A Proposal to Measure the Advance of Language Shift in Small Communities Using the Framework of Ecology of Pressures

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Roland TERBORG, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
Roberto GUERRA MEJIA, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Virna VELAZQUEZ, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Mexico
Tamara SANCHEZ, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Mexico
Guillermo GARRIDO, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico
Carlos Manuel HERNANDEZ GOMEZ, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, Mexico
Lourdes NERI, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Language diversity is decreasing all over the world, especially languages of minority groups. This may be beneficial for some members of the ethnic community as it means social mobility. For others it may be undesirable because the process of language shift could affect their group identity. There are different causes for these perceptions, and they might depend on the advance or progress of language shift.

To take the most adequate actions in language planning we have to know how to evaluate the sociolinguistic situation in a bilingual community. Our purpose is to present a model (model of ecology of pressures. See Terborg & García Landa, 2011) to analyse and explain language shift in small communities of minority groups in a given area. We support our examples on several researches of language shift of indigenous languages in Mexico. The framework includes the concept “utmost common routine” that may be partly calculated by a quantitative corpus obtained by a questionnaire applied to a representative population. The data of the indigenous language will be compared with the data of Spanish, the official language spoken in Mexico, to determine which language is the strongest one among a given age group of the population.


Terborg, R., & García Landa, L. (Eds.). (2011). Muerte y vitalidad de las lenguas indígenas y las presiones sobre sus hablantes. D. F., México: CELE-UNAM.