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Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper

Abstract

Aymara, one of four national national languages in Bolivia, has become endangered within the past generation in the Coroico municipality. Top-down education reforms implemented in 1994 have adopted a language-as-resource orientation to alleviate the degradation of Bolivia’s indigenous languages. Bottom-up grassroots movements nationwide reveal a tenuous shift away from colonial-era language attitudes. The gap between the language policy of Bolivia, as enacted by the Education Reform, and the practice of that policy at the grassroots level characterizes the contentious and shifting social atmosphere of Bolivian sociolinguistic culture. My focus centers on historical legislation and language attitudes against multilingualism, as well as legislation and language attitudes promoting multilingualism. This case study exemplifies efforts to curb language abandonment in the face of globalization and the growth of world languages.

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