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Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

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Ethnolinguistic vitality and intergroup processes

Martin Ehala1

1Professor and senior researcher at the University of Tartu.

Address for correspondence: Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, Tartu 50090, Estonia. e-mail: .

Citation Information: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication. Volume 29, Issue 2, Pages 203–221, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: 10.1515/mult.2010.009, June 2010

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The paper argues that ethnolinguistic vitality depends on four crucial social psychological factors: perceived strength differential, intergroup distance, utilitarianism and intergroup discordance. The influence of these factors on the vitality of subordinate and dominant groups is outlined. It is proposed that the vitality of both types of groups could be measured on the same scale. The low end of this scale indicates group members' disposition to dissociate themselves from the in-group's cultural values and practices. The high end indicates a perception of cultural distinctiveness, superiority, closedness and derogation of out-groups, i.e. high level of ethnocentrism. A theoretical model is proposed explicating how the interaction of vitality profiles of the dominant and subordinate groups leads to different acculturation orientations of subordinate groups (assimilation, integration, segregation, or marginalisation).

Keywords:: ethnolinguistic vitality; acculturation; language shift; ethnocentrism; interethnic processes

Citing Articles

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Martin Ehala and Elena Vedernikova
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2015, Page 1
Kimberly A. Noels, Hali Kil, and Yang Fang
Language and Linguistics Compass, 2014, Volume 8, Number 11, Page 618
Martin Ehala and Anastassia Zabrodskaja
Journal of Baltic Studies, 2011, Volume 42, Number 2, Page 213
Martin Ehala
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2011, Volume 32, Number 2, Page 187

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