Indigenous Youth Migration and Language Contact

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10 Scopus citations


Few studies ethnographically detail how Indigenous young people's mobility intersects with sociolinguistic transformation in an interconnected world. Drawing on a decade-long study of youth and language contact, I analyze Yup'ik young people's migration in relation to emerging language ideologies and patterns of language use in "Piniq," (pseudonym), a Yup'ik village in Alaska, as villagers experienced a rapid language shift to English. Spatiotemporally situating young migrants' experiences joining different peer groups at different times, I highlight how young people's linguistic repertoires and everyday negotiations of peer belonging in Piniq were intimately related to the accumulating (trans)local impacts of migration and schooling in the small but highly complex village context. I also show how taking youth migration and intragenerational, longitudinal timescales into account in rapidly transforming sociolinguistic settings can help bring into focus the layered simultaneity (Blommaert, 2005) of Indigenous youth language practice and the distributed nature of contemporary Indigenous linguistic ecologies. Implications for language planning are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-82
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Indigenous youth
  • Yup'ik
  • endangered languages
  • language contact
  • language ideologies
  • migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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