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CoEDL Seminar: Linguistic nostalgia, linguistic leaders, and language change in Rapa Iti, Mary Walworth, 7 July, ANU

Australian National University, Shape

Date: 29 June 2017

Seminar: Linguistic nostalgia, linguistic leaders, and language change in Rapa Iti

Speaker: Mary Walworth (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History)

Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Date: Friday 7th July 2017

Venue: CoEDL Engma Seminar Room (5019) HC Coombs Building, ANU

Abstract:

On the island of Rapa Iti, one of the least populated islands in French Polynesia, a century of socio-political pressure from Tahiti has resulted in a complex linguistic situation. Old Rapa, the indigenous Eastern Polynesian language of Rapa Iti, is no longer spoken regularly in any cultural domain and Tahitian has replaced it in most institutional domains. Reo Rapa, a “shift-break” contact language that fuses Tahitian and Old Rapa, has replaced the indigenous Old Rapa language between most people in both home and social interactions. Furthermore, younger speakers are increasingly using a reactive, anti-Tahitian variety of Reo Rapa (New Rapa). 

This talk will focus on the recent development of language change in Rapa Iti by addressing the factors of cultural identity that have triggered New Rapa, the specific people responsible for creating this linguistic variety, and the linguistic processes by which it continues to evolve. 

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