Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-2

THIS BOOK, LIKE ANY STORY, has many beginnings. Some are as old as the first batch of clay brought up by Crawdad, others as the arrival of lost and disoriented Europeans on our continent. Its most tangible beginning was the fieldwork for my dissertation, and, like any story, it has had many versions. It is fitting, then, that this book begins with a moment to acknowledge the immense contributions others have made to my research and this project (some of whom never got to see this final stage). While it is not possible to...

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Introduction: Talking Indian

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pp. 3-30

THIS IS A TYPICAL introduction in Chikashshanompa’, or the Chickasaw language, but I didn’t learn how to say it until I was in my early twenties. Like practically every other Chickasaw of my generation, I didn’t learn Chikashshanompa’ growing up, and neither did most of my mother’s generation. My grandfather learned pieces from his grandfather—mostly important daily phrases and the names of everyday objects—but he could only remember a few into adulthood....

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1. Context and Methodology

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pp. 31-54

DRAWING ON DISCOURSES from ecology and environmental activism, scholars and community members have voiced growing concern regarding the diminishing of biolinguistic diversity that is taking place as a result of the rapid decline in the number of languages spoken throughout the world. Indeed, the classification of these at-risk languages as “endangered” in both popular and academic accounts overtly recalls the biological classification of declining species so as to highlight the urgency of the situation. These...

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2. Chickasaw Speaker Style

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pp. 55-75

IN THIS CHAPTER, I examine the establishment of linguistic expertise as a source of both cultural and economic capital (Bourdieu 1977). I then explore how the position of Speaker is discursively authorized in Chickasaw media and institutional contexts, both of which have played a crucial role in the development of Speaker status. To do so, I focus on the ways Chickasaw Speakers themselves construct the emerging identity of Speaker through what I call “Chickasaw Speaker style,” a diverse set of linguistic forms and stances that together work to index linguistic expertise. Specifically, I focus...

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3. Anompa! Language Revitalization, T- shirts, and the Semiotics of Community Identity

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pp. 76-99

AN ETHNOLINGUISTIC FRAMEWORK for community membership may seem like an odd ideology to have taken hold in a community of more than fifty thousand citizens in which fewer than one hundred are fluent speakers of the community’s native language. According to the most stringent application of this ideology, very few members of the Chickasaw community could be classified as centralized or core members. However, community discourses demonstrate that a centralized identity can also be established...

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4. Language Sits in Places

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pp. 100-127

IN THE BEARER OF THIS LETTER, Mindy Morgan (2009) traces the practices of literacy, in both Assiniboine, or Nakoda, and English, across its role within missionary tactics, U.S. Indian policy, and educational systems within the Fort Belknap community in Montana. Through this combination of archival and ethnographic research, Morgan demonstrates that the language ideologies surrounding writing in Nakoda as part of language reclamation efforts are deeply shaped by the role of literacy in maintaining colonial...

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5. “There’s an App for That”: New Media and the Future of Chickasaw Language Revitalization

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pp. 128-150

DURING HIS STATE OF THE NATION address at the 2016 Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival, Chickasaw governor Bill Anoatubby made an announcement that sent the attending crowd of several hundred into a wild round of applause: the nation would be pairing with Rosetta Stone to create Chickasaw language-learning software. This announcement, and the software production it announced, represented the most recent development in a history of utilizing new media and digital domains to...

Notes

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pp. 151-154

Bibliography

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pp. 155-166

Index

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pp. 167-172