But They Call Us the Language Police!’ Speaker and Ethnic Identifying Profiles in the Process of Revitalizing the South Saami Language, Culture and Ethnic Identity
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The aim of this study has been to highlight the complexity of a linguistic community which has undergone two language shifts in less than one century. The different social actors are given a voice in this multiple environments. All these social actors and positions are important to take into consideration in future language planning. To strengthen the societal position of the language and culture, it is important to create learning resources and instruction programmes that are suited to all kinds of speakers and their linguistic and identity tangles. As Paine (op. cit.: 294) stated 15 years ago, the identity tangle consists of the question of how to be a Saami—and I could add: how to be enough Saami. How much Saaminess does one have to produce in the linguistic and ethnic markets to be able to claim linguistic and ethnic legitimacy? The growing group of new speakers is claiming legitimacy and authority on another basis than the traditional authenticity. In this way, they are creating parallel hierarchies and competing legitimacies.