News in Brief: Promoting Aboriginal Languages Month, Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity, Linguistic Diversity Index

March is Aboriginal Languages Month in Canada, and the Northwest Territories Literacy Council has put together a booklet to help, particularly for languages in the Northwest Territories. The nine aboriginal languages of the NWT are: Chipewyan (chp); Cree (cre); Gwich’in (gwi); Western Canadian Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, and Inuinnaqtun (all ikt); North Slavey and South Slavey (scs and xsl), and Tåîchô or Dogrib (dgr).

Volume 2 of the Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity series is scheduled to be released this month by Oxford University Press. Titled “The Success-Failure Continuum in Language and Ethnic Identity Efforts,” it is edited by Joshua Fishman and Ofelia Garcia. The 37 new essays look at such issues as language versus dialect, government policy and the case of how Canaanite was supplanted by Hebrew (hbo) in ancient times. See also volume 1.

David Harmon and Jonathan Loh have developed an index of linguistic diversity (ILD). They have given presentations on their index as well as published a paper. The paper is in Language Documentation & Conservation, and may be downloaded from the 2010 volume 4 page. This news inspired by the article “Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongue,” which has a lot of information on the topic and endangered languages in general.

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