Sustaining Linguistic Continuity in the Beringia: Examining Language Shift and Comparing Ideas of Sustainability in Two Arctic Communities

Daria Morgounova Schwalbe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In order to answer the critical question of “how (and whether) communities can sustain continued use of their languages in the future,” this article addresses the subject of linguistic “sustainability” by comparing linguistic situations in two geographically and politically divided Yupik communities with dissimilar degrees of language maintenance: the predominantly Russian-speaking village of Novoe Chaplino in the Russian Far East and the still bilingual (English-Yupik) village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island in the United States. Addressing the question of sustainability from “within” – that is, looking at what “sustainability” looks like and how it works on the ground – the article discusses the place of language ideologies in this process, advocating for a move away from purists' conceptualisation of language to more experimental practices and “bilingual games.”
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)28-43
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Language sustainability
  • Ideology
  • Linguistic purism
  • Yupik
  • Chukotka
  • St. Lawrence Island

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