Assessing Ethnolinguistic Vitality: Theory and Practice, Selected Papers from the Third International Language Assessment Conference

Kindell, Gloria and M. Paul Lewis, editors

A collection of selected papers presented at SIL International’s Third International Language Assessment Conference in England (1997).

Presents papers by leading scholars and SIL International language survey specialists that reflect various issues related to ethnolinguistic vitality and its assessment and present a variety of approaches to this study. Includes the sociology of language, anthropological grid/group model, social network theory, and motivations for ethnolinguistic vitality maintenance, power, and solidarity orientations. Is of interest to sociolinguists, sociologists, anthropological linguists, and those in language planning and language development. Is a source of information about a wide range of language situations, and an encouragement to those working among speakers of less commonly known languages.

About the Authors

Dr. Kindell earned a Ph.D. degree at Georgetown University in Linguistics in 1982. She did fieldwork among the Kaingang in Brazil and is currently on the faculty of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Associate Editor of Notes on Sociolinguistics, and anInternational Sociolinguistics Consultant.

M. Paul Lewis earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He began fieldwork in Guatemala in 1975 and has worked among the K'iche', Uspanteko, and Ixil peoples in Guatemala. He was the International Sociolinguistics Coordinator, 1996–2002 and is currently an International Sociolinguistics Consultant.

Table of Contents:



  • Reversing Language Shift: RLS Theory and Practice Revisited Josha A. Fishman
  • Ethnicity, Ethnic Movements, and Language Maintenance Christina Bratt Paulston
  • Language Contact, Evolution, and Death: How Ecology Rolls the Dice Salikoko S. Mufwene
  • Motivations: Language Vitality Assessments Using The Perceived Benefit Model of Language Shift Mark E. Karan
  • Power and Solidarity as Metrics in Language Survey Data Analysis M. Paul Lewis


  • Towards Predicting and Planning for Ethnolinguistic Vitality: An Application of Grid/Group Analysis Sue Harris Russell
  • Social Network Analysis: More Toward an Application to Sociolinguistic Research and Language Development Assessment Steve Graham
  • Modifying Language Beliefs: A Role for Mother-Tongue Advocates? Carolyn P. Miller
  • Assessing Motivations: Techniques for Researching the Motivations behind Language Choice Mark E. Karan and Jürg Stalder
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xiv, 205 pages
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