Every Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30, Algonquian Reading Group meets in room 117 in the McGill Linguistics Building located on 1085 Dr. Penfield. Those interested meet to discuss papers on Algonquian linguistics.
This Thursday January 31, Alan Bale will be presenting Murray’s 2012 paper on Quantificational and Illocutionary Variability in Cheyenne.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the Algonquian Reading Group mailing list.
This October was the 44th Algonquian Conference at the University of Chicago. Many of our Mi’gmaq Research Partnership members presented.
- Mike Hamilton presented “(Non-)Configurationality in M’igmaq”
- Elise McClay presented “Possessive paradigms in Mi’gmaq: alienability as syntactic proximity”
- Gretchen McCulloch presented “Slots or scope? Preverb ordering in Mi’gmaq”
- Erin Olson presented “Describing the accent system of Mi’gmaq”
- Carol Little and Elise McClay presented along with Listuguj community members Mary-Beth Wysote and Sarah Vicaire “Student perspectives on Mi’gmaq language-learning through multi-modal teaching: A community-linguistics partnership“.
- Conor Quinn presented “Listuguj Mi’gmaq: Variation and distinctive dialectal features.”
Alan Bale and Jessica Coon presented “Classifiers are for numerals, not nouns: Evidence from Mi’gmaq and Chol.” at the 43rd Northeast Linguistics Society (NELS) in New York, NY where Alan also had a poster presentation of “Agreement without AGREE: Disjunction in Mi’gmaq.”
More recently Mike and Gretchen both presented at The 2012-3 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) in Boston, MA. Mike presented “Against Non-configurationality in Mi’gmaq” and Gretchen “Preverb Ordering in Mi’gmaq”
And stay tuned for Elise and Carol’s poster presentation of “Student perspectives on Mi’gmaq language-learning through multi-modal teaching: A community-linguistics partnership” at the University of Hawai’i’s at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation on February 28th.
In this Huffington Post article, 25-year-old Clyde Tallio of British Columbia leads the reclamation of the Nuxalk language. He has been teaching Nuxalk at the community’s school for five years. He believes there is an ever increasing interest especially among the youth to learn Nuxalk.
Similar efforts have been happening with Squamish, also in BC. Finding that traditional language classes in school were not creating speakers, Dustin Rivers began hosting Language Nights. During these Language Nights, participants have an opportunity to practice and learn Squamish in a “informal, collaborative environment”.
22-year-old Dustin says: “There’s a lot of benefit in reclaiming our culture and saying for ourselves that we have problems, but we’re going to solve them and our culture and traditional values are going to lead us in finding these solutions.”
The above is a TED talk about why listening is extremely important when one wants to help someone. This is a very important thing to keep in mind when trying to help out!
Some information on aboriginal studies:
University of Victoria in offers a certificate in aboriginal language revitalization. The program includes courses on field methods, language and land, linguistics, and indigenous language and culture. The program is comprised of six core courses and three elective courses. Core courses are offered in the spring and summer.
Despite a faulty announcement that an indigenous studies program had been approved at McGill, it is still in the works. However, there is hope that there will be a minor available to students wishing to take this program in the next year. This minor can hopefully be developed into a major. It would be an interdisciplinary program.
I am currently making some worksheets to supplement Mi’gmaq courses. So far I have done worksheets to practice basic phrases (e.g. Taluisin gi’l? Tami tett wigin?). I also would like some suggestions from those of you who have taken the course and those of you who are just starting out!
The New York Times has recently written an article about the revitalization project amoung the Siletz tribe in Oregon entitled Tribe revives language on verge of extinction. They are incorporating language programs in school, teaching Siletz as a foreign language, for members of the community to learn. There is also a Siletz talking dictionary! (like the Mi’gmaq one!!) Their dictionary has attracted attention from users from related language groups as well as users all around the world. It has become more and more popular for youngsters to learn because not only is it part of their Siletz identity, the language also “can sound pretty cool” with its many sounds not found in English. Bridging technology and tradition, the Siletz are creating successful language resources.
Sepei gigpesaqaq aq nige’ alugwig… Saponug na’gusetewitew!
Hello from rainy Listuguj! Good thing we have been learning about the weather because sepei ma’munloqap (it was pouring this morning!)
Students, both in the post secondary class and the high school graduate class, have been learning (and mastering!) many different grammatical and lexical elements of the Mi’gmaq language from inanimate intransitive verb paradigms to body parts!
Today was the first day of classes (however there was some confusion and turnout wasn’t optimal, but we will recruit more tonight!).
The first lesson starts out by the students learning how to introduce themselves and talk a bit about their families and where they come from. By learning all this, at the same time students are learning many grammatical elements without all the dreaded tables and parsing!! This is the beauty of this teaching method: the situational phrases also convey key grammatical elements (this is the grammar-phobe friendly method ). For example at the beginning of the class the students learn how to say where they live (e.g. Wigi Muliang ‘I live in Montreal’). The -g ending denotes location. Later on in the lesson this comes in handy when the students learn places and various nouns like jinm ‘man’, gisisgwisgw ‘elderly woman’, and patawti ‘table’, awti ‘road’ etc. Then the students can make sentences like jinm gaqamit patawtigtug ‘the man is standing by the table’. The locative ending surfaces again with patawti ‘table’ (although in a different form, but the introduction of the locative ending at the beginning of the lesson makes this concept easier to grasp once learning how to construct longer phrases). And thus the lessons go!
One of the goals for this summer is to document the curriculum for the Mi’gmaq lessons. By the end of the summer we will have generated a kind of curriculum from the lessons to act as a guide for future instructors of Mi’gmaq. Lessons will be divided up by content, so for example one class which meets for 1.5 hours could contain more than one lesson. For example today there were two lessons (Lesson 1: teluisi…’My name is…’ and Lesson 2: jinm gaqamit… ‘The man is standing…’). Lesson 1 comprises of introductions of oneself whereas Lesson 2 comprises of creating basic sentences (as exemplified above). An example of a lesson and a lesson template for this methodology will be posted soon!
All in all, so far so good! We are all looking forward to some spectacular classes and learning more and more Mi’gmaq!