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the school of linguistics that studies the relationship between a language and the culture of those who speak it, or between the language and psychology of a particular ethnic group.

Ethnolinguistics emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the USA in connection with extensive ethnographic research that was being carried out on Indian tribes of North and Central America. Initially, ethnolinguistics sought to obtain data from the history of the social relations of primitive peoples by studying corresponding linguistic phenomena; this approach was taken by such scholars as L. H. Morgan, F. Boas, A. L. Kroeber, E. Sapir, and B. Malinowski. One of the objects of study of ethnolinguistics was kinship terms, which were subjected to new methods of linguistic analysis, such as componential analysis.

In the mid-20th century, linguists began studying other areas of the lexicon, as well as levels of language. It was established that a close relationship exists between linguistic phenomena, such as methods of structuring meaning, and nonlinguistic cultural phenomena; this fact was incorporated in the Sapirian and Whorfian hypothesis of linguistic relativity. Ethnolinguistics has given rise at various times to racist interpretations of language that have not gained acceptance by scholars.


Shpet, G. G. Vvedenie v etnicheskuiu psikhologiiu, fasc. 1. Moscow, 1927.
Sapir, E. lazyk. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934. (Translated from English.)
Hymes, D. H. “Directions in (Ethno-) Linguistic Theory.” American Anthropologist, 1964, vol. 66, no. 3, part 2. Pages 6–56.


References in periodicals archive ?
1999) find that ethnolinguistic fractionalization is associated with smaller government, and Lindqvist and Ostling (2010) find similar results for strong democracies that are politically fractured.
Third, she grapples with the role that language plays in the formation of social and national identities, ethnolinguistic nationalisms, and cosmopolitanisms (Haque 2007).
A Linguistic personality in Transforming Community: Ethnolinguistic Differentiation of Tatar-Bilinguals in Inoethnic Environment.
Hardworking, appreciative, simple, determined and thrifty: these are the commonly known traits of Ilocanos or Ilocano people, the third largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines.
2010, Juwaliny: Dialectal variation and ethnolinguistic identity in the Great Sandy Desert.
analyzes communicative practices in a circuit-board assembly plant in Silicon Valley with employees from diverse ethnolinguistic backgrounds.
Geolinguistics: Language Dynamics and Ethnolinguistic Geography.
Celts in the Americas, edited by Michael Newton, draws together specialists on Celtic ethnolinguistic groups in the Americas to detail how Bretons, Welsh, Scottish Gaels, Irish, and Cornish immigrants created place, community identity, and cultural cohesion through spoken and written language use in diasporic settings (the Manx are not represented: no scholar could be found to discuss the history of Manx immigrants).
13) His typology is based on the interaction of language equality (the extent to which language policies have been intended to equalize status within a state's jurisdiction) and social integration (the extent to which these policies are intended to integrate members of distinct ethnolinguistic groups into the same public spaces).
4) See generally, Howard Giles, Richard Y Bourhis & Donald M Taylor, "Toward a theory of language in ethnic group relations" in Howard Giles, ed, Language, Ethnicity andIntergroup Relations (New York: Academic Press, 1977) 307 at 308-09: "The vitality of an ethnolinguistic group is that which makes a group likely to behave as a distinctive and active collective entity in intergroup situations.
Gaddafi insisted the 'traitorous' Imazighen were an ethnolinguistic fiction, even though they make up about 600,000 of Libya's six million population.
5 million) ethnically diverse (over 100 different ethnolinguistic groups) landlocked nation with giant neighbors.