Foundation for Endangered Languages

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OGMIOS Newsletter # 7 : Winter - 21 January 1998
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

1. Editorial: our First Grants! 3

2. Development of the Foundation 3
Minutes of Executive Committee meeting on 3rd November 1997 3

3. Appeals and News from Endangered Communities 5
News of the Akha in Thailand 5
Latest Developments in Chiapas, Mexico 7
1. Background: "Zedillo: la Guerra Perdida" 7
2. Appeal for Action 9

4. Allied Societies and Activities 9
Request for Proposals, Endangered Language Fund 9
1997 Annual Report of the LSA Committee on Endangered Languages and Their Preservation (CELP) 10

5. Brief Conference Report 13
Minority Language Software Development (Batheaston, 17-18 November 1997) 13
Purpose of the Conference 13
Opportunities for Future Collaboration 13
LULSDA - Aim and Objectives 13
List of Participants 14

6. Overheard on the Web 14
Australian Program offers chance to save endangered languages 14
Unreasonable Success of Religious Fund-Raising? 15
Legal Anomalies in France 15
Guidance on Putting Together Endangered Language Exhibitions 16
Software Support for American Indian Languages 16

7. Places to Go, on the Web and in the World 17
Centro Cultural Abya-Yala (Quito, Ecuador) 17
Lakota Information Home Page 17
Sardinian Web-Site 17
Language Maintenance and Revitalization Organizations 17
Ur-List of Anthropological Web Resources 17

8. Forthcoming Meetings 17
California Indian Conference (San Francisco, Feb. 27-March 1, 1998) 17
First Nations Oral Literatures (Vancouver, BC, March 5-8, 1998) 18
Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas (Saskatchewan, March 27-29, 1998) 18
Language Resources for European Minority Languages, Granada, Spain - May 27 1998 (a.m.) 18
Discourse Across Languages & Cultures (Milwaukee: 10-12 Sept. 1998) 19
Minority Languages in Context. Diversity and Standardisation (Chur, Switzerland: 21-23 Sept 1998) 19
The Native Tongue / La langue maternelle (Paris: 19-21 March 1999) 20
2nd International Symposium on Bilingualism (Univ. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: 15-17 April, 1999) 21

9. Publications of Interest 21
Teaching Indigenous Languages, edited by Jon Reyhner 21
Gwich'in Traditional Ecological Knowledge 22
Cultura Mapuche: Relatos, rituales y ceremonias 22
Manifesto of the Foundation for Endangered Languages 22
Subscription Form 24

In keeping with the inspiration of Ogmios, we include a poem, in three Celtic versions. It is by the Breton singer Gilles Servat, from his album “Sur les quais de Dublin” (Sony COL 4841512)*. There he sings it beautifully (with Rita Connolly) in Breton and Irish; Michael Davitt wrote its Irish words, and Kenneth Mackinnon has translated it into Scots Gaelic, and into English. (Copyright retained by the authors.)

Yezho Bihan

Yezho ma vez graet bihan ac’hanoc’h
Evel ar stered o strinkat brozh an noz
Ha petra vefe al loar hep ho skedo
Met ur goulo nemetan ’kreiz an egor goullo

Yezho ma vez graet bihan ac’hanoc’h
Evel gwad hag aour bokedo ar prajo
Ha petra vefe ar geot hep ho garmo
Met lavnio oll henvel en ec’honder unton

Yezho ma vez graet bihan ac’hanoc’h
E giz inizi war ar mor bras hadet
Ha petra vefe ar mor heo klasted
Nemet irvi hag irvi hep diwezh an tonno

Canainean Beaga

Cainntean na lughdachd, ma chanas a’ mhòrchuid,
Reultan breaca air falluing na h-oidhch’ -
Dé bhitheadh a’ Ghealach as aonais ur boillsgeadh?
- Ach solas ‘na h-aonair ‘san fhalamhachd fhàs.

Cainntean na lughdachd, mar chanas a’ mhòrchuid,
Fuil agus òr mar dhìthean nan gleann -
Dé bhitheadh ‘san fheur as aonais ur gairmean?
- Ach ionnanas leamh o lann gu lann.

Teangannan beaga, mion-chànannan meanbha,
Eileanan sgapta ‘san fhairge mhòr -
Dé bhitheadh ‘sa mhuir as aonais ur n-uainead?
- Ach sìorraidheachd fhalamh o thonn gu tonn.

The Wee Leids

Minority languages, as they have called you,
Twinkling stars on the mantle of night -
What would the Moon be, missing your radiance?
Shining alone from a featureless height.

Lesser-used languages, as they have called you,
Blood-red and gold like the flowers of the glad -
What would the grass be, missing your brilliance?
But sameness of colour from blade to blade.

Second-class speechways, disparaged dialects,
Islands so scattered across the wide main -
What would the sea be, missing your verdure?
But glassy grey emptiness wave upon wave.