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Talking to the Wind: Towards an Understanding of Numic Verbal Art and Language Planning in the Village of Shaxwapats


Ute-Southern Paiute is an Indigenous language in the U.S. Great Basin culture area. Bluewater Paiute elders created an illustrated set of Paiute-language flashcards and worked on the recording and transcriptions of traditional stories when preparing for heritage language classes. Throughout this project, issues of authenticity, authority and representation were documented to better understand the relationship between Paiute views of their heritage language, its speakers, and its stories in the contexts of language revitalization. Extant and emergent language ideologies arose explaining the importance in filtering and regimenting the representation of local language in linguistic materials while simultaneously crafting stories into deeply meaningful narrative works. The recontextualization of traditional oral works into living bodies of text infused local meaning, value, and usability into Bluewater Paiute language materials. Paiute efforts towards preparing language materials for heritage language classes (corpus planning) demonstrate forms of cultural resource management while simultaneously working to stop heritage language loss. [Linguistic Anthropology, Language Ideology, Semiotics, Language Revitalization, Verbal Art, Language Planning, Uto-Aztecan, Numic, Bluewater Southern Paiute]

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