2001 Language Legacies Projects
Justin T. Neely Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Potawatomi Language Preservation and Apprenticeship Program
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is centered at a reservation in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Neely will apprentice himself to two elders fluent in the language. These master-apprentice programs have been among the most successful for continuing a language tradition when the youngest generation has not learned the language from childhood. Eventually, his efforts will be recorded and used as a basis for language instruction material. It is hoped that this work will strengthen the bonds that exists between the six bands of Potawatomi and lead to further collaboration on language preservation.
Mary D. Stewart St?:lo Nation
Preservation and Revitalization of the Upriver Halq?em?ylem Dialect Language within the Family Entity
Upriver Halq’eméylem (Halkomelem) is a Salishan language of the Central Coast branch. Only five elders still fluently speak the language. The present project will bring together words and phrases into interactive language resources that will be designed to bring young children (birth to age 6) into contact with the language through the entirety of the family unit. Materials will be collected in five subject areas: clothing (with seasonal variants), dinner table, daily events, labeled areas of the classroom, and greetings. Audio tapes will be created for each theme, and there will be instruction booklets geared toward children and parents.
Angela M. Nonaka UCLA
Saving Signs from Bhan Khor: Documentation and Preservation of an Indigenous Sign Language in Thailand
Although the typical language is spoken, sign languages make use of the same language ability and share many of the same complexities. The social circumstances that allow a sign language to flourish are relatively rare, and sign languages have likely come and gone with regularity in human history. The similarities and differences between spoken and signed languages, and the progress of their endangerment, are relatively unexplored in linguistic science. The present proposal will study the Ban Khor Sign Language, which is used by about 1,000 people in remote areas of northeastern Thailand. It was developed from Thai Sign Language about 60-80 years ago. A basic grammar and lexicon (recorded in video format) will make further assessment of the language and its endangerment possible.
Mildred Quaempts Claremont and San Diego State
Umatilla Immersion Camp
Umatilla is one of the three languages spoken by the confederated tribes (Cayuse and Walla Walla are the others), and they are spoken fluently by fewer than 60 people. Quaempts is one of the fluent second-language learners of Umatilla, and she will conduct an immersion program for sixteen tribal members of various ages. Several elders will be available for a five-day, intensive language experience. Much of the interaction will be recorded, and some of that will be used to help create new language teaching materials. This first immersion program will help give guidance to future versions.
Paula L. Meyer University of Victoria
Baha California Tiipay Comparative Dictionary
Baja California Tiipay is a Yuman language closely related to U. S. versions of Tiipay (also called Diegue–o) but still considered by its speakers to be a separate language. There has so far been no extensive description or dictionary work. Only a handful of elderly people still speak the language, as the parents have been convinced that knowing the language is detrimental to success in modern society. The present project will therefore focus on a dictionary, to retain the last vestiges of a language that is bound for extinction. When possible, two consultants will be used at once, which often allows for a better flow of information about different words. While the language is not being revived at present, a successful dictionary will be an invaluable resource if the descendants ever decide to try to revive the language.
Marina Dmitrievna Lublinskaya St. Petersburg University
Collection of Audio Material in the Nganasan Language
Nganasan (along with Nenets and Enets) belongs to the Northern Samoyedic group of Uralic languages. Although the size of the speaking population seems never to have exceeded about 1,500, at present only about 50% of the population (and 15% of the children) speak the language, indicating that the language is on the decline. There are at present no audio recordings, and time is running short to record the truly fluent speakers. Lublinskaya will record words, phrases, texts and folklore for transfer to CDs which can be distributed to the community. Although there are written materials in the language, the culture is still largely oral, so this method of presenting the material will be the most appropriate. The 4,000 word dictionary already created will be supplemented with pronunciations, increasing its usefulness greatly.
Kristine Stenzel University of Colorado
The Wanano Project
The speakers of Wanano hope that the bilingual education that is guaranteed by the 1988 Brazilian constitution will someday become a reality. To help make that possible, Stenzel will help produce written material for this Tucano language. She will also record conversational data to help understand the complex situation of life with many languages that is so typical of Brazil. These languages have many unusual linguistic features, such as the simultaneous interaction of two noun categorization systems, the coding of up to five evidential categories (see Waltz, Nathan, and Carolyn Waltz, El agua, la roca y el humo : estudios sobre la cultura wanana del Vaupes. Santafe de Bogota, D.C., Colombia : Instituto Linguistico de Verano, 1997), and a possibly unique tonal system.
Kenny Holbrook Capitola, CA
Instruction in Northeastern Maidu
Only a few speakers of Maidu survive, and one of the best hopes of continuing the language is for young language learners to apprentice themselves to those speakers in order to gain a sufficient degree of fluency that they can keep it going. The main teacher in this case will be somewhat unusual, in that he is not a native speaker. But William Shipley, emeritus from UC Santa Cruz, learned Maidu from HolbrookÕs grandmother over fifty years ago. He has done substantial work on it since, and is now poised to pass on that knowledge to a descendant who was not able to learn the language as a child. All of this will make the substantial corpus of written material more useful and accessible for future generations.
Zarifa Nazarova Tajik Academy of Sciences
The Vocabulary of the Traditional Culture of the Ishkashim Language
The layer of language that deals with the spiritual life of a people is of interest to linguists, ethnologists, art historians and members of the heritage community. The present project will collect as many lexical entries in the cultural domain as possible. Tracing the influence of the various languages of contact (other Pamirian languages and various Tajik languages) will be explored even as the cultural significance is recorded as extensively as possible. The cultural heritageÑand the paths of cultural evolutionÐwill be available permanently thanks to this effort.
Joyce Twins Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma
Cheyenne Pedagogical Materials
Cheyenne is an Algonquian language spoken in western Oklahoma and Montana. At this time, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have undertaken an ambitious language program that uses telecoursing to put the Cheyenne language into four area high schools in western Oklahoma. However, there is a severe lack of teaching materials at all levels. A single teacher is charged with the responsibility of developing all material for the current courses. The present project will help alleviate this problem, especially in the use of sound recordings of fluent speakers to give life to the written materials that predominate now. Marcia Haag (U. of Oklahoma) and Laura Gibbs (Talking Leaves consortium) will lend their expertise to this project as well. Creating this material while there are still native speakers with us is of the utmost importance. While many tribes are recreating their languages from historical records, those still blessed with native speakers can create a much more usable curriculum with modern technology, which lets us preserve the sounds of language in addition to writing it down.