Foundation for Endangered Languages

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2. Development of the Foundation FEL VI: "Endangered Languages and their Literatures", Antigua Guatemala, 8-10 August 2002

From R. McKenna Brown mbrown(at)

11 June 2002

The program for the FEL VI Conference 2002 Program is below. It will be held at the Posada Belen, Antigua Guatemala. You can also find it posted it at:

Registration and Conference Information can be found at:
as well as at the FEL web-site

Thursday, August 8: Morning
Excursion to San Antonio Aguas Calientes

Thursday, August 8: Afternoon
Strategies and Resources
Joel Sherzer, "AILLA ( Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America" (keynote address)
Monica Ward, "The Pedagogical and Linguistic Issues Involved in Production of EL Materials: A Case Study of Nawat"
J.E. Lonergan, "A Tarahumara-English Computational Semantic Lexicon"

Michal Brody, "To the Letter: A Microanalysis of Currently Contested Graphemes in the Maya of Yucatan"
Pamela Innes, "I can't read that way of writing: Linguistic and Indigenous Systems clash in the Apache Language Revitalization Project"
H. Russell Bernard & George Ngong Mbeh, "Does Marking Tone Make Tone Languages Easier to Read?"

Friday, August 9: Morning
Proverbs, Metaphor and Poetics
Chiroke Asogwa, "Re-Kindling Interest in An Endangered Language: A Way Forward for Igbo"
Jule Gómez de García, "'If you play with fire': Literary Production in Jicarilla Apache"
Jocelyn Ahlers, "Cognitive Metaphor in Language Revitalization"

EL Literatures & Education
Joseph Blythe & Frances Kofod, "Literature for the semi-literate:Issues for Emerging Literacies in the Kimberley Region of North-Western Australia"
Norman Thomson & Jepkorir Chepyator-Thomson, "The Role of Educators as Biological, Cultural, and Language Exterminators: Teaching for Creativity, Measuring for Conformity"

Friday, August 9: Afternoon
Annual General Meeting

Strategies II
Alexis López, "Using Storytelling in Schools to Preserve Endangered Languages"
Giovanna Micarelli & Hernán Gómez Decastro, "On the Steps of Memory: Theater Anthropology as an Instrument for Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization in Indigenous Communities of the Colombian Amazon"
Mary Morgan & Deepa Gurung, "Languages Worth Writing: Endangered Languages of Nepal"

Literacy in Newly Independent Lands
Aisoltan Bazarova, "Turkmen Language: After Ten Years of Independence"
Razi Nurullayev, "Khinalig People and the Survival of Their Language"
Emin Amrullayev, "Azerbaijan: Linguistic Minorities in a Former Soviet State"

Saturday, August 10: Morning
Oral Literatures I: Collection
B'alam Mateo Toledo & Ajb'ee O. Jiménez, "La literatura Maya desdelas comunidades indígenas"
Vianor Pérez Rivera (Iguaniginape Kungiler), "La experiencia de recopilar el conocimiento Kuna"
Margaret Florey, "Continuity In Oral Traditions Among Endangered Moluccan Languages In Eastern Indonesia And The Dutch Diaspora" Open Session/Local Presenters
Saturday, August 10: Afternoon
Oral Literatures II: Diffusion
Ixcha'im Marliny Son, "El rescate de los idiomas Mayas a través de los textos"
Andrew E. Lieberman & Jacinto de Paz Pérez, "The Blossoming of our Ancestor's Words: Oral Tradition Collected and Published by Mayan Students"
Laura Martin, "Strategies for Promoting Endangered Language Literatures Outside Their Local Communities"
Mayan Literature
María Luz García & Marta Cobo Raymundo, "Bajo la montaña: Women's Stories of la violencia"
Janferie Stone, "Maya Poetics: Renaissance in Continuity"
Christopher Hadfield, "A Tissue of Lies: History versus Myth in theœNature of Time"



Saturday, August 10: Evening
Mayan Poetry Reading & Reception

The Languages Challenge: Marc Dragon — a Promising Beginner

In the context of the European Year of Languages 2001, Marc Dragon (aged 12) from Chertsey, England, and now living in Wales, set himself (“with the help of his mum”) to learn enough Tagalog to write to his relatives in the Philippines. He achieved his goal, and in so doing managed to raise the tidy sum of £19 for the Foundation.

His letter begins:
Kumusta ka? Ang pangolan ko ay si Marc Dragon. Ang edad ko’y 12. Ako ay isinilang sa Chertsey, Inglatera noong Setyembre 21, 1989. Sa nakaraang sampung taon ako ay tumira sa Inglatera. Ngayon ako ay nakatira na sa Wales.

For a young Briton it is a major challenge, when not yet a teenager,to find a way into a language spoken far beyond Western Europe, but we are heartened to see that the enterprise to do so is still found, here and there. This is “language awareness” in its full glory.

Well done, Marc, and thanks for all the dosh.

Announcing a New Set of Grants made by the Foundation

After almost two years of enforced poverty, the FEL is pleased and proud to announce a new set of grants to fund work on behalf of endangered languages.

(1) Elena Perekhvalskaya of Russia receives $700, for the collection of oral histories and biographies on audio/video, in Udihe, a Tungusic language of Manchuria. Udihe speakers number only about 50.
(2) Marshall Lewis of the USA receives $800 to compile dictionary materials, a grammar outline, texts, videos of performance foor the Anyimere language of Niger-Congo, with some 60-70 speakers.
(3) Suzanne Cook of Canada receives $800 for collection of audio/video recordings of the Mayan language Lacandón in Mexico. There are about 500 Lacandón speakers.
(4) Beatrice Clayre of England receives $500 to produce a first reader in the Sa’ban language of Borneo (an Austronesian language with some 2,000 speakers).
(5) D. Aberra of Ethiopia receives $500 for elicitation of syntactic structures and collection of texts in the Shabo language spoken in his own country, an isolate with 200-600 speakers.
(6) Eun-Sook Kim of Canada receives $500 for research on the grammar and phonology of Nuu-chah-nulth (a Wakashan language of North America with some 50 speakers.)
(7) Kevin Ford of Brunei receives $420 for collection of narratives, to be used in literacy development, for the Siwu language (a Niger-Congo language with about 5,000 speakers).
(8) (8)Pascale Jacq of Australia receives $500 for a dictionary and grammar to be used in a multi-media teaching program in Nhaheun (a Mon-Khmer language of S.E. Asia, with 2,500 speakers).
(9) Thomas Saunders of Australia receives $500 for a salvage description, with texts and conversations, of the Andajin language of the northern Kimberley in Australia. Andajin only has 2 speakers left.
(10) Alexander Sitzman of Austria receives $180 towards a sociolinguistic survey of Romaniká, an exoteric dialect of Greek.

These grants are fully funded by the generosity of FEL members, so we on the Committee would also like to take the opportunity to thank you who read this for supporting us — and endangered languages — so magnificently through this period.

Final note:
In a previous grant round, FEL supported Angela Terrill’s dictionary project for the Lavukaleve language of the Solomon Islands. Nancy Dorian, who edits the Smaller Languages section of the International Journal for Sociolinguistics, informs us that we can read more about the Lavukaleve dictionary project in the current (June 2002) issue of the journal.