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Swarthmore College

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Islands Studies

Abstract

Since its arrival in the 1830s, the English language has been an increasing presence in the minds and mouths of native Samoans. It winds its way within the schools, onto the streets, and into the offices of modern Samoa. This constant exposure to English, however, does not necessarily entail a loss of the Samoan language or culture. Quite the contrary, as Samoans have not only embraced the English language, but have furthermore indigenized it to their own advantage. Using education and exposure as tools, Samoans readily weave innovative mixtures of English and Samoan into various aspects of their lives, including conversation, radio, television, and modern literature. Such mediums expose a unique linguistic hybridity that is employed by many Samoans, who despite their English use, never fail to reflect a core ‘Samoan-ness’.

Disciplines

Linguistic Anthropology | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies

 

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