Foundation for Endangered Languages
5. Allied Societies and Activities
The Fund of the Four Directions
Here is an institution which contacted us recently, and is looking to give grants to American Indian projects. It is particularly concerned to honour the memory of Ingrid Washinawatok, the Menominee activist who was murdered three years ago by the FARC in Colombia along with two other American sympathizers of the U'wa people. Ingrid's widower, Ali El-Issa, is on the board.
"Each nation of people are given by the Creator specific inistructions, practices, ways of life and languages which are linked to those lands upon which they share life... The healing and strengthening of Native communities is dependent upon the renewal of our lifeways."
-- Dagmar Thorpe, Renewing the Universe: How Philanthropy Can Support Native Lifeways
The Fund of the Four Directions values...
· The Diné concept of Hozhó, known as the Fourth Mind, in which all decisions are made by considering the implications on the next seven generations and all creation.
The Fund of the Four Directions seeks to create and operate a philanthropic structure that supports the movement of Indigenous peoples towards maintaining their cultural integrity and holistically reintegrating their lifeways into the world community.
The Fund of the Four Directions honors the legacy of Indigenous wisdom and knowledge.
Fund of the Four Directions
Free electronic journal subscriptions offered to developing countries
Multilingual Matters, a provider of research on multilingualism and minority language rights, announced that it is offering free electronic access to journals for institutional subscribers in countries of "low human development" as defined by the UN Human Development Index (see http://www.undp.org). The company will also offer subscriptions at a substantially reduced rate to institutional subscribers in countries of "medium human development."
Libraries in over 100 countries will be able to receive journals either completely free of charge (for electronic versions) or at substantially reduced cost (for print versions).
Recently, under the Channel View Publications imprint, the company has been developing a number of publications on sustainability in tourism, agriculture and transport. By increasing access to its publications, Multilingual Matters believes it can help academics in these countries to further realize their potential as equal members of the international academic community.
Multilingual Matters Ltd, Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon, Avon BS21 7HH UK, Tel: 44-1275-876519, Fax: 44-1275-871673, E-mail: info(at)multilingual-matters.com, Web: http://www.multilingual-matters.com
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages - First Results of the Monitoring Mechanism
Wed, 10 Oct 2001
The monitoring mechanism of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages has recently given its first results. The Committee of independent experts established by this treaty has examined the reports provided by Finland, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. It has also visited all these countries (excepting Liechtenstein) and met with all possible actors (governmental and non governmental) of language policies. The Committee has then evaluated the information gathered and established its own report. The report contains suggestions to the State authorities likely to improve, where necessary, the situation of the different languages covered by the Charter.
The Committee of Experts has presented its reports on Finland, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Liechtenstein to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. They were accompanied by suggestions for recommendations that the latter body could address to the States. The Committee of Ministers has examined these reports and decided to make them public. It has also decided to follow the experts' suggestions and addressed a set of Recommendations to Finland, Croatia, Hungary and the Netherlands.
We are convinced that the information concerned in these reports will be of your interest. You can download them and get an update on our activities at the internet site: http://www.local.coe.int.
ELF Awards 10 Grants in 2001
The Endangered Language Fund is pleased to announce the grants awarded in 2001. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we were able to fund ten of the sixty proposals that we received this year. The selection was harder than ever, as more and more worthy proposals are submitted. We hope to be able to expand our fundraising so that a larger proportion of these efforts can be funded.
Two projects were funded for work in Oklahoma, thanks to the generosity of the Kerr Foundation. As in the previous year, the Foundation's grant allowed us to promote work in this language-rich portion of the U.S. One grant, spearheaded by Joyce Twins, will allow the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe to record materials for the teaching of Cheyenne. Another grant will allow Justin Neely, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, to apprentice himself to the some of the last truly fluent speakers of Potawatomi. Both of these projects will result in the collection of material that will soon be irreplaceable.
We invite you to become a member, to help us stem the tide of language loss. Pick up a form at http://www.ling.yale.edu/~elf/join.html.
Here are the ten awardees:
Justin T. Neely (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Potawatomi Language Preservation and Apprenticeship Program
The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is centered at a reservation in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Neely will apprentice himself to two elders fluent in the language. These master-apprentice programs have been among the most successful for continuing a language tradition when the youngest generation has not learned the language from childhood. Eventually, his efforts will be recorded and used as a basis for language instruction material.
Mary D. Stewart (Stó:lo Nation), Preservation and Revitalization of the Upriver Halq'eméylem Dialect Language within the Family Entity
Upriver Halq'eméylem (Halkomelem) is a Salishan language of the Central Coast branch. Only five elders still fluently speak the language. The present project will bring together words and phrases into interactive language resources that will be designed to bring young children (birth to age 6) into contact with the language through the entirety of the family unit. Audio tapes will be created, and there will be instruction booklets geared toward children and parents.
Angela M. Nonaka (UCLA), Saving Signs from Bhan Khor: Documentation and Preservation of an Indigenous Sign Language in Thailand
The similarities and differences between spoken and signed languages, and the progress of their endangerment, are relatively unexplored in linguistic science. The present proposal will study the Ban Khor Sign Language, which is used by about 1,000 people in remote areas of northeastern Thailand. It was developed from Thai Sign Language about 60-80 years ago. A basic grammar and lexicon (recorded in video format) will make further assessment of the language and its endangerment possible.
Mildred Quaempts (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation), Umatilla Immersion Camp
Umatilla is one of the three languages spoken by the confederated tribes (Cayuse and Walla Walla are the others), and they are spoken fluently by fewer than 60 people. Quaempts is one of the fluent second- language learners of Umatilla, and she will conduct an immersion program for sixteen tribal members of various ages. Several elders will be available for a five-day, intensive language experience. Much of the interaction will be recorded, and some of that will be used to help create new language teaching materials.
Paula L. Meyer (Claremont and San Diego State), Baha California Tiipay Comparative Dictionary
Baja California Tiipay is a Yuman language closely related to U. S. versions of Tiipay (also called Diegueño) but still considered by its speakers to be a separate language. There has so far been no extensive description or dictionary work. Only a handful of elderly people still speak the language, as the parents have been convinced that knowing the language is detrimental to success in modern society. The present project will therefore focus on a dictionary, to retain the last vestiges of a language that is bound for extinction.
Marina Dmitrievna Lublinskaya (St. Petersburg U.), Collection of Audio Material in the Nganasan Language
Nganasan (along with Nenets and Enets) belongs to the Northern Samoyedic group of Uralic languages. Although the size of the speaking population seems never to have exceeded about 1,500, at present only about 50% of the population (and 15% of the children) speak the language, indicating that the language is on the decline. There are at present no audio recordings, and time is running short to record the truly fluent speakers. Lublinskaya will record words, phrases, texts and folklore for transfer to CDs which can be distributed to the community.
Kristine Stenzel (U. Colorado), The Wanano Project
The speakers of Wanano hope that the bilingual education that is guaranteed by the 1988 Brazilian constitution will someday become a reality. To help make that possible, Stenzel will help produce written material for this Tucano language. She will also record conversational data to help understand the complex situation of life with many languages that is so typical of Brazil. These little-studied languages have many unusual linguistic features, such as the simultaneous interaction of two noun categorization systems, the coding of up to five evidential categories, and a possibly unique tonal system.
Kenny Holbrook (Capitola, CA), Instruction in Northeastern Maidu
Only a few speakers of Maidu survive, and one of the best hopes of continuing the language is for young language learners to apprentice themselves to those speakers. The main teacher in this case will be somewhat unusual, in that he is not a native speaker. But William Shipley, emeritus from UC Santa Cruz, learned Maidu from Holbrook's grandmother over fifty years ago and is now poised to pass on that knowledge to a descendant. All of this will make the substantial corpus of written material more useful and accessible for future generations.
Zarifa Nazirova (Tajik Academy of Sciences), The Vocabulary of the Traditional Culture of the Ishkashim Language
The layer of language that deals with the spiritual life of a people is of interest to linguists, ethnologists, art historians and members of the heritage community. The present project will collect as many lexical entries in the cultural domain as possible. Tracing the influence of the various languages of contact (other Pamirian languages and various Tajik languages) will be explored even as the cultural significance is recorded as extensively as possible. The cultural heritage-and the paths of cultural evolution-will be available permanently thanks to this effort.
Joyce Twins (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), Cheyenne Pedagogical Materials Cheyenne is an Algonquian language spoken in western Oklahoma and Montana. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have undertaken an ambitious language program that uses telecoursing to put the Cheyenne language into four high schools in western Oklahoma. However, there is a severe lack of teaching materials at all levels. The present project will help alleviate this problem, especially in the use of sound recordings of fluent speakers to give life to the written materials that predominate now. Marcia Haag (U. of Oklahoma) and Laura Gibbs (Talking Leaves consortium) will lend their expertise to this project as well. Creating this material while there are still native speakers with us is of the utmost importance. While many tribes are recreating their languages from historical records, those still blessed with native speakers can create a much more usable curriculum with modern technology, which lets us preserve the sounds of language in addition to writing it down.
The Endangered Language Fund
Doug Whalen (whalen(at)haskins.yale.edu) Haskins Laboratories 270 Crown St. New Haven, CT 06511 203-865-6163, ext. 234 FAX: +1-203-865-8963 http://www.haskins.yale.edu/
Request for Proposals, 2002: Endangered Language Fund
Editors' note: this is from our our sister organization, ELF. Please address all enquiries as below.
The Endangered Language Fund provides grants for language maintenance and linguistic field work. The work most likely to be funded is that which serves both the native community and the field of linguistics. Work which has immediate applicability to one group and more distant application to the other will also be considered. Publishing subventions are a low priority, although they will be considered. The language involved must be in danger of disappearing within a generation or two. Endangerment is a continuum, and the location on the continuum is one factor in our funding decisions. Eligible expenses include consultant fees, tapes, films, travel, etc. Grants are normally for one year periods, though extensions may be applied for. We expect grants in this round to be less than $4,000 in size, and to average about $2,000.
HOW TO APPLY There is no form, but the information requested below should be printed (on one side only) and FOUR COPIES sent to:
The Endangered Language Fund
The street address for express mail services:
The Endangered Language Fund
Applications must be mailed in. No e-mail or fax applications will be accepted. Please note that regular mail, especially from abroad, can take up to four weeks. If you have any questions, please write to the same address or email to: elf(at)haskins.yale.edu
Include the same information for collaborating researchers if any. This information may continue on the next page.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT: Beginning on a separate page, provide a description of the project. This should normally take two pages, single spaced, but the maximum is five pages. Be detailed about the type of material that is to be collected and/or produced, and the value it will have to the native community (including relatives and descendants who do not speak the language) and to linguistic science. Give a brief description of the state of endangerment of the language in question.
BUDGET: On a separate page, prepare an itemized budget that lists expected costs for the project. Estimates are acceptable, but they must be realistic. Please translate the amounts into US dollars. List other sources of support you are currently receiving or expect to receive and other applications that relate to the current one.
LETTER OF SUPPORT: Two letters of support are recommended, but not required. Note that these letters, if sent separately, must arrive on or before the deadline (April 22nd, 2002) in order to be considered. If more than two letters are sent, only the first two received will be read.
LIMIT TO ONE PROPOSAL A researcher can be primary researcher on only one proposal.
DEADLINE Applications must be received by APRIL 22nd, 2002. Decisions will be delivered by the end of May, 2002.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT Receipt of application will be made by email if an email address is given. Otherwise, the applicant must include a self-addressed post-card in order to receive the acknowledgment.
IF A GRANT IS AWARDED Before receiving any funds, university-based applicants must show that they have met the requirements of their university's human subjects' committee. Tribal- or other- based applicants must provide equivalent assurance that proper protocols are being used. If a grant is made and accepted, the recipient is required to provide the Endangered Language Fund with a short formal report of the project and to provide the Fund with copies of all audio and video recordings made with ELF funds, accompanying transcriptions, as well as publications resulting from materials obtained with the assistance of the grant.
FURTHER ENQUIRIES can be made to:
EBLUL sets promotion of linguistic diversity as a main priority for EU in 2004
"Europeans deeply respect their own cultural heritage that differs from region to region. This cultural and linguistic diversity is the real wealth of Europe and it is now time that the EU protected this diversity‚" says Bojan Brezigar, President of EBLUL.
The goal of the Intergovernmental Conference 2004 is to deal with further reforms aimed at promoting European integration, e.g. delimiting responsibilities between the European Union, the member states and the regions and also simplifying the treaties. A very important topic on the IGC-agenda for linguistic minorities is the point aiming to make the European Charter of Fundamental Rights a binding law. In its article 22, the European Union stresses that it 'shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.' Brezigar comments: "Minorities do not request their languages to have the status of official or working EU languages, but equal dignity and recognition of their proper role. These languages are part of the European common cultural heritage as well as the official languages. Article 22 states exactly this and, from a cultural point of view, it does not make a distinction between languages."
Another priority of EBLUL is to provide a minority Internet portal in the near future. The portal should be an extended and valuable source of information about minorities in the European Union and the accession countries. Brezigar: "People often do not know a lot about minorities and in most cases they consider minorities as a negative issue of the European society. Proper information about the languages, their historical an cultural role as well as of the contribution of these communities to the European integration process would certainly spread better knowledge about the importance of linguistic diversity as an essential part of European culture. Such an Internet portal is also useful for minorities themselves, because it will enhance exchange of information, of experiences and of best practices."
European Bureau For Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL) www.eblul.org
Rue Saint Josse 49