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Miki Makihara
Position: Assistant Professor
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Yale University
Research Interests: Linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, anthropology; ethnography of speaking, discourse analysis, political economy of language, language ideology, language contact, bilingualism, ethnicity; Polynesia, Pacific

I have been interested in the use and conception of language and how these relate to other aspects of social life, and in particular, to social identity, intergroup relations, and political and economic changes. My research combines formal linguistic analysis and interpretive ethnography. I am currently working on the “Rapa Nui Cultural and Linguistic Heritage Project,” to explore memory, social change, and language through oral history narratives. This NSF-NEH financed project will also build community resources for the documentation and revitalization of the Rapa Nui language by creating a digital archive of oral history narratives.

Selected publications

  • Makihara, Miki, and Bambi B. Schieffelin (eds.). in press. Consequences of Contact: Language Ideologies and Sociocultural Transformations in Pacific Societies. Oxford University Press, 2007.

  • 2005 Rapa Nui Ways of Speaking Spanish: Language Shift and Socialization on Easter Island. Language in Society 34(5): 727–62.

  • 2005 Being Rapa Nui, Speaking Spanish: Children’s Voices on Easter Island. Anthropological Theory 5(2):117–34.

  • 2004 Linguistic Syncretism and Language Ideologies: Transforming Sociolinguistic Hierarchy on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). American Anthropologist 106(3):529–40.

  • 2001 Modern Rapanui Adaptation of Spanish Elements. Oceanic Linguistics 40(2):191–222.