Archive for the ‘language hotspots’ Category

Not all Mexican immigrants in the US speak Spanish

28 May 2011

A story about emigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries in the US who do not speak Spanish or English is in many newspapers online, such as the article “Some NY immigrants cite lack of Spanish as barrier” on the Seattle PI website.

One man cited tells of facing mockery from fellow Mexicans for his inability to speak Spanish. To combat this, many Latin American emigrants are attending Spanish classes. A number of languages are cited in the article, most of which refer to language families. They include:

  • Mixtec languages (family), a family of 52 languages spoken in Mexico included in the MIxtecan,
  • Trique languages (family), a group of three languages spoken in Mexico also included in the Mixtecan family,
  • Chinantecan languages (family), a group of 14 languages spoken in Mexico included in the Oto-Manguean family,
  • Otomi languages (family), a group of 11 languages spoken in Mexico also included in the Oto-Manguean family,
  • Nahuatl languages (Aztec family), a group of 28 languages spoken in Mexico
  • Quechua languages (Quechuan family), a group of 46 languages spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, and
  • Garifuna (cab), a language spoken in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

As this list makes apparent, Mexico is a hotbed of languages, and is one of the world’s language hotspots with 238 languages.

The story is also available in Spanish. See “Indígenas latinoamericanos doblemente marginados en EEUU” on (the) El Nuevo Herald website.

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Mining organization makes donation

6 May 2011

According to “B.C. miners dig deep to save endangered indigenous languages” in the Vancouver Sun, the Mining Association of B.C. is donating $125,000 to the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation for language revitalization. Although an unprecedented move by the MABC, it was thought appropriate as mining occurs on First Nations land. Among other things, the FBCF runs the FirstVoices website.

British Columbia and surrounding provinces and states make up one of the world’s hotspots, where a large number of languages are in danger of dying. See the First Peoples Language Map of British Columbia to learn more about the language diversity in British Columbia.

See also “Mining Association of BC Commits $125,000 over Three Years to First Nations Language Renewal in BC” on the MABC site for details about the donation.

National Geographic Teams with Living Tongues Institute

24 February 2011

National Geographic is collaborating with the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages on their Enduring Voices Project and has a web section devoted to it.

The top starts out with an interactive map, showing areas of the globe with degrees of severity in terms of language endangerment. Based on materials from the LTI, the National Geographic map provides pop-up windows when you click on a language endangered area, providing a profile of the area. Click on a button for more information, and you get a new browser tab filled with a list of the languages, revitalization projects, links and data from the Living Tongues Institute (hosted by Swarthmore College).

Below the map is a description of language endangerment (including the statistic that a language goes silent every 14 days), followed by a series of exciting articles (related features) that bring the world to the desktop in that magical way that National Geographic has. Among the links is a YouTube channel for the Enduring Voices Project, currently hosting 132 videos including hip-hop in Aka or Hruso (hru) and the counting system of Foe or Foi (foi), which goes to 37. Others include an expedition to Chile to research Huilliche (huh) and the discovery of Koro (not yet classified).

The site also includes pages on expeditions, resources and revitalization.

Northwest Journal of Linguistics – open, online and peer-reviewed

10 March 2008

The NWJL is an online journal focusing on indigenous languages of northwestern North America, providing peer-reviewed articles and open access. Designated as one of five hotspots in the world for language endangerment, the northwestern North America region will benefit from the exposure its languages receive in the Journal.

Started last year, the NWJL has a full editorial board including general editors Donna Gerdts, Timothy Montler and William Poser. With four issues in 2007, the Journal has handled prosodic hierarchy in Lushootseed (lut), verbal morphology in Santiam Kalapuya (kyl) and the resultive construction as well as stress in SENĆOŦEN (Saanich (str)).

Submitting authors retain the rights to their works, and they are encouraged to include diagrams and media such as sound files, taking advantage of the online format. The Journal is supported by Simon Fraser University.