Ke Kula Mauli Ola Hawaiʻi ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, or Living Hawaiian Life-Force School, is located in Keaʻau, Hawaiʻi. Elise McClay and Carol Little had the opportunity to tour this school on March 4th. The school is like any other school you would find in the United States, except that all courses are taught in the Hawaiian language. Oh, and not to forget that in the school playground are pineapple gardens and pigpens. This school teaches their students all subjects from Math to Social Studies to History to Japanese using the Hawaiian language. English, which is introduced in the 6th grade, is taught in English, however.
The school opened its doors in the 1980s. At this time, there were only a handful of speakers of the Hawaiian language and only about 45 under the age of 18. The Hawaiian language was falling into near extinction. Dedicated and devoted teachers promoted the usage of the Hawaiian language at this school. Now, there are around 300 students who matriculate there, many students having attended since kindergarten or pre-school. Throughout the hallways, students of all ages can be heard chattering in Hawaiian. The classrooms are full of posters and pictures with Hawaiian text. Some students of Nawahi now use Hawaiian at home as their primary language, after having learned it at school. Many students say they will raise their children in this language and hope that their children can also attend a Hawaiian language immersion school.
It was truly an enlightening and empowering experience to see such a successful language revitalization program. This does not happen over night, though. Many of the teachers have been there from the beginning and can attest to the many hardships they encountered and overcome which ultimately led to its success.
School Grounds at Nawahi Hawaiian language immersion school where students learn to tend to plants, many times using Hawaiian practices.
Students not only learn subjects like math and history but also how to take care of pigs and plants.
Pineapple plants growing on the school grounds at the Nawahi school.
This list quickly sums up a few of the presentations I really enjoyed at ICLDC, in no particular order. The days were very packed, so sadly I only got to see a fraction of the interesting talks that were happening from 9-5:30 every day (in 6 different conference rooms!), but hopefully this gives you a quick idea of the types of great conversations and work that is being done by linguists, language revitalizationists, and language conservationists around the world.
- What does it meme? Lexicography for a new generation of language learners (Patricia Anderson, Tulane University)
- The Tunica Rebirth Project makes vocabulary-building pretty darn funny!
- Based off the model of image+text memes like Philosoraptor, it uses simple meme generators to pair pictures and words in a format that most internet-fluent youths will easily recognize
- The Algonquian Online Interactive Linguistic Atlas (Marie-Odile Junker, Nicole Rosen, Hélène St-Onge, Arok Wolvengrey, Mimie Neacappo)
- This website maps a lot of different dialects of various Algonquian languages, putting equivalent sentences (for instance, translations of “This is my mother.”) side-by-side on the map. You can choose to use the website in English, French, or without colonial languages altogether.
- All their technology (using Python and MySQL) is open-source and non-proprietary, so this model could easily be adjusted to show language variation in other language families as well.
- The documentary linguist as facilitator: The view from Trung (Dulong) (Ross Perlin, University of Bern)
- As linguists we have to find ways of situating our own roles in communities studying languages that we may not speak.
- One potential model we can draw from is the literature on being a facilitator, placing “a focus on process and group dynamics, impartiality or neutrality, the evoking of participation, trust and consensus-building, and resource aggregation.”
- Sharing worlds of knowledge: Research protocols for communities (Andria Wilhelm, Universities of Victoria and of Alberta; Connie Cheecham, Northern Lights School District)
- Copyright law and other legal measures are generally insufficient when it comes to protecting Indigenous communities, specifically with respect to intangible property like linguistic expertise.
- It is important for researchers to collaboratively form concrete research protocols with their community/the community they are working with!
- These protocols may address guidelines for principles of respect, ownership & profit, informed consent, access, fixation, and any other facets are relevant to your work.
- Developing a regional Master-Apprentice training network in Australia (Gwendolyn Hyslop, Australian National University)
- Last year, Leanne Hinton and others led workshops for representatives from 31 Indigenous language communities in order to instruct them in the best strategies for engaging in the Master-Apprentice Program.
- They practiced (among other techniques) non-verbal communication, going through wordless books in the language, listening and repetition, immersion sets, talking about modern items/new vocabulary, games for counting, and puppet play.
- The goal of these sessions was to “train the trainer” and form a network of MAP groups throughout Australia–it was more popular than anticipated, and they had to run 3 workshops instead of the planned 1!
- People generally found that language pods, where 3-6 people engage in immersion together, felt more comfortable and natural than the usual MAP pair system of a single speaker and a single learner.
- We should try these out, too! And it would be great to get Leanne Hinton out for a workshop, no?
- Developing consistency by consensus: Avoiding fiat in language revitalization (Lance Twitchell, University of Alaska Southeast; James Crippen, University of British Columbia)
- The Tlingit language has a lot of sounds, to put it lightly. Developing an orthography was a bit of a problem, and for a while there were two separate writing systems. Over time, speakers merged the best features of each into what is known as the ‘email’ orthography to some people, a process that happened gradually, by internal consensus rather than external decree.
- This presentation said that standards should be violable; mistakes should be okay, since a language is owned by everybody who uses it; it is helpful to standardize aspects of the language until wide usage, not after.
We were well-represented at the 44th Algonquian Conference in Chicago this weekend, with a group talk by Carol, Sarah, Mary-Beth and Elise about the summer Mi’gmaq language course, in addition to individual linguistics talks by Mike, Elise, Gretchen, Erin, and Conor. For more details on the individual talks, check out the Research page, which already has abstracts but will hopefully have handouts soon.
It was a great trip and we met a lot of people. Here are some pictures!
The call has been posted for the 44th Algonquian Conference, which will be held at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center, in downtown Chicago, October 25-28, 2012.
This conference is an international meeting for researchers to present papers on Algonquian peoples. Fields of interest include anthropology, archaeology, art, education, ethnography, ethnobotany, folklore, geography, history, language education, linguistics, literature, music, native studies, political science, psychology, religion and sociology.
CALL FOR PAPERS
We invite proposals in English, French, or any Algonquian language for papers in all areas of Algonquian research. Graduate students are encouraged to apply. Presentations will be 20 minutes long followed by a 10-minute question period. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length, excluding title and references.
The deadline for abstract submission is September 1st. Details for how to submit are here. Please note that this is not a linguistics-specific conference. We could, for example, think about putting together a collaborative CAN-8 related abstract. Something to keep in mind this summer!
I’ve been learning a lot here in Oklahoma at the Oklahoma Workshop on Native American Languages (OWNAL) this weekend that I think could be really relevant for our projects. I’ve been exchanging contact information with a lot of people so hopefully we may be able to share ideas with some of them. I’m planning on writing a series of blog posts over the next week or so describing some of the specific ideas, and I’m especially hoping to get digital copies of some of the handouts or presentations that I can share with everyone. So stay tuned for this!
In the meantime, the program of events for the weekend can be found as part of the 40th Symposium on the American Indian program (scroll down to the bottom for the OWNAL-specific portion). If you’re interested in how I tried to present what I’ve been doing on indefinites for a broad-ish audience, here is also my Mi’gmaq Indefinites handout for OWNAL.
This weekend, April 14th-15th, a few of our members will be going down to Boston to present their research at the 10th Annual Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium. Yuliya will be presenting her research on obviation and number marking in Mi’gmaq . I will also be presenting on a topic, though unrelated to Mi’gmaq (Affrication across word boundaries in Canadian and American English, co-written with another fellow McGillian undergraduate, Thea Knowles). We are looking forward to meeting with another one of our group members who is at Harvard, Dave!
This weekend, I (Gretchen) am going to be presenting about Mi’gmaq indefinites at OWNAL, the Oklahoma Workshop on Native American Languages at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. More information about the workshop can be found here. If I can figure out how to post attachments, I’ll try to post a copy of my handout later, but in any case, my next project will be reformatting the information in it for the wiki.
This week the McGill linguistics department is very pleased to host two visitors: Mary Ann Metallic (Listuguj Education Directorate) and Conor Quinn (University of Southern Maine). In addition to smaller meetings and group meetings, we will have a couple of special events, below, and a colloquium at the end of the week by current McGill Post-doc, Tanya Slavin. More information will be available Monday on this week’s McLing digest.
3:00–4:00, room 117: Ling-Tea presentation – Conor Quinn “Applicative and antipassive: Algonquian transitive “stem-agreement” as differential object marking”
10:00–11:30, room 117: Algonquian Reading Group – Conor Quinn “Deriving pronominal feature structures through asymmetrical dependencies: obviation, inverse, and antihierarchy effects in Algonquian languages”
4:00–7:30, room 002: Algonquian Mini Workshop – presentations by Michael Hamilton, Bethany Lochbihler, Jenny Loughrain, Elise McClay, Yuliya Manyakina, and Gretchen McCulloch
3:00–5:00, Leacock 14: Colloquium – Tanya Slavin “Deriving Object Experiencer verbs in Ojicree”
In addition to Yuliya’s post on Cornell’s Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in America Conference (SULA), the CUNY Graduate Center and the International Centre for Language Revitalisation of the Auckland University of Technology is hosting its Language Revitalization in the 21st Century Conference May 31st-June 1st in New York, NY.