Also, see her YouTube page at Renata Flores Rivera and subscribe.
The Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania maintains working papers (papers in progress). Volume 2, Number 1 published in 1986 has a paper by Nancy Hornberger titled “Should Quechua Be Used in Puno’s Rural Schools?” (See also Quechua (que))
From the initial paragraph: “[This paper] considers the pros and cons of using Quechua in schools serving Quechua-speaking communities in highland Puno, Peru, from the point of view of its bearing on Quechua language maintenance.”
Three questions asked are:
One of the issues Hornberger discusses is domain usage. A domain is a setting in which language is used. Examples include the classroom, the telephone, television, and community meetings. One of the signs of a decline of a language is that the language is being used in fewer domains.
In conclusion, Hornberger states,
The situation in Puno…is not then so very different from other world contexts. In every case, what is needed for successful language maintenance planning and the effective use of schools as agents for language maintenance is: autonomy of the speech community in deciding about the use of languages in their schools and a societal context in which primary incentives exist for the use of one, two, or multiple languages in that and every other domain.
In Australia, the government is working with indigenous language groups to create a national framework for teaching indigenous languages in the school.
The Office of International Affairs at the Ohio State University announced on February 8 that OSU would offer two classes in Quechua (que) in spring quarter, which begins Monday. The classes will be taught by Luis Morató, a native speaker of Quechua. The Incas used Quechua as a means to unify their empire, and with some 44 languages documented under the macrolanguage Quechua, there are more than 10 million speakers today. Despite this number, the language faces great challenged in Spanish-immersed Latin America.
Once again, the School of Oriental and African Studies of London is holding its annual Endangered Languages Week. The dates this week are from May 9 to 14. Learn phrases and the background of at least 12 spoken and signed languages from around the globe, attend a workshop on documentation and more.
As reported in Passion for Preservation, Sadaf Munshi travels from Texas to remote regions of Pakistan every chance she gets, somewhat like Indy Jones to document Burushaski (bsk). Battling floods, closed roads and cultural attitudes against women speaking with men, she documents words, songs and dances.
Burushaski is a language isolate, which means it is not related to any other known language. Most languages are related to other languages. English, for example, is related to the Frisian languages (family) and Dutch as well as to German. Spanish is related to French and Italian. Basque (eus) in Spain and France and Ainu (ain) in northern Japan have not been demonstrated as being related to other languages and so are isolates.
In addition to being an isolate, Burushaski is almost completely unwritten. As Munshi has discovered, words in Burushaski are beginning to be replaced with Urdu words, and there is a concern that if the language is not documented, the language will be absorbed and disappear.
With Munshi’s work, the language will be written and documented for posterity.
The other tale of endangered language passion is that of a teenager, Alexa Little, who lives in a township in Pennsylvania, US. As told in “Shaler teen’s love of languages began with hieroglyphics,” Little became interested in ancient languages as a young child. In high school, she won a scholarship by developing an efficient method for typing Queche (probably Quechua (que)).
When Shaler read about the World Oral Literature Project to document endangered languages, she contacted the director who suggested she raise money to raise awareness. Earning more than USD 200, she then went on to organize a symposium that included linguistic experts from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Cambridge. Students from other high schools attended the event as well.
Shaler plans to become a linguist. It seems she has a bright future in front of her!
Among other objectives, the Andes and Amazon Field School teaches Kichwa and trains students to work with indigenous communities. According to their website, their program qualifies as a use of FLAS Fellowships. See their Fellowship webpage for more details (the deadline is March 1) and a link to the FLAS Fellowship application form.
FLAS stands for Foreign Language and Area Studies and is a US program. FLAS Fellowships are granted to graduate students in the US who are US citizens or permanent residents.
The language Kichwa taught at the Field School appears to be named Tena Lowland Quichua by the Ethnologue, with the ISO code quw. According to Wikipedia, the Amazonian Kichwas are one of a number of ethnic groups living in South America who speak a Quechua language.
A number of recordings in Quichua/Quechua can be found at the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America.
The ELF newsletter is out and looks sharp. No fewer than 11 grants were made in 2006, benefitting projects for 12 languages and language groups: Arapaso (arj), Ghulfan (ghl), Kalabari (ijn), Karinya/Carib (car), Karapana (link to lineage), Kundal Shahi language (link to lineage), the signed Meemul Tziij complex (no Ethnologue entry), Pasi (listed as adi), Quichua/Ecuadorian (qvo), Southern Tiwa (tix), Tutudin (perhaps equivalent to tuu Tututni), Yakima Sahaptin (yak).
These languages represent a wide range of human culture over four continents. Projects include a children’s dictionary, dialect clarification, a language camp, and historical clarification of possibly the oldest documentable sign languages in the world.
Among the news is that ELF newsletter editor Nick Emlen is running a marathon to benefit the ELF, tomorrow, in Portland.
Get involved! In addition to joining the ELF, attend a lecture by Noam Chomsky on November 15, 2006, regarding language diversification to benefit the ELF. In addition to the lecture, there will be a separate reception.
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.