Foundation for Endangered Languages

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5. Allied Societies and Activities

Request for Proposals, Endangered Language Fund

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. Proposals can originate in any country. 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. Overhead is not allowed. Grants are normally for a one year period, 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 our new address:
The Endangered Language Fund 300 George Street
New Haven, CT 06511, USA
This address is valid both for regular mail and for express mail services. 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:

Required information:
Cover page:
The first page should contain:
· title of the project
· name of language and country in which it is spoken
· name of primary researcher
· address of primary researcher (include phone and email if possible.)
· place and date of birth
· present position, education, and native language(s).
· previous experience and/or publications that are relevant.
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.

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 20th, 2004) 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.

Applications must be received by April 20th, 2005. Decisions will be delivered by the end of May 2005.

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:
The Endangered Language Fund
300 George Street,
New Haven,
CT 06511
Tel: +1-203-865-6163
FAX: +1-203-865-8963
ELF - Request for Proposals, 2004

The Language Query Room

The Endangered Language Fund (, as part of the EMELD grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (, is pleased to announce the availability of The Language Query Room at:

The Query Room is a part of the internet that is designed to:

· allow speakers of endangered languages a chance to post messages to each other
· allow learners of a language (especially heritage learners) to ask questions of native speakers of endangered languages
· allow linguists and other interested folk to ask questions as well

The Query Room is divided into areas devoted to various endangered languages. Each area has a host, who is typically a native speaker of the language. Anyone interested in the Language Query Room can register for free; no outside use will be made of any information registered. Then, the user can sign up for as many languages as are of interest. Registering for a language means that the user can post a query and it will be seen by everyone signed up for that language. Further, any time a new posting is made, an email will be sent to everyone on that list. If a native speaker feels like answering, then the answer will be posted and an announcement sent out. All postings are archived and will be available to users indefinitely.

Languages that have unusual orthographies will be able to make use of our pop-up keypad. This Unicode compliant keypad can adapt to many scripts, including Cyrillic, Arabic and Cherokee. Chinese and Japanese are not currently supported. The Query Room also supports audio files, allowing easy uploads and playback. The languages currently with rooms are: Ainu, Akha, Basque, Cherokee, Cree, Degema, Kumi?i, Eastern Oromo, Hmar, Nafusi, Miami, Manx, Monguor, Navajo, Hiri Motu.

Your comments and reactions are welcome. Please write to .

Native Nations, Native Voices: Albuquerque, July 2005?

Native Nations, Native Voices will be a festival to honor contemporary Native-language writers. To honor Native-language authors, Native-language writers have been invited to participate in a three-day festival. Writers will read from their works in their own languages; national language translations will be made available to the audience at the option of each writer.

A special effort has been made to include and honor high school and college authors in Native languages, for they are the future of languages. Selected writers represent as broad a range of languages and styles as possible.

Organizer Gordon Bronitsky, PhD, with assistance from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center of Albuquerque, NM, has scheduled the three-day event for July 2005. Taking place in Albuquerque, the festival will give voice to those Native people writing in their own language. Translations will be made available to the audience at the option of each writer

The next issue of Talking Stick Quarterly, published by the Amerinda Foundation in New York, comments:

Amerinda Inc. is at the forefront of encouraging and supporting Native writers. We recently published, in conjunction with Nation Books, “Genocide of the Mind”, edited by Marijo Moore. This anthology of Native writers featured mainly urban Indians, and for all accounts and purposes the writers used the English language to get their themes.

Most of us were raised with English as our first language. For many of us, our Native languages are a Grandmother’s whisper we barely remember. For others, there is no sound to remember, only the sadness felt when hearing what is essentially a foreign language. This loss of language is as profound and tragic as the loss of land, maybe even more so. To speak like our ancestors is to be able to think as they did

Amerinda fully supports the Native Nations, Native Voices festival. As of this pressing, participants include those writing in such diverse languages as Cree, Otomi, Inuktitut, Greenlandic, Anishanaabe, Xokleng, Choctaw, Kawaikagamedzene (Laguna Pueblo) and many more. “

Gordon Bronitsky himself writes:

I have been thinking about a Native language writers festival for many years and actually began planning Native Nations, Native Voices in October, when the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center agreed to serve as the non-profit conduit through which I could submit funding proposals Despite interest from across the United States and around the world, the festival has not gained significant funding support with the wonderful exception of the Sheraton Old Town Hotel

I think much of the funding difficulty was best expressed in a conversation I had earlier this with people at a national arts agency about funding Native Nations, Native Voices. The person in charge of literary projects said they couldn’t fund it because the writers were not writing in English or European languages; their folk culture official said they couldn’t fund it because it wasn’t a folk event such as a powwow or hula festival.

I have been privileged to read the works of the writers who would participate in Native Nations, Native Voices and I believe more strongly than ever that literature is the domain of writers, not particular languages. Native language writers have something to say to the rest of us and I have set October 8 as a funding deadline. If the festival does not attract a commitment of significant funding by that date, I will be forced to produce it elsewhere in 2005, perhaps bringing it back to New Mexico in 2006. Details of what is currently planned for Native Nations, Native Voices can be obtained from Gordon Bronitsky himself at

PS from Gordon as of 19 Jan 2005:
There's a funding bill in the New Mexico legislature for the festival, and I'm meeting with the Mayor of Albuquerque next week. If I can't get more funding by January 31, I'll postpone it till 2006, as there won't be enough time for the writers to get their visas. He then lists tentative possibilities for 2006 (Hawaii or Connecticut), 2007 (Peru) and 2008 (Canada). He concludes: I've come to realize that it is the festival and the writers that matter; when and where is less important.