Archive for the ‘Adyghe (ady)’ Category

News on Indigenous Tweets blog

18 May 2011

In addition to helping people finding tweeters in lesser-used languages on Indigenous Tweets, Kevin Scannell has a blog by the same name. (A tweet is a very short message sent out instantaneously to subscribers’ cell phones and posted on the web.)

According to “Interviews Coming Soon,” Indigenous Tweets has added 11 languages, bringing the total to 82. Some of those include languages recently discussed here, namely, Adyghe (ady), Delaware (del) and Yiddish (yid).

Another exciting post is “Not dead yet: John Gillingham on the Cornish Language.” As noted, Cornish (cor) is a language spoken in southwest England, and despite being one of the first victims to the expansion of English, Cornish has nevertheless survived.

The post is primarily an interview of John Gillingham, a student of the decline of Cornish who tweets in the language. He says that there are a couple dozen children raised in Cornish and discusses how disagreements about orthography (spelling) hindered the Cornish revitalization movement in the past.

Another topic discussed is the modernization of Cornish. In order to maintain the interest of particularly younger people, words have been developed for modern technology, and are spread through various media such as books, dictionaries, magazines and radio.

News in brief: Circassian in Jordan, LSA letter to Obama

4 May 2011

1. Circassian Language Maintenance In Jordan

After a century of fighting, the 1864 victory of Russia in the Russian-Circassian War meant annexation by a Christian nation in the Caucasus where many had converted to Islam several generations earlier. Over the next half of a century, between two and three million Circassians were either forced to leave or left voluntarily, resettling in nearby areas.

One of the areas where the Circassians settled is now known as Jordan, a country that gained independence in 1946. While the Circassians are today in danger of losing their language, classes are now available and an International Circassian Cultural Academy was established in 2010.

Read the report (with several videos) “Circassian language maintenance in Jordan: Self-identification, attitudes, policies and practices as indicators of minority language maintenance” by Ulle Rannut. Wikipedia and the Ethnologue treat Circassian as two languages, Adyghe (ady) and Kabardian (kbd).

2. The LSA urges signing of Executive Order on Native American Language Revitalization

On April 15, the Linguistic Society of America sent a letter to US President Obama urging him to sign the “Executive Order on Native American Language Revitalization.” The Order was drafted by Obama’s staff members in association with Native American representatives.

The purpose of the Order is to put into effect the “Native American Languages Act” (P.L. 102-524) and the “Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006” (P.L. 109-394). The Order reads, in part:

It is the policy of the federal government to revitalize, and protect the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native American languages to ensure their survival. The federal government shall recognize Native American languages as irreplaceable and integral to the national character. Native languages fulfill a vital role in maintaining cultural traditions and values, family protocols, social cohesion, sacred knowledge, and spiritual continuity.

American residents can e-mail President Obama urging him to sign the Order at Contact the White House. Anyone can write him or telephone his office as noted on that page.