Linguistics 2: Discover Languages

Profile of a minority linguistic community in Southern California. linguistics

Linguistics. Southern California has one of the most diverse linguistic populations in the USA. The widespread
Spanish speaking communities from Central and South America, Iranian (Persian) community in
Irvine, Vietnamese community in Orange County, Armenian community in Glendale, the largest
Korean diaspora in Koreatown Los Angeles, people speaking various Chinese languages in the San
Bernardino valley, several South Asian language communities in Artesia, Russian, Polish, Thai
communities in West LA, and many more. Linguistics
§ Your task is to select one linguistic community of Southern California, other than your native
, and write a report about it.
§ Please do not write your report about English language speakers (we are focusing on minority
linguistic communities).
§ The report should be:
4-5 pages, plus one page of references
Size 12 Times New Roman fonts
1.5 spaced
1-inch margin on all sides.
§ The project is due on Dec 8th 2017 by the end of the day (11:59 pm). Submission will be
online, and the details will be explained closer to the deadline. Linguistics
§ You may choose to work in groups of no more than five people, but you must write and
submit the project report independently.
If you choose to work in a group, please mention
the names of your group members on your report.
§ Data Collection:
You will need to do your own research, as well as **talk to native speakers** of your
selected language.
**Including viewpoints of the native speakers of the language along with the findings
of your research is mandatory** Linguistics
While collecting data from native speakers — talk to at least one person from the older
generation, who is a first generation immigrant to the US, and one from the younger,
who is a 2
nd or 3rd generation, to get different perspectives.
§ If you select the Chinese speaking community, then you must focus on a particular variety of
Chinese (e.g. Mandarin, Cantonese, or others). However, for sections I & II (only), if you are
unable to find information specific to a variety, then you may include data for Chinese as a
group of languages.
§ Citations: For every resource you use you will need to provide citations. For information you
gather from native speakers of the linguistic community, you will cite it as ‘Personal
communication’ in parenthesis. If you are not clear about how to cite, please contact your TA or
me well before the submission deadline.
§ Wikipedia should not be used as your only source of information for this project.
Wikipedia may be used, but sparingly, only to refer to survey and statistics, and with proper
citations. Excessive use of Wikipedia will be considered as lack of research and lack of efforts
towards the project.
§ You must comply with UC Irvine’s academic integrity policies. Read HERE! Linguistics

The report will be divided in 4 sections: linguistics


Section I: Survey and Statistics (15 points)
In this section you will report surveys and statistics that provide quantitative information about the
linguistic community of your choice. First you will provide information about the area(s) where the
community is concentrated in Southern California. Next, you will report the number of speakers
there are for the linguistic community in US as well as in Southern California. You should look for
recent US and California census reports. If you find graphs and figures, include them in your report.


Section II: History of immigration (10 points)
In brief this section you will report the history of the linguistic community. Specifically, you will
try to report (but not limited to): When did the community begin to immigrate to the USA? Was
there any mass immigration that took place? Were there any specific factors due to which the
community immigrated to the USA? Feel free to include any interesting information about the
linguistic community that you may uncover in your research.


Section III: Linguistic features (25 points)
In this section you will report some of the linguistic information and features about the language:
– The primary language family and the sub-family the selected language belongs to
– Some cognates of the selected language
– The word order of the language along with some sample sentences.
– Number of consonant and vowels of the language, and the basic syllable structure.
– Some unique properties and concepts in the language that you think are not found in other
languages or are not directly translatable. (See unit on linguistic relativity- color terms,
number system, concepts, etc.)


Section IV: Language use and Language Maintenance (50 points)
In this section you will report the extent of the use of the selected language in within the linguistic
community and in Southern California. The points you will cover include (but not limited to) are:
**READ CAREFULLY** Linguistics
– To what extent the speakers of the language continue using it within the community.
– To what extent the young generation speakers of the language are using the language and
trying to maintain it.
– Is the language taught at the public schools in Southern California? Are there after-school
language programs for young people to learn the language, and is the community interested
in sending their children to learn and maintain the heritage language?
– Are there any employment opportunities available in the target heritage language within
southern California that may motivate the speakers to continue using their heritage
– Is the language being used in the modern day pop culture of Southern California by the
younger generations? If yes, provide some examples.
– Are there restaurants in the community and/or outside the community with menus in the
heritage language? Are there newspapers, magazines, radio/ tv channels, or other resources
available in the selected language? Please include pictures if you can.
– Are there public/government documents available or translated in the selected language? For
example, check DMV instructions; can a native speaker of the selected language take a
driving test in the heritage language?
– To what extent the speakers of the language code-switch. If they do, provide some code
switching examples in that language. Are there positive or negative attitudes towards code
switching in the community? Further, explore the reasons behind the positive or negative
attitudes towards code-switching.
– How much do the speakers of the target immigrant community associate their heritage
language with their social and individual identity?
– What attitudes do the younger, as well as, the older generations have towards their language
and linguistic community? Is the attitude positive or negative? If negative, try to explore the
factors behind the negative attitude.
– Do the speakers of the community think that the use of the heritage language is declining? If
yes, what are the primary reasons for the decline in the language use? If no, what factors are
playing a key role in the maintenance of the language?
– Are the speakers of the heritage language interested in preserving the language? If yes, what
steps are taken by individuals or communities to preserve the language?
– Along with discussing these issues with a native speaker, you may look for sociolinguistic
studies that try to explore issues related to language maintenance among immigrant
communities in the US for more ideas.


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