Archive for the ‘Papua New Guinea (PNG)’ Category

Languages with only one speaker

28 April 2013

According to “World’s 18 most endangered spoken languages,” there were 18 languages listed in the UNESCO Atlas of Endangered Languages with only one speaker in April 2010. (Thanks to LoL for the link to this article.)

According to the Atlas, there are now 19, but in many cases, the Ethnologue has different information. The languages listed in the Atlas with only one speaker are (by continent):

Africa

1. Bikya (byb) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

2. Bishuo (bwh) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

Asia

3. Pazeh (uun) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

North America

4. Patwin (pwi)

5. Tolowa (tol)

6. Wintu-Nomlaki, or Wintu (wnw) – the Ethnologue says there are no known native speakers

Oceanian, including Indonesia

7. Dampelas (dms)

8. Lae, or Aribwatsa (laz) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

9. Laua (luf) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

10. Volow (mlv) – the Ethnologue lists this and Dagmel as dialects, each with one speaker

11. Yarawi, or Suena (sue) – the Ethnologue says there are 3,600 speakers

South America (other than Brazil)

12. Chaná – it appears to not be listed in the Ethnologue (gqn appears to be different); (qs1 – Linguist List code)

13. Pémono, or Mapoyo-Yabarana (pev)

14. Taushiro (trr)

15. Tinigua (tit) – the Ethnologue says there are two speakers

16. Yaghan, or Yagán (yag)

Brazil

17. Apiaká (api)

18. Diahói, or Parintintín (pah)

19. Kaixána, or Kawishana – it appears to not be listed in the Ethnologue; (qsw – Linguist List code)

App for collecting oral literature

24 April 2013

If you have enough of a source language and accompanying translation, you can piece back together vital parts of a language if a time comes when it is no longer spoken. Collecting that data can be hard work, however.

To address the difficulties of collecting oral language, Language Preservation 2.0 (lp20) has created Aikuma, a free app for Android smartphones that linguists and community members themselves can use to record language with a function to stop along the way and provide a translation.

Read more about the app, and about Tembé/Tenetehára (tqb) and Usarufa (usa), in the article “Recording the world’s vanishing voices.”

Snippets – Kawe, PNG languages disappearing, Inupiaq revitalization meetings

28 January 2011

A short article on the Huffington Post “Kep Wayag, Raja Ampat Indonesia” by James Morgan tantalizingly mentions Morgan and company documenting folk tales in the language Kawe (kgb). According to the article, Pak Lucas Ayello is the elder of Saweo Village who they were recording.

According to some sources, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum sent a team from the US to Papua New Guinea (PNG) from January 13-22. The team found that PNG languages are disappearing quickly. See “PNG language diminishing” on the Pacific Islands News Association. PNG is well known as a rich area for language diversity. The Ethnologue lists 841 languages on PNG, with 830 having speakers.

According to the Arctic Sounder, the Inupiaq Language Strategic Planning group currently has a series of meetings scheduled in Kotzebue, AK, to discuss Inupiaq (ipk) revitalization. According to the Ethnologue, Inupiaq is a term covering two varieties, North Alaskan Inupiatun (esi) and Northwest Alaska Inupiatun (esk). The meetings are open to the public.

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

Revitalization

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

Archiving

  • 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.