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.