Foundation for Endangered Languages
5. Allied Societies and Activities
New Gaelic Speakers call for Gaelic Park Policy
· that the park should adopt an official bilingual title: The Cairngorm National Park & Pàirce Nàiseanta a’ Mhonaidh Ruaidh.
CLI have also recommended the creation of a park Gaelic Officer to help implement this policy.
Said CLI director Peadar Morgan, who has close personal ties to parts of the proposed park [Badenoch, and Strathspey]: “Virtually all of the areas suggested for possible inclusion in the Park contained local native Gaelic speakers well into the 20th century. Gaelic is evident in place names throughout the whole Cairngorm area, demonstrating the local historical and heritage relevancy of the language. It should also be stressed that Gaelic is one of Scotland's national languages. For these reasons, it is vital that the Cairngorms National Park should have a Gaelic policy of the type we recommend.
“Gaelic medium education and Gaelic subject teaching both take place within the proposed National Park area. Highland Council has Gaelic Language and Gaelic Education policies, Perth & Kinross Council has an authority-wide Gaelic Community Learning Plan, and both Council's have a Gaelic Officer (in addition to teaching staff). It is to be hoped that the Cairngorm National Park will build on this progress for the good of the language within the Cairngorms area”.
email@example.com ; http://www.gaelic.net/cli
Humboldt University officially endorses retention of Chair of Celtic Studies.
The Celtic League has learned that a decision has been taken by University authorities at the Humboldt University, Berlin, which will secure the future of the Chair of Celtic Studies.
The League have campaigned for some years against proposals to discontinue the Chair and the campaign received a boost last year when the closure was put on hold. At the time although some at the university were actively campaigning for its retention and support from governments and politicians in the Celtic countries had emerged the university authorities were still ambivalent about the future of the Celtic Studies Department.
However, following a meeting this week we understand that a decision has now been taken at Presidential level within the University and a programme of financial assistance from the governments in the Celtic countries will now be formally sought. The Irish government have already pledged a considerable funding commitment and this is luckily to be matched by others. Prospects now look much brighter for the continuation of Celtic studies at Humboldt. Coincidentally the future of the Chair is being secured as the University celebrates a centenary of academic work on the languagesand culture of the Celtic peoples.
J B MoffattSecretary General
Threat to Scots Gaelic Education in Perth Lifted
Yesterday was budget day in Perth and Kinross. Gaelic medium education and, I understand, Gaelic peripatetic teaching, have been saved. Leader of the administration, Jimmy Doig, stated that the hundreds of letters received from Gaelic speakers, learners and supporters locally, nationally and internationally had been an important factor in leading to their desicion. Radio also suggested that the national profile given to the issue through national papers and the Scottish Parliament had been a key factor.
le deagh dhurachd,
Re. Perth GM School.
The Council did not even discuss cutting the Gaelic medium primary school they said because of the 100's of letters of support that they received from Scotland and abroad. I think the most distant support came from Breton Jakez in Vietnam.
Comann Ceilteach would like to send our most sincere thanks to everyone that wrote in and below I have included a message of thanks from the Perth parents.
However unanswered questions remain. Firstly the school should not have been up for a cut in the first place. In a Council questionnaire Gaelic medium education was listed alongside maintaining flower beds and cutting grass on roundabouts as options for cuts, giving some indication by certain individuals at the Council as to how much they value Gaelic.
Furthermore it underlines the need for legislation for Gaelic to give it official status ( or 'secure' status ) so that the Perth situation never happens again. In addition it illustrates that the 'Standards in Schools' legislation and 'National Priority' status given to Gaelic last year, is inadequate. If people would like to write further letters calling for secure status for Gaelic these can be addressed to Alasdair Morrisson and Peter Peacock in the Scottish Parliament and write to your MSP asking them to support the Russell/ Munro Gaelic Language Bill.
Moran taing / meur ras bras/ mersi bras/ diolch yn fawr iawn.
PS. The Highland Annual is on Saturday 17th (tomorrow) at Teviot S.U., Univ. of Edinburgh. Funds are used for numerous Gaelic projects.
As you may be aware by now, at yesterday's budget meeting Perth & Kinross Council removed the threat to cut funding to Gaelic education. In the first minutes of his budget speech, the leader of the administration referred to the strong support that Gaelic had received from across Scotland and beyond.
I would therefore like to thank you all for your help in recent weeks. Some of you copied me on your emails to the council and others were forwarded on to me. Parents here were very worried and your efforts in persuading the council to think again have been much appreciated.
Please pass this message of thanks to anyone else who helped - I know that I saw only a fraction of the letters, faxes and emails sent to the council.
David MacDonald, Comann nam Parant (Peairt), 1 Hillside, Perth PH2 7BA Scotland
Tel 01738 442231 Fax 01738 622467
Primeiro convite para o envio de artigos para publicação
LIAMES é uma nova revista de lingüística, a ser publicada pelo Departamento de Lingüística do Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem - UNICAMP. É especificamente dedicada às línguas indígenas da América do Sul. Sua criação visa atender a uma necessidade da área de Lingüística Indígena, que não dispõe de um veículo de publicação próprio, de amplo alcance, que permitisse a divulgação dos resultados obtidos por nossos pesquisadores no trabalho com as línguas indígenas sul-americanas e servisse como ponto de referência para o que se faz na área. A existência desse novo espaço, espera-se, contribuirá para congregar os estudiosos, para um maior fluxo de informações, para um melhor conhecimento de nossa realidade e para apoio mútuo e crescimento.
Data limite para a submissão de trabalhos:
Dra. Lucy Seki / Dr. Angel Corbera Mori
Linguistic Human Rights and Democracy in Communication
To Non-Governmental Organizations
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms ..., without distinction of any kind, such as ...language ..."
That means that people should not be discriminated against on account of their language. However, discrimination of this type is common practice all over the world and also at the UN.
When representative of different countries meet either at UN or outside, the strong impose their own language while the others have to adapt.
But who cares about that or about dying languages, not to mention the loss of cultural values and knowledge linked linked to the death of any language?
We care. We are UEA, Universal Esperanto Association, one of the NGOs which work with UN.
We think that the International Community, and in particular the UN, has the obligation to: a) Develop and promote equitable approaches to global communication based on Linguistic Human Rights and b) Establish global minimum standards of linguistic and cultural rights.
With this aim in mind, we are a in partner of an NGO Coalition for an International Auxliary Language (CIAL), whose main goal is to raise public awareness of, and support for, linguistic diversity, linguistic rights, and democratic communication among the peoples of the world.
And now we are inviting other associations to join us in creating a new world where Linguistic Human Rights and Democracy in Communication will be effectively practiced.
During the 1999 Seoul International NGO Conference held in October 1999, the Working Group for Language and Human Rights, recommended that "...UN/ECOSOC should place the subject of 'Language and Human Rights' on its agenda".
We now call on international NGOs to express their support for the recommendation made in Seoul. …
A meeting of all the NGOs of CIAL will be held in May next year in New York, during which we will visit the UN Secretary General to present our recommendation. …
The Foundation’s Campaign Co-ordinator, Alasdair MacCaluim is considering our response. If you are actively interested, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Endangered Language Fund's Projects, 2000
The Endangered Language Fund, a private non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered languages, is pleased to announce our grant awardees for the year 2000. Eleven projects were funded to provide help with languages across the globe, and with techniques ranging from traditional dictionary work to the videotaping of interactions of native speakers and their audiences.
The Endangered Language Fund is able to provide this support thanks to the generosity of its members. Please contact us about how you can help (http://www.ling.yale.edu/~elf).
We would also like to thank, in particular, the Kerr Foundation of Oklahoma for making it possible to provide additional support for work done in Oklahoma.
Alice J. Anderton--Ponca Culture in Our Own Words
Mark J. Awakuni-Swetland--ELF Omaha Language Curriculum Development Project In 1994, the Omaha Tribe stated that less than 1% of its total enrollment were identified as fluent speakers of Omaha, a Siouan language. It is reported that less than seventy elderly speakers of the language remain and that of these, only thirty use the language on a daily basis in the Macy area of Nebraska. There are several facilities that teach Omaha, namely the Macy Public school (recently renamed Omaha Nation Public School) and Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC). However, all suffer from the lack of a systematic curriculum and classroom materials. The present project is part of a larger collaborative effort to combat this problem. It will support the development of language and culture lesson plans, immersion situations, and language exercises, drawing upon existing materials from NICC and Omaha Nation. The materials will be examined for linguistic and cultural content, placed into a larger four semester framework, and edited for content and consistency. New lessons will be generated to link and augment existing lessons. Funds will be shared equally with the NICC and Omaha Nation, so as to bring direct benefit to the larger Omaha community at the K-12 and post-secondary levels.
Melissa Axelrod, Jule Gomez de Garcia, and Jordan Lachler- -Plains Apache Language Documentation
Frank Bechter and Stephen Hibbard--Apsaalooke Textual And Gestural Form: Videorecording Crow and Plains Sign Talk Narratives
Bechter and Hibbard will collect traditional and non-traditional narratives in Crow and PST, recorded in font of Crow-speaking audiences. Gestural forms (if not PST forms) will be seen in informal discourse as well. Crow consultants will aid in producing Crow transcriptions and English translations of narratives. The project will not only benefit researchers, but will aid in language preservation and revitalization projects. Copies will be available at the Crow Agency Bilingual Education Program, the Language Archives at the University of Chicago, and the Endangered Language Fund.
Barry F. Carlson and Suzanne Cook--Lacandon Text Collection
G. Tucker Childs and M Djibril Batchily--Fieldwork on Mmani (Atlantic, Niger-Congo), a dying language of coastal Guinea-Conakry
Terry Crowley--Moribund languages of northern Malakula
Linda A. Cumberland--A Grammar of Assiniboine
Theodore -- Isham Language Immersion Camps in Mvskoke (Creek)
Linda Jordan and Leslie. D. Hannah--Cherokee Storytelling Project
Eva Toulouze and Kaur Maegi--Recording and Analyzing Forest Nenets Language Materials The Forest Nenets are a semi-nomadic group of people inhabiting northern Russia. They have no written language and little linguistic description, and although clearly related to their more northern neighbors, the Tundra Nenets, their language differs enough to deny mutual understanding. The Forest Nenets are not recognized officially as a single ethnic group, and their territory has been occupied by the oil industry. As a result, the language and culture are seriously threatened. Only a few elders have a rich knowledge of both everyday language and traditional oral folklore. The middle- aged population uses Nenets at home, but little is passed on to the young. Since Forest Nenets is only marginally known in the academic community, Toulouze and Maegi plan to concentrate on collection of language materials and establishment of a scientifically based orthography. The latter will be used in the community in hopes of stimulating more interest in the language and culture. They will record folklore, as well as spontaneous daily conversation, in two regions of Russia: the Agan and Num-to regions.
Doug Whalen (email@example.com)
Whatever Happened to the Money Promised by UNESCO?
Reply to a query from the Linguistic Society of America, through their Committee for Endangered Languages and their Preservation (chair Megan Crowhurst).
[received before 22 Nov 2000]
Thank you very much for your letter date Sept. 12, 2000, to which I respond in agreement with Prof. Bingen, to whom I succeeded to the post of Secretary-General of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies in November 1998. …
Concerning the situation and the facts that you mention in your letter, I perfectly understand your concerns. Let me try to clarify the situation. The ICPHS program Endangered language consisted until 1996/97 of several activities and field researches funded (or otherwise supported) by ICPHS. In 1996/97 eleven projects were funded through this program. At that moment Mr. Federico Mayor, then Director-General of UNESCO, asked us to develop and expand this program, which was particularly fitting the main guidelines and actions of UNESCO. ICPHS was asked to mobilize its international research network, gathering applications and selecting the most urgent projects. UNESCO would fund most of the Program, both through its "Participation Program" and through direct involvement of the concerned Sectors.
A selection of 38 projects, among the over 200 application received, was retained for supporting by ICPHS. This selection, carried out essentially in consultation with professor Wurm, was inspired to two basic criteria: the grade of endangerment of the concerned language and the needs for immediate financial support and sponsoring to continue the work. In consideration of the financial limits of this program, different categories of support were defined for the retained projects: in some cases it was [possible to give both funding and Patronage of the ICPHS; in other cases, support must be limited to the Patronage (which reveals often quite useful to obtain indirect financial help by local scientific centres and institutions and foundations). In all cases, it was stated that any financial attribution was submitted to financial approval by UNESCO.
Now, a part of this financing (viz., Participation programs) was received through 1998, and immediately transferred to the most urgent projects (according to Prof. Wurm's selection), several of them in the Americas. We were, then, waiting for the second part of this money from UNESCO. We never received this amount.
We had, then, both Professor Bingen and myself, several meetings with Mr. Joseph Poth, responsible for the language Division at Unesco, who assured us about the fact that the money would be transferred to ICPHS. I regret to say that these were just vain words. We did never receive a formal communication that this amount was cancelled or even refused. Simply, we had to constate that it was no more obtainable. No further granting was since possible.
We had no more contacts with them. We understand that this was due to internal discrepancies at UNESCO. Now, we understand that UNESCO is providing some small help to a few projects and activities, through a sector other then Mr. Poth's; but for the moment, they do not go through ICPHS.
As you mention in your letter, we understand that a new call for applications has been launched for 2000-2001. It does not come directly from us. In consideration of the unfortunate situation of 1998-99, we asked Professor Wurm to postpone further initiatives, but it seems that his efforts did not entirely succeed. The ICPHS being a professional federation of scientific societies, whose members are scholars, we understand the very inconvenient situation that may be caused by expectations that cannot be fulfilled. That is why we decided to suspend this program until a more positive and defined attitude be adopted by UNESCO. We strongly urge UNESCO in this sense, and I hope our efforts and recommendations will produce some effect, so that it will be possible to resume the program in a short future.
Most sincerely yours,
This was followed by another letter from “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”, UNESCO itself.
I reply to your enquiry of September 12, 2000 sent to Mr. Poth, now retired from UNESCO [emphasis mine - Ed.], concerning the Endangered Languages Grants.
I have been contacted by the secretariat Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (ICPHS) recently about this question and they consider that there must have been some confusion. To explain to you in few words, let me say that the Council does administer the grant scheme, but it depends on UNESCO's funding for the implementation. They say that a reply had already been sent to you informing you that no funds were available for grants in the biennium 2000-2001. This is a consequence of financial constraints imposed on the Organization. Of course I do not understand why your researchers were not duly informed by the end of the period 1998-1999.
On the other hand, I may add that the ongoing restructuring of UNESCO's Secretariat has seriously affected the linguistic activities in the biennium, since, to begin with, the Languages Division does not exist anymore, and the resources assigned for linguistic purposes were drastically cut for this biennium.
I regret not to be able to give you a more encouraging reply and I apologize for the tardiness.
Results of the Volkswagen-Stiftung’s Call for Pilot Projects (ann. 8 Jan 2001)
The multimedia databank project is at the heart of the program. For this the Foundation awarded a grant to:
· TIDEL (Tools and Infrastructure for the Documentation of Endangered Languages): Prof. Dr. Stephen Levinson/Peter Wittenburg, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen/NL
The pilot projects in the area of language documentation are:
· Tofa (Central Siberia): Dr. K. David Harrison, Yale University/USA
Further information can be obtained from the office of the Volkswagen Foundation, Hannover:
Dr. Vera Szöllösi-Brenig
The new "Information for Applicants" for documentation projects of the main phase will be available by mid April 2001. It can be called for at the Foundation
Proposals for symposia, workshops, or summer schools on program related issues may be submitted at any time.
Note: Applications from abroad will be given equal consideration. They must, however, provide detailed information on a defined cooperation with academic institutions or academics in Germany.
Malawi Language Policy: Publication
Joachim Pfaffe firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on Thursday, 23 Nov 2000:
At the beginning of this year, you have received information on the Malawi Language Policy and the efforts made regarding the introduction of mother tongue instruction in the first years of primary school.
I have just returned from Malawi from another consultancy in this matter, and there is clear progress to be seen! It is now intended to pilot mother tongue instruction in Chiyao and Chitumbuka in selected primary schools by January 2003, and GTZ is highly interested to support mother tongue education development within the framework of their education support to the education sector in Malawi.
Within the context of my consultancy, I have now also completed the editing of our newest publication, the Proceedings of the Second Language Symposium: Local Languages in Education, Science and Technology, conprising 20 papers (including keynote speakers Neville Alexander, Herman Batibo, Okoth Okombo and Ekkehard Wolff). The whole publication contains 284 pages and is now going into print - if you would like to have it, I can mail it to you in MSWord format (about 1 MB). Just let me know!
You can also receive a copy of my new consultancy report with all the latest developments (about 200 kB).
Looking forward to ongoing exchange with you!
Joachim Friedrich Pfaffe, D.Ed.(ZA), M.A.