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OXFORD STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LANG SERIES

The Last Language on Earth

Linguistic Utopianism in the Philippines

Piers Kelly

The Last Language on Earth

OXFORD STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LANG SERIES

The Last Language on Earth

Linguistic Utopianism in the Philippines

OXFORD STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LANG SERIES: The Last Language on Earth

 

The Last Language on Earth is the story of Eskayan, a constructed language from the Philippines. Unlike better-known invented languages such as Esperanto or Klingon, Eskayan has now been transmitted from generation to generation within its community for over a century and has come to be regarded by its speakers as the true indigenous language of the island of Bohol.


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Beschrijving OXFORD STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LANG SERIES: The Last Language on Earth

The Last Language on Earth is an ethnographic history of the disputed Eskayan language, spoken today by an isolated upland community living on the island of Bohol in the southern Philippines. After Eskaya people were first 'discovered' in 1980, visitors described the group as a lost tribe preserving a unique language and writing system. Others argued that the Eskaya were merely members of a utopian rural cult who had invented their own language and script.
Rather than adjudicating outsider polemics, this book engages directly with the language itself as well as the direct perspectives of those who use it today.

Through written and oral accounts, Eskaya people have represented their language as an ancestral creation derived from a human body. Reinforcing this traditional view, Piers Kelly's linguistic analysis shows how a complex new register was brought into being by fusing new vocabulary onto a modified local grammar. In a synthesis of linguistic, ethnographic, and historical evidence, a picture emerges of a coastal community that fled the ravages of the U.S. invasion of the island in 1901 in order
to build a utopian society in the hills. Here they predicted that the world's languages would decline leaving Eskayan as the last language on earth. Marshalling anthropological theories of nationalism, authenticity, and language ideology, along with comparisons to similar events across highland
Southeast Asia, Kelly offers a convincing account of this linguistic mystery and also shows its broader relevance to linguistic anthropology. Although the Eskayan situation is unusual, it has the power to illuminate the pivotal role that language plays in the pursuit of identity-building and political resistance.


ISBN
9780197509913
Pagina's
256
Verschijnt
Serie
OXFORD STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LANG SERIES
NUR
616
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

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