Kumeyaay Language Variation, Group Identity, and The Land 1.
This paper reports on the dialect variation across Kumeyaay speech communities, which have long resisted description (Langdon 1991). This paper attempts to bring clarification to the situation, presenting new research findings from an ongoing study of Kumeyaay dialects south of the border, integrating them with the previous literature, and drawing on current linguistic anthropological theory concerning dialect variation and language ideology. It argues that the two indigenous subgroupings of ‘Iipay and Tiipay are distinct both linguistically and historically in terms of social organization to some extent. Hill’s (2001) anthropological model for dialectology, which includes attention to the relation between human ecology, social organization, and two basic types of stance—“localist” vs. “distributed”—as well as Kroskrity’s notion of variationist language ideology, are employed to explain the exuberant lexical variation found between these two dialectal subgroups of the California Yuman language family..