In “BOOKS: Can language preservation battle be won?,” Richard L. Carrico reviews “Telling Stories in the Face of Danger: Language Renewal in Native American Communities,” published earlier this year by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Edited by Paul V. Kroskrity, professor at UCLA, the paperback is a compilation of stories, commentary on the stories and academic discourse.
The offerings include a piece by Margaret Field, a professor at San Diego State University working to revitalize Kumiai. Listed as Kumeyaay (dih) on Wikipedia, this language is listed by the Ethnologue as having 330 speakers. Although controversial, many break Kumeyaay into three languages: Ipai (dih-ipa), Kumeyaay proper and Tiipai (dih-tii, dih-tip), with the number of speakers ranging from 25 to 200 for each. Eight Kumeyaay lessons by Field and others are available on the website of San Diego State University’s Language Acquisition Resource Center.