3883 - Endangered communalects: The case of Huastec communalects in San Luis Potosí and Veracruz

Based on the concept of Bellwood (1978) who claims that communalect is used to designate an homogenus linguistic system that is spoken in one or more communities, in this paper I will postulate that the use of this concept is the most appropriate to describe the current situation of speaking communities of Huastec, in the current state of San Luis Potosi and Veracruz. The concept behind communalect is community, understood as the social area where language is recreated. The community should not be construed as equivalent to town or to a specific territory, we understand it as the basic social unit in which the systems of power and social control are those that set limits on their action and through which circulating systems of meanings.Huastec is a mayan language spoken in the current states of Veracruz and San Luis Potosí, México and each communalect has significant divergences in the different linguistic levels. Possibly, some of this divergences are related in some way with the social interactions that towns stablish with other towns. That would explain why there are landlocked towns at the mountains where speakers mostly do not use the indigenous language to communicate at home and, contrary to my expectations, in locations that are closer to urban centers, the Huastec language is very much alive than in some located at the mountains. Under this theoretical and methodological perspective I will present the results of my research on fieldwork where I find more aproppiate to speak of "endangered communalects" instead of "endangered languages", because it is not possible to establish a sociolinguistic generalization for all the Huastec communalects while, as I said, each responds to different social dynamics.

Palavras-chaves: communalect, endangered, huastec

Autores: Melendez, Lucero (Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico / Mexiko)


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