Javier marcelo Domingo

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Montréal, U. de

Grant number

Gr. 9813

Approve Date

April 30, 2019

Project Title

Domingo, Javier (Montreal, U. of) "Language Incarnate : The social construction of "last speakers" in South America"

This project is a study of the social construction of so-called “last speakers” in contexts of language endangerment and revitalization; that is, it is a study of situations where, by consensus, only one speaker is considered as having knowledge of a language. Focusing on six indigenous languages in Latin America, the project seeks to study the processes of sociolinguistic investment through which certain persons become imbued with “last speakerhood”, the role that such individuals play in indigenous communitarian projects of cultural and linguistic revitalization, as well as in mourning linguistic and cultural loss. The project seeks to understand the constitution of “last speakers” across multiple scales, tracing not only the emergence of linguistic isolation though processes of language shift in local face-to-face communities, but also interrogating the role of media and (non)governmental organizations.