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10. Recent Publications

John Enrico - Dictionary preserving the language of the Haida


Scholar John Enrico has compiled the first comprehensive Haida dictionary, the fruit of years of living among the last generation of people who spoke the language regularly at home.

About 40 people speak Haida today, not all fluently, Enrico said. The Haida Dictionary was recently published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau and the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

At $279, the two-volume, 2,180-page set is not the sort of book you pull off the shelf when you want to know the Haida word for "dog." It's a scholarly work from which academic linguists may further examine the relationship of Haida to other language families, a point of dispute.

Educators also can develop teaching materials from it, said Tom Alton, editor at the Alaska Native Language Center.

Warumungu picture dictionary

IAD Press, has published the fifth title in its valuable Picture Dictionary series - this time in the Warumungu language, spoken in Tennant Creek and its surrounding communities.

"Children and learners should sit down with old people and learn to speak language from them," said the Warumungu contributors to the picture dictionary.

"Old people hold this language, Warumungu, for the young generations. Ourchildren will learn our language and then keep it strong. Language teachers can use the picture dictionary in their classes. Learners can learn words for all sorts of things: family, country, plants and animals. Later they will know their language."

Warumungu people have worked together with linguists since 1982 to develop a spelling system that matches the sounds of the Warumungu language as closely as possible.

A CD of readings by Dianne Nampin Stokes of a broad selection of the words and sentences in the Warumungu Picture Dictionary is included with the book.

Compiled by Samantha Disbray with Warumungu speakers ($29.95 including CD, IAD Press).

Jon Reyhner - Education and Language Restoration

“Education and Language Restoration” published by Chelsea House, for high school and college students, briefly traces the history of education from Indian boarding schools to the present-day and includes information on language revitalization.

It has chapters on assimilation and the Native American, community-controlled schools and tribal colleges, Native American identity, language and culture revitalization, language policies and education goals, language teaching, language and reading, and teaching and learning styles. It is a 143 page hardback with black and white photographs, sidebars, chronology, bibliography, further reading, web sites, and source notes. It is part of a new“Contemporary Native American Issues” series that includes books on economic issues and development, media images and representations, political issues, sacred sites and repatriation, and social life and issues. at Nqk3t1dK5ogmk/Pages/product.html?nocache at 6+record at P38375

You can find out about other books on language revitalization and American Indian education, including the 2004 University of Oklahoma book “American Indian Education: A History,” at

Jon Reyhner is Professor of Bilingual Multicultural Education at Northern Arizona University.
The World Atlas of Language Structures

Martin Haspelmath, Matthew S. Dryer, David Gil and Bernard Comrie
Price: £275.00 (Hardback)
Publication date: 21 July 2005
710 pages, Colour illustrations throughout, 360X248mm
A research and reference resource for every branch of linguistics
Making results of comparative linguistics accessible to students and non-linguists
Aims to revolutionize comparative linguistics
Highlights the world's linguistic diversity
Giving renewed visibility to endangered languages
The World Atlas of Language Structures is a book and CD combination displaying the structural properties of the world's languages. 142 world maps and numerous regional maps - all in colour - display the geographical distribution of features of pronunciation and grammar, such as number of vowels, tone systems, gender, plurals, tense, word order, and body part terminology. Each world map shows an average of 400 languages and is accompanied by a fully referenced description of the structural feature in question. A pdf sample of the book may be found at