Foundation for Endangered Languages

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OGMIOS Newsletter # 11 : Spring - 15 May 1999
Editor: Nicholas D. M. Ostler

Published by:
Foundation for Endangered Languages,
Batheaston Villa, 172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath BA1 7AA, England
e-mail: nostler(at)
Phone: +44/(0) -1225-852865 Fax: +44/(0) -1225-859258

This issue celebrates and salutes the mutual help that small language communites can and do give one another. On our front page we have a selection from DÚCHAS - Táá Kóó Diné: Rex Lee Jim’s trilingual poetry collection in Navajo, Irish and English (the Irish provided by Diarmuid Ó Breasláin), published in the last year.

1. Editorial: DÚCHAS - Táá Kóó Diné: a trilingual poetry collection in Navajo, Irish and English 5

2. Development of the Foundation 5
FEL Executive Committee Meeting, 27 March 1999 2, Wanbourne Lane, Nettlebed, Berkshire 5

3. Language Endangerment in the News 7
Ironies of Politics: Clinton Says Kosovars Can’t Speak Their Language; Kurds in Turkey Can't Either! 7
Charte des langues régionales: la France signe avec précaution 7
Mân Siarad? BT Pagers will not Aceept Welsh Messages 8

4. Appeals and News from Endangered Communities 8
Campaign for Extension of BBC’s Gaelic broadcasts in Scotland 8
Appeal by Endangered Language Fund 8
Murder Of 3 Activists In Colombia - Unhappy Way To Note New Hemispheric Indigenous Movement 9
International Public Hearing on the People's Communication Charter, May 1-3, 1999 10
UN Mapuche leader, detained in Santiago, Chile 10

5. Fieldwork Reports 11
Field Trip to Record the Status of some little-known Nigerian Languages. Roger Blench 11
Recent Fieldwork in Ghana: Report on Dompo and a note on Mpre Roger Blench 14

6. Allied Societies and Activities 15
UNESCO Grants Available for the Biennium 2000-2001 15
World Languages Report Forthcoming 15
“Administration for Native Americans” grant program 16

7. Overheard on the Web 16
How Many Written Languages in the World? 16
Graecanic Minority in Italy 18
Scots Gaelic on TV: Na h-Eilthirich 18
Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights: Identity vs Intelligibility, Communities vs Individuals (IATEFL Newsletter, December 1998). 19
Tulsa Committee for the U. N. Decade of Indigenous Peoples: Awards to Elders for Language Transmission - Richard A. Grounds, University of Tulsa 19
History of the Welsh Language Society 20

8. Places to Go, on the Web and in the World 21
New Sardinian Mailing List 21
Working Group on the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples 21
CIRAN’s Indigenous Knowledge Pages 21
Scots Gaelic Campaigning Website 22
Haitian Creole site 22
Lista Ling-Amerindia 22
An Tour Tan - Breton Diaspora Website 23
Cherokee Language 23
EXTINCT: South African Khoisan Languages, researched by Anthony Traill 23
Celteag Nueadh - a New Endeavour 23

9. Forthcoming Meetings 24
Indian Village Europe - 1999 24
Minority Languages And Regional Economic Activity (18 - 20 June 1999) 24
Minority Identities Today (19 - 21 June 1999) 24
Developing Classroom Materials for Less Commonly Taught Languages: June 21-25, 1999 24
1999 Linguistic Institute: Language and Consciousness (June 25-27) 25
1999 Linguistic Institute: Endangered Languages workshop (July 17-18) 25
The Kaqchikel Mayan Intensive Summer course (June 14-July 23) 26
The Second Northwest Indigenous Language Institute, Univ. Oregon, Eugene, June 21-July 9, 1999 26
Indigenous Literature of the Americas (Guatemala City, July 27-30) 27
Linguistic Futures: Lang. Movements In Comparative Perspective. AAA, Chicago, 17-21 Nov. 1999. 27
International Conference On 'Cognitive Typology' (April 12-14, 2000) University Antwerp, Belgium 27

10. Publications of Interest 28
Wurm, S.A. (ed.) 1996. Atlas of the world’s languages in danger of disappearing.
Canberra/Paris: Pacific Linguistics/UNESCO. A Partial Review by Roger Blench 28
Bosavi-English-Tok Pisin Dictionary (Papua New Guinea) 28
Authenticity and Identity: Lessons from Indigenous Language Education, ed. R. Henze and K. Davis. 29
“Revitalizing Indigenous Languages”, Proceedings of SILC Symposium, May 1998 29
Reversing Language Shift in Indigenous America 30
Manifesto 31



Droichead Déanta de Thuar Ceatha Táimid inár suí i bpluais bheag Is tá uisce beatha dár mbeathú. Dhreap muid aníos anseo ar chosán cúng. Ansin os ár gcomhair ritheann abhainn Trí thollán de shaileacha dearga. Síneann drochead lúdrach thar an abhainn. Tá talamh an fhir bháin ar an taobh seo, Tá talamh an Navajo ar an taobh eile. Ba mhaith linn dul ar ais chuig an taobh eile Má bheirimid lámha le chéile le gréim láidir. Mura mbeirimid, rachaimid faoin abhainn. Ar an taobh eile, i dtír na Navajo, Cluinin drumáil croí fhathach. dhídheá



The Bridge Made of Rainbow We’re sitting in this small cave And fire water is firing us up. We climbed up here by way of a narrow trail. There in front of us a river runs Through a tunnel of red willow. A swinging bridge stretches across the river. Whiteman land is on this side, Navajo land is on the other side. We want to get back to the other side. We might make it back to the other side If we hold hands together and hold on tightly. If not then we will go beneath the river. On the other side in Navajo country, I hear drumming of the giants heart. yiiiya