Foundation for Endangered Languages

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# 3 Summer - 31 August 1996
Editor: Nicholas D. M. Ostler

Published by:
Foundation for Endangered Languages,
Batheaston Villa, 172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath BA1 7AA, England
e-mail: nostler(at)
Phone: +44/(0) -1225-852865 Fax: +44/(0) -1225-859258

Iatiku is the mother goddess of the Acoma tribe of New Mexico, who caused people to speak different languages so that it would not be so easy for them to quarrel.

Table of Contents

1. Tongues Ancient and Postmodern 1

2. Development of the Foundation 2
Sixth Meeting, on 11th April 1996 2
First Annual General Meeting 3
Meeting of the Executive Committee 4

3. Appeals 5
Mayangna/Sumu Girls Project 5
Seeking Books/Articles on African Languages/Linguistics 6
Resources for Taino Language Project? 7
Research on Finno-Ugrian in Danger? 7

4. Allied Societies and Activities 7
World Conference on Linguistic Rights, Barcelona, 6-9 June 1996 7
First International Conference on Language Rights, Hong Kong, June 22-24, 1996 9
LINDA - L’nguas Ind’genas de Amaz™nia 9
Lost Language Day: an Idea 10
Frysk Ynternasjonaal Kontakt 11
Endangered Languages of Canada 11

5. Field Work Reports 14
Report on the Tarokoid languages from Roger Blench 14

6. Overheard on the Web 15
Ted Burton on Our Predicament 15
Quechua in Trouble? 15
Maori Broadcasting 15
Free Computer Program Helps with Learning Louisiana French 15
How to Teach Irish in a Hedge School 16
"Standard Lao" 17
Linguistic Legislation in the USA 17

7. Places to Go, on the Web and in the World 19
Some Native American Web Sites 19
Instructional Materials on Native American LanguagesÉ 19
É and Specifically on Canada: 19

8. Forthcoming Meetings 19
Symposium on Endangered Languages in Africa, Leipzig, July - August 1997. 19
14th Frisian Philological Congress in Ljouwert/Leeuwarden: 23-25 Oct. 1996. 19
Fourth Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium: May 2-3, 1997 20

9. Publications of Interest 21
The Land Still Speaks 21
Native Peoples 21
The Zia Pueblo in New Mexico and the Karuk Tribe in Northern California 22
Four Hupa Songs, etc. 22
Dictionary of the Frisian Language 22
Scots and its Literature. 22
Language International World Directory of Sociolinguistic and Language Planning Organizations. 22
Romani in Contact 22

10. Obituaries 23
Mary Haas 23
Quinault Language: Death of Oliver Mason 23

Notes on Our Cover Graphics
The scripts that grace Iatiku's cover this quarter have been derived, with gratitude and fascination, from "A Philippine Leaf", web pages written, designed and executed by Hector Santos (http: // US, June 1, 1996.) They are fragments of poetry written in the surviving indigenous syllabic scripts of the Philippines. The first and second (in the left hand column) areurukay poems in Buhid language and script from The Mangyans of Mindoro by Violeta B. Lopez. Transcribed and translated, they run:

Gusto ko lamang kag si Inambay sa dalan
Kag managun latay
Sa batang kag managaytay
Pag-uli kaw sa balay kita ga araway
Gaamigos kita anay

Kahoy-kahoy kot malago
Kabuyong-buyong sing ulo
Kaduyan-duyan sing damgu,
Dalikaw sa pagromedyu
Singhanmu kag sa balay barku
Anay umabut ka nimu.

I want Inambay to stay only on the pathway
So we can roam freely in the woods
And when I reach home, you and I
Will not quarrel
And we could remain together

Like a tree overgrown with branches
My mind is full of turmoil
Though loaded with pain and grief
My dreams continually seek for an end,
Let it be known that I am on my way
Perchance you'll catch upwith me.

The third is the first part of an ambahan poem in Hanun—o language and script from Treasury of a Minority by Antoon Postma. The full poem reads:

Magkunkuno ti anak lunas
Anong suyong muyuan
Anong bansay kayasan
Kang di way sa bilugan
Ako kanmo nga amban
Ako kan bansay huywan
Pagka ngap ak nirwasan
Pag idnas sa salsagan
Ud binabaw sa pupwan
Ud linilang sa duyan
Ti lumilang bay aban
Uyayi bansanayan
Sud-an sa bagunbunan
Ako inaghon diman
Tinakip dagaynaan
Dapat bay una kunman
Aba hulin lumbadan
Kanta nga aldaw masdan
Hinton di nguna aban
Girangon yi rug-usan
Ti may pa-oy linyawan
Kang hulin talisigan

Says the baby, lifeless born:
My beloved mother dear,
Father, oh, my father dear!
When I was resting in your womb,
Closely united with you,
I was my father's favorite.
Taken from my safe abode,
plac'd upon the bamboo floor,
no one put me on your lap,
no one rock'd me in a crib.
What became my crib at last,
was a hammock strongly built:
as a bed, a burial hill!
Discarded I was, unlov'd.
Cov'ring me was the cold earth
and the weeping sky above.
But although it be like this,
a happier day will come.
Maybe it'll be coming soon!
And what will be happ'ning then?
The old people weeping, sad,
in a dark'ning, mourning sky:
I will fin'lly leave behind!

The bottom item is the obsolete Tagalog syllabary itself, displayed in the five different fonts in which Hector Santos supplies it, from Sushi Dog Graphics, P O Box 26A54, Los Angeles CA 90026, for Macintosh or IBM. The pages of A Philippine Leaf provide a wealth of detail about the origin, development and (in the case of Tagalog) disuse of a number of different syllabaries, and are highly recommended.

The graphics were formatted for use in Iatiku by Paul Barnett, of Hackney Community College, London (paul(at) Many thanks to him for this, and indeed the cover of Iatiku #2, which featured an array of Mayan glyphs.