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Erosion of the Chesapeake


            ´╗┐Language and Ecology Vol 2: No 3 available www.
             LINGUISTIC EROSION ON THE CHESAPEAKE:.
             INTERGENERATIONAL DIACHRONIC SHIFTS IN LEXICALIZATIONS OF THE BAY.
             Anjali Pandey.
             Abstract.
             This article examines shifting lexicalizations of the Chesapeake Bay in three generations'.
             nomenclature, and points to a significant diachronic shift in environmental labelings.
             currently occurring in an Atlantic seaboard speech community. The question investigated.
             is whether lexicalizations about environmental preservation are the first step in the.
             educational process towards a realization of the saliency of the environment. In short,.
             would young generations, and young minds benefit from an overt knowledge and.
             teaching of the extent to which current linguistic vocalizations reflect our orientation.
             either towards or away from environmental concerns? A related query is to investigate if.
             modern lexicalizations of our environment in fact reflect generational shifts away from.
             naturalistic privileging, and consequently respect for the power and pivotal role of.
             natural phenomena, to a much more anthropocentric emphasis which instead privileges.
             human-made "creations" over nature's pervasive bounty? Stated differently, do current.
             vocal lexicalizations stress 'our' creations over nature's? Evidence from an informal poll.
             conducted by in-service educators administered to 3 generations of 72 speakers in a local.
             peninsular region is presented and analyzed. While the results do point to potentially.
             alarming trends in 21st century vocalizations about the environment, the essay does.
             highlight some optimistic trends. What this informal study does underscore is the.
             potential power of oral linguistic choices to change mental dispositions – a diachronic.
             shift at work shaping and encoding 'new' world-views. The essay concludes by.
             speculating on whether the younger generation is more "orally" conscious of its.


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