Language revitalization

Teach tribal college subject matter classes in the language.

Language revitalization

What's new on our site today! Native Languages of the Americas: Endangered Language Revitalization and Revival Many American Indian languages are undergoing something called "revival" or "revitalization. Sponsored Links To understand the Language revitalization "revival" and "revitalization," first you have to understand the current state of these languages.

Linguists have a variety of grim-sounding terms for languages with few or no native speakers. A language which has no native speakers people who grew up speaking the language as a child is called "dead" or "extinct.

Most of the others are in Central and South America; in North America only Navajo usage is increasing, and even the relatively "healthy" languages like Cherokee--spoken by 22, people--are threatened by low percentages of children learning the languages. It is true that in the natural course of things, languages, like everything else, sometimes die.

People choose, for a variety of valid social reasons, not to teach their children their own mother tongue. In the case of American Indian languages, however, the language drop-off has been artificially induced and precipitous, and just as with the human-caused endangered species crisis, it is worth doing something about it.

Amerindian languages were deliberately destroyed, particularly in North America. In the earlier days of European contact, Indians were separated from their linguistic kin and resettled hundreds of miles away with individuals from other Language revitalization who couldn't understand each other.

Historically, this is the single most effective way to eliminate minority languages for obvious reasons. Even as recently as the 50's, Indian children were being forcibly removed from non-English-speaking households and sent to boarding schools to be "socialized.

Other languages, with smaller userbases and no literary tradition like Cherokee's to buoy them, have died entirely. This was not a natural death. Existing linguistic communities do not normally lose their languages after losing a war, even after being conquered and colonized, the way immigrant groups do.

The usual pattern is bilingualism, which may be stably maintained indefinitely most West Africans have been raised bilingually ever since colonization there; so have many South American natives, where the linguistically destructive policies used by the US and Canada were never implemented.

Now that the Amerindian languages of North America are in the precarious situation they are, though, simply leaving them alone will not cause their extinction trends to end. Once the majority of the young people in a community don't understand a language anymore, its usage declines rapidly.

This is where language revival and language revitalization come in. Language revival is the resurrection of a "dead" language, one with no existing native speakers.

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Language revitalization is the rescue of a "dying" language. There has only been one successful instance to date of a complete language revival, creating a new generation of native speakers without even one living native speaker to help.

That instance was the reincarnation of Hebrew in modern Israel, and there were many extenuating circumstances associated with it. However, there have been successful partial revivals--where a no-longer-spoken language has been revived as a second language sufficiently for religious, cultural, and literary purposes.

There have also been successful language revitalizations, where languages in decline have recovered. It may sound silly and New Agey to say that the prestige of a language and the self-esteem of its speakers plays a pivotal role in revitalization, but it has been proven again and again.

Navajo, for instance, was in steep decline until the 40's, when the language, once deemed worthless, was used by the Navajo Code Talkers to stymie the Germans and Japanese in World War II. With Navajo's validity as a real, complex, and useful language suddenly nationally acknowledged, its usage shot up, and today this language, once on the brink of extinction, is in good health.

Language revitalization

By inspiring the younger generations to take an interest and pride in their ancestral languages, and by providing the means for them to learn it something we hope this website can help contribute towards, it is possible to reverse downward linguistic trends.

The true revival of a "dead" language is something I am more reluctant to raise hopes about, but to revive such a language enough for children to have access to traditional literature, to use it for cultural and religious purposes, even to speak it as a second language in limited fashion?English Language Learners Definition of revitalize: to make (someone or something) active, healthy, or energetic again See the full definition for revitalize in the English Language Learners Dictionary.

Feb 06,  · Language Revitalization Can we revive any of the Anatolian languages, or possibly even Sumerian? Thomas Wier, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Free University of Tbilisi.

Revitalization programs often need to confront these attitudes and the concomitant false beliefs that are often found with them, such as the belief that the endangered language is not a language, does not have a grammar, or is simply not as good as the language of the national government.

Language Revitalization - Linguistics - Oxford Bibliographies

View Language revitalization Research Papers on for free. Language Revitalization The Lenape Language Preservation Project Project History: In we received a Planning Grant from the ANA (Administration for Native Americans).

Language Revitalization: An Overview 5 linguistic diversity. It is one of the charges of linguistics to understand the range of possibilities within human language.

Language revitalization - Wikipedia