William L. Leap's American Indian English PDF

By William L. Leap

ISBN-10: 0585132992

ISBN-13: 9780585132990

ISBN-10: 0874804167

ISBN-13: 9780874804164

Examines the variety of English in American Indian speech groups.

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Example text

It is clear, however, that day-to-day encounters with English are an unavoidable part of city life and familiarity with English (at some level) is an important language skill for urban Indians. Personal identity and prestige factors, particularly when they contribute to the frequency of interaction with non-Indians, also encourage English fluencyor at least an appearance thereof. William Hodge (1969: 45), writing about Navajo residents in Albuquerque, reports: Ninety-five percent of the Navajos speak fair to excellent English.

Here again, the activities themselves are non-Indian controlled, and the possibility of Indian employment is limited. Levels of ancestral language fluencies vary greatly across this reservation, depending on the speaker's tribal background, age, and other factors. Speaker familiarity with different varieties of English meshes closely with ancestral language variation. Penfield-Jasper (1982: 25) reports for the Mohave: "90% of the youth under the age of 20 no longer speak the Native language. .

Hunted and ranged over most of the area now known as the Central Great Plains. The Black Hills of South Dakota they knew well and sometimes even reached the Rockies in their search for game, scalps [sic]and the adventure of seeing new territory. Their main seat, the area where most of their permanent villages and forts were built, was what is now Knox County, in northeastern Nebraska. This was the heart of the Ponca domain in former times and is still the home of most of the Northern Ponca. The Ponca people were moved to Oklahoma (called, at that time, the Indian Territory) in 1880, after a series of events awarded most of the Ponca homeland to the Teton Dakota, and Teton raids on Ponca settlements made life there unbearable.

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American Indian English by William L. Leap


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