Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

Native Language Revitalization Directory updated

7 May 2013

The Indigenous Languages Institute maintains a directory of native language organizations primarily in the United States. Juniors at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts are required to complete a social project, and the ILI is one of the institutions that students work with for their project.

This year, three students helped update the Native Language Revitalization Directory, a wiki project providing information on language programs, funding sources and other organizations.

Read more about the students and the project in “Students enhance language directory for Indigenous Languages Institute.”

Launch of the RUIL in Australia

3 May 2013

The University of Melbourne has recently established the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL), the first of its kind in Australia.

The focus of the RUIL is to understand the nature of indigenous languages in Australia and to address indigenous needs and language issues. They are incorporating a sociolinguistic approach.

Last December, they blogged about the “Our Land Our Language” report, which was tabled (proposed) to the national parliament last September with a recommendation of bilingual education. See “Academics urge government to heed Indigenous language report.”

As part of the RUIL’s launch, they have scheduled a talk by Bruce Pascoe on 16 May.

For the process involved in creating the “Our Land Our Language” report, see also “Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre testifying for palawa kani” and “AU government hears how children light up when learning Yawuru” on this blog.

Endangered Languages Week 2013 – ELP

30 April 2013

The Endangered Languages Project is gearing up for Endangered Languages Week from 20 to 28 May in London.

The full program has yet to be released, but see some of the highlights at Celebrating our Sounds, Signs and Songs, including a debate on language endangerment by high school students.

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)

Soillse researcher seeks Gaelic speakers

26 April 2013

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (wiki) is a university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees using Scottish Gaelic (gla) as the language of instruction. Located on the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was founded in 1971 and hosts Soillse, a research network for the maintenance and revitalization of Gaelic.

As a Soillse researcher, Cassie Smith-Christmas is tracing the path of the language as it developed during the 1940s and 50s, when migration occurred due to evacuation and boarding-out. She is seeking people who can speak with her about the language aspects of that period. To find out more about her project and for her contact information, see “Global Gaelic explored through evacuee experiences.”

Interview with Alexa Little

25 April 2013

Last November, Valerie Richardson of radio station WPKN interviewed Alexa Little, an undergraduate at Yale University who has been intensely interested in endangered languages for years. She is currently an undergraduate at Yale University where she works with Mark Turin, director of the World Oral Literature Project.

Read more about Alexa Little on this blog in the article “Two Tales of Endangered Language Passion.”

Video by Dana Corn

24 April 2013

Dana Corn makes the case for revitalizing languages in the video “Endangered Language Project” and includes mention of the Endangered Languages Project.