Language Loss

AN News: “At the Crossroads of Linguistics and Anthropology: Disciplinary perspectives on language documentation” by Lise Dobrin (University of Virginia) and Niko Besnier (University of Amsterdam)

Anthropology News Article by Lise Dobrin and Niko Besnier For a long time in anthropology, the documentation of languages on the brink of disappearing was negatively tainted as salvage: quaint in its Boasian particularism, inappropriately objectifying speakers as passive vehicles of an authoritatively rendered ‘tradition’, naïve in uncritically adopting the folk category of ‘language’ as […]

Executive order on Native American Language Revitalization

The Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation is carrying out a letter-writing campaign to urge President Obama to sign an executive order. According to the LSA-CELP, “U.S. government agencies would be directed to ensure that their policies, procedures, and functions support community-based language revitalization. It would compel governmental agencies to follow through on the promises of the Native American Languages Act and the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act.”

Call for papers, AAA 2011: Language Contact

Forty Years After: Tidemarks, Legacies and Futures of Research on Language Contact This year marks forty years since the publication of Pidginization and Creolization of Languages. Edited by Dell Hymes, the volume has been foundational for research on language contact and creolization. Furthermore, in foreshadowing our intellectual engagements with the shifting realities of today, many […]

Romansh

Discussion of the revitalization of and resistance to Romansh, the fourth official Swiss language related to Latin used during Roman times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/world/europe/29swiss.html?_r=2&hp

Traces of a Lost Language Discovered

Sometime in the early 17th century in Northern Peru, a Spaniard jotted down some notes on the back of a letter. Four hundred years later, archaeologists dug up and studied the paper, revealing the first traces of a lost language.

“It’s a little piece of paper with a big story to tell,” says Dr. Jeffrey Quilter, who has conducted investigations in Peru for more than three decades, and is director of the archaeological project at Magdalena de Cao Viejo in the El Brujo Archaeological Complex, where the paper was excavated in 2008. Quilter explains this simple list offers “a glimpse of the peoples of ancient and early colonial Peru who spoke a language lost to us until this discovery.”

Linguistic Anthropology Roundup #10

Rounding Up the Web It seems to be common practice among bloggers, at least among academic ones, to summarize interesting items from recent online texts. For instance, our colleagues over at Neuroanthropology have their longstanding “Wednesday Round Up” feature. And those at Savage Minds have “Around the Web.” In some ways, these SLA roundups are […]