Voices of Contact: Politics of Language In Urban Amazonian Ecuador

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195199
Title:
Voices of Contact: Politics of Language In Urban Amazonian Ecuador
Author:
Wroblewski, Michael
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © 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.
Abstract:
This dissertation is a study of diverse linguistic resources and contentious identity politics among indigenous Amazonian Kichwas in the city of Tena, Ecuador. Tena is a rapidly developing Amazonian provincial capital city with a long history of interethnic and interlinguistic contact. In recent decades, the course of indigenous Kichwa identity formation has been dramatically altered by increasing urban relocation, a burgeoning international eco-tourism industry, a generational language shift toward Spanish monolingualism, and the introduction of bilingual and intercultural education into native communities.The current era of nationalistic Ecuadorian "interculturality" and cultural tourism have heightened the public visibility of threatened indigenous practices. Paralleling these national social currents has been a growing indigenous activist movement in Ecuador that has very recently introduced a controversial new Kichwa language-planning project in Napo province. The national standard, Unified Kichwa, is currently being taught to a young population of indigenous students in the Tena region in an effort to create cultural and political solidarity among geographically separate communities. The move has been met with considerable backlash from Tena Kichwas who believe local Amazonian language identity and "natural" socialization practices are under threat of displacement.As part of this fracturing of ideologies surrounding language production and socialization, Tena Kichwas are creating innovative strategies for objectifying marked linguistic forms in order to use them for specific political purposes. The city of Tena has been reconceptualized as an indigenous space for publicly exhibiting opposing identity construction strategies, particularly through the use of new semiotic media, including folkloric performance and mass-communications technology. Language choice, variation and change are becoming very apparently politicized in this unique socio-cultural milieu, where new and old varieties are being symbolically elevated and denigrated through high-profile semiotic work. Language has become a critical site for the intellectualization of cultural change and a key vehicle for asserting rights to self-representation and self-determination.This dissertation combines theoretical and methodological approaches in linguistic anthropology, ethnographic sociolinguistics and discourse analysis to examine language variation, change and ideologization in progress. It attempts to illuminate aspects of the process by which language forms emerge and transform as products of social experience.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Amazonian Ecuador; indigenous identity; language contact; language ideology; language planning; Quichua language
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Hill, Jane H; Mendoza-Denton, Norma C
Committee Chair:
Hill, Jane H; Mendoza-Denton, Norma C

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleVoices of Contact: Politics of Language In Urban Amazonian Ecuadoren_US
dc.creatorWroblewski, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.authorWroblewski, Michaelen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.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.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is a study of diverse linguistic resources and contentious identity politics among indigenous Amazonian Kichwas in the city of Tena, Ecuador. Tena is a rapidly developing Amazonian provincial capital city with a long history of interethnic and interlinguistic contact. In recent decades, the course of indigenous Kichwa identity formation has been dramatically altered by increasing urban relocation, a burgeoning international eco-tourism industry, a generational language shift toward Spanish monolingualism, and the introduction of bilingual and intercultural education into native communities.The current era of nationalistic Ecuadorian "interculturality" and cultural tourism have heightened the public visibility of threatened indigenous practices. Paralleling these national social currents has been a growing indigenous activist movement in Ecuador that has very recently introduced a controversial new Kichwa language-planning project in Napo province. The national standard, Unified Kichwa, is currently being taught to a young population of indigenous students in the Tena region in an effort to create cultural and political solidarity among geographically separate communities. The move has been met with considerable backlash from Tena Kichwas who believe local Amazonian language identity and "natural" socialization practices are under threat of displacement.As part of this fracturing of ideologies surrounding language production and socialization, Tena Kichwas are creating innovative strategies for objectifying marked linguistic forms in order to use them for specific political purposes. The city of Tena has been reconceptualized as an indigenous space for publicly exhibiting opposing identity construction strategies, particularly through the use of new semiotic media, including folkloric performance and mass-communications technology. Language choice, variation and change are becoming very apparently politicized in this unique socio-cultural milieu, where new and old varieties are being symbolically elevated and denigrated through high-profile semiotic work. Language has become a critical site for the intellectualization of cultural change and a key vehicle for asserting rights to self-representation and self-determination.This dissertation combines theoretical and methodological approaches in linguistic anthropology, ethnographic sociolinguistics and discourse analysis to examine language variation, change and ideologization in progress. It attempts to illuminate aspects of the process by which language forms emerge and transform as products of social experience.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectAmazonian Ecuadoren_US
dc.subjectindigenous identityen_US
dc.subjectlanguage contacten_US
dc.subjectlanguage ideologyen_US
dc.subjectlanguage planningen_US
dc.subjectQuichua languageen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHill, Jane Hen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMendoza-Denton, Norma Cen_US
dc.contributor.chairHill, Jane Hen_US
dc.contributor.chairMendoza-Denton, Norma Cen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZhang, Qingen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10862en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659753769en_US
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