Mapping Language Ideology in New York City by Daniel Kaufman

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Talk Description:

In this talk, I will present the Digital Map of the Languages of New York, the product of a multi-year collaborative effort based at the Endangered Language Alliance to produce the heretofore most detailed map of linguistic diversity in a megacity. The map, based on Perlin & Kaufman 2019, locates over 640 languages within New York City and includes information about the history of indigenous and threatened language communities throughout the city. With the help of the ARC program, I have expanded on the above work by investigating language ideologies and domains of language use within five of the most multilingual immigrant communities in the city, those of Mexico, Guatemala, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines, with a focus on minoritized and Indigenous language groups. As immigration has been shown to affect indigenous peoples disproportionately in a wide range of countries, it is clear that a holistic approach to conserving global linguistic diversity must address Indigenous people in urban diaspora settings. I will highlight several success stories from New York in which endangered languages have been successfully transmitted to a new generation of learners in the home. I hope that these case studies and the strategies therein can serve as positive examples for communities facing language loss in New York and beyond.

Daniel Kaufman, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Queens College of the City University of New York