or latent. Terms such as semi-, passive and latent speakers (like ‘obsolescent’ or ‘moribund’ languages) are felt to have negative connotations by community members, who prefer non-disparaging terminology.
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This quasi-official body was founded by a member of the island parliament in (2013) with the aim of supporting bottom-up language revitalisation efforts through fundraising. Although it reflects growing support for maintaining Giernesiei, its initial promise has not yet been realised.
30.An edible shellfish and local delicacy; a pun and calque based on the English saying ‘the world is your oyster’.
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35.As part of a research project into learning small languages conducted in collaboration with Yan Marquis and funded by the British Academy.
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In some cases, older islanders had little access to education themselves. Some grew up before the full implementation of upper secondary education in rural areas.
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