Archive for the ‘Māori (mri)’ Category

Language Successfully Revived?

28 January 2011

The field of language revitalization is a new one, and nobody knows to what extent it will be possible to save the huge number of endangered languages we have today. Even whether a language can be brought back from the brink has been an unknown.

Although Hebrew was revitalized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it had special religious uses still in place and other unique circumstances that facilitated its rebirth.

The language nest programs in Aotearoa (New Zealand) developed by the Māori under the name Kōhanga Reo and then the Hawaiians under the name Pūnana Leo have been hailed as exemplar models for language revitalization programs.

This morning, the Star Advertiser issued an article on Kauanoe Kamana, principal at Ke Kula O Nawahiokalaniopuu elementary school in Hilo.

In the article, it says, “Kamana grew up while Hawaiian was considered a dying language…” implying that Hawaiian has emerged from the endangered language category as a living, vibrant language.

While the article goes on to talk about all the work yet ahead for language revitalization, the optimism in the article cannot be denied. Hawaiian is a beacon of hope for language revitalizationists everywhere!


Book: Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages

23 January 2011

Edited by Gunter Senft, “Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages” is a 227-page anthology on documentation, revitalization and archiving. It was published in 2010.

The monographs include:

Endangered Oceanic Languages

  • Gabriele Cablitz – Marquesas
  • Ingjerd Hoëm – loss and gain
  • Gunter Senft – the Kilivila language
  • Darrell Tryon – Vanuatu

Māori Revitalization

  • Winifred Crombie
  • Diane Johnson
  • Sophie Nock


  • Margaret Florey and Michael Ewing – Maluku
  • Jakelin Troy and Michael Walsh – southeast Australian languages


  • David Blundell
  • Nick Thieberger, Peter Wittenburg and Paul Trilsbeek

Full title: Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages: essays on language documentation, archiving and revitalization

Ordering information: Pacific Linguistics Publishers

ISBN 9780858836235

Price: AUD $60/66

This article based on information on the Pacific Linguistics Publishers page.

News Links

14 May 2007

Obituary: Karl V. Teeter: Researcher of Wiyot and Maliseet

Nationalism, Native Language Maintenance and the Spread of English: A Comparative Study of the Cases of Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico: A dissertation by Sharon Clampitt, provided online

Effective Language Education Practices & Native Language Survival: from Native American Language Issues 1990. Contents include Dene standardization and Māori immersion courses for adults

Language Maintenance and Language Shift – a contrarian viewpoint: Nine reasons why endangered languages are not so important. The author states they are merely impressionistic

Stabilizing Indigenous Languages: Special edition (1996) of the Center for Excellence in Education Monograph Series from Northern Arizona University

The Role of Attitudes in Language Shift and Language Maintenance in a New Immigrant Community: A Case Study: Telugu is not an endangered language, but native speakers of Telugu have a minority community in New Zealand

Microsoft has Quechua but Still Lacks Some Unicode

24 August 2006

The Associated Press announced the Bolivian launch of Quechuan software by Microsoft today. The article notes that the word used for file is “quipu,” “borrowing the name of an ancient Incan practice of recording information in an intricate system of knotted strings.” Both Microsoft Windows and Office offer Quechua. Other languages supported include several varieties of Sami as well as Welsh, Māori and Xhosa.

Microsoft also released its nearly completed version of Internet Explorer 7, named Release Candidate 1. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t fully implement Unicode as can be seen by trying to read the June posts of this blog.