Document Type

Honors Project


With a rich verbal morphology and an aging population of native speakers, Navajo offers a valuable opportunity to examine language attrition in detail. Few Navajo children grow up completely unexposed to their heritage language, yet the number raised as monolingual English speakers has risen sharply in the past thirty years. This thesis compares one young speaker's production of verbs with conservative, "textbook" forms, analyzes the patterns found within this comparison, and draws on similar processes in the dying languages Dyirbal and Romansch to place these Navajo data in the larger context of language attrition.



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