Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis deals with the subject of reversing language shift, which comes under the rubric of language rivival. The particular situation and problems encountered by the endangered Kwak'wala language will be described in chapter one. Each community in which the language is spoken will be examined and individual language revival efforts will be discussed. The second chapter will look at different methods and procedures used in various language projects thoughout the world. In particular, it will examine some language projects which are (or were ) in a similar situation to Kwak'wala. It will also come to some conclusions regarding what the research shows are essential elements for successful language projects. The third chapter, the core of the thesis, will apply these findings to a proposal for the revival of Kwak'wala. The proposal will have two main components--that of the community and that of the educational institutions. The roles of each will be discussed, along with the elements for successful language projects arrived at in the previous chapter. Portions of this proposal were actually implemented in the village of Alert Bay. The last chapter will discuss the reaction of this community to the ideas and implementation of this thesis.

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