SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

'Mathinnyi' – Film Screening, Presentation and Discussion of Music and Language Revitalisation in Jersey

Kit Ashton (Goldsmiths)

Date: 16 May 2017Time: 3:30 PM

Finishes: 16 May 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: L67

Type of Event: Seminar


Kit Ashton is a musician, just finishing the first year of a CHASE-funded PhD in Music at Goldsmiths. His thesis is currently titled:

"Applied Ethnomusicology and the Revitalisation of the Endangered Language of Jèrriais: A study of music, language ideology, and cultural identity in Jersey."

When it comes to language revitalisation strategies, Jeroen Darquennes and others have argued for the development of:

A comprehensive, multidisciplinarily conceived and multi-dimensionally oriented total concept that is intertwined with social reality as a prerequisite for successful language revitalisation.[1]

This seminar will propose that music should be considered as a potentially important element of this 'total concept', and will focus on the way it can shape cultural identity and language ideology, with reference to ongoing work in Jersey.

'Mathinnyi' is a short ethnographic film, made during Kit's MA, which explores the Jersey context from a personal perspective – providing insights into the island, the community and the language. Kit was born and raised in Jersey, and is the founder and lead singer of Jèrriais pop-folk band Badlabecques.

The film will be followed by a presentation and – hopefully – an interactive discussion on the following topics:

Music as a strategy for language revitalisation

Methodologies for measuring language change

Film as a research tool

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[1] Jeroen Darquennes, "Paths to language revitalization," in Contact Linguistics and Language Minorities/Kontaktlinguistik und Sprachminderheiten/ Linguistique de Contact et Minorités Linguistiques (Plurilingua, 30), St. Augustin, Asgard, (2007): 61-76.