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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the social impact of language policy and planning (LPP) in the daily life of Wichi communities in Argentina. The analysis shows how languages and bilingualism, categorized as a specific resource to access public positions in deprived regions in Argentina, define a disputed territory and shape social conflicts among groups. The chapter focuses on the Argentinean region known as El Impenetrable, where new language policies are transforming health and educational institutions traditionally managed by non-indigenous people. The presence of new actors in public institutions, assessed with relation to language competences, and the setting of a new political agenda can be explained from local and global processes where public decisions are rooted. Ethnographic sociolinguistics and discourse analysis are combined in a methodological approach to LPP that takes into account the interplay of different voices in relation to local and social transformations regarding indigenous language uses and values.

Keywords: bilingualism, discourse analysis, indigenous language, language planning, language policy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, Wichi, Argentina

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