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The past, present and future of the Pite Saami language: Sociological factors and revitalization efforts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 February 2012

Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi
Affiliation:
The School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK & Department of Modern Languages, Uppsala University, Box 636, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Swedenr.valijarvi@ucl.ac.uk
Joshua Wilbur
Affiliation:
Nordeuropa-Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germanywilburjk@staff.hu-berlin.de
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Abstract

Our paper is a report on the past, current and future state of the endangered Pite Saami language (aka: Arjeplog Saami) spoken in Swedish Lapland. Our primary data come from interviews with Pite Saami individuals and our field observations. We estimate the vitality of Pite Saami based on the UNESCO Language Vitality Scale, taking into consideration factors such as the number of speakers, language attitudes and the quality of documentation. We also discuss the possible reasons for the decline of Pite Saami, report on the speakers’ views of other Saami languages and Swedish, consider whether there is a specific Pite Saami identity, describe revitalization efforts already taking place, and discuss the future prospects of the language.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Nordic Association of Linguistics 2012

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