AuthorSaynes-Vazquez, Floria E.
AdvisorHill, Jane H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation documents the process of language shift from Zapotec to Spanish in urban Juchitan, a Zapotec community in southern Mexico. The work also analyzes the current strategies Juchitecos are developing to stop the replacement of their local language. The work first provides a sociohistorical overview of the community, which helps us to understand its current sociolinguistic situation. Oral and written materials, the ways in which ethnic symbols are manipulated, and the sociopolitical dimensions of the indigenous language are analyzed in order to elucidate the tensions that define the current bilingual situation of Juchitan. The work also addresses the broader aspect of language policies in Mexico, and shows how linguistic policies in the country have promoted the loss of the Mexican languages, and the replacement of Zapotec by Spanish. After describing how these linguistic policies negatively impacted the reproduction of the Zapotec language, the study presents some of the actions Juchiteco people are currently putting into practice in order to restore mother tongue transmission and reverse the process of language shift. The salient ethnic identity of JuchitAn is explored and helps to understand the linguistic profile of the community, as well as the current actions that are being developed towards the reversal of the Zapotec language shift. This study argues, following Fishman's theory, that the reproduction of the Zapotec language and an effective reversal of the language shift depend mostly on the speakers themselves and on the resources locally developed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College