1932

Abstract

This article explores how language oppression—coerced language loss—contributes to physical death. The context for this investigation is the ongoing crisis of global linguistic diversity, which sees approximately half the world's languages facing language oppression. It is also a crisis of bodies and lives. This article proposes the necropolitics of language oppression as a decolonial anthropological approach for theorizing and confronting this global problem. Drawing on the anthropology of violence, genocide, and the state, within the context of anthropology's colonial turn since the 1970s, this article describes how states within colonial modernity create and exploit population-differentiated death through practices of social death, slow violence, and slow death. This perspective enables a synthesis of literature from linguistics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, translation studies, and public health to reveal the links between language oppression and death. The conclusion discusses how the approach developed in this article can help sustain languages and lives.

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2022-10-24
2024-05-26
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