The Language Revitalization Working Group offers a space to critically examine theories, methodologies, and applications of language revitalization in a variety of world contexts. Additionally, we provide a centralized venue for interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners of language revitalization to share, present, discuss, and improve their language revitalization efforts.
In Fall 2023, we will meet every other Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. (PST) in a hybrid format: if you're on campus you can join us in-person, and if you're not, you can join via Zoom. Additional/alternative meeting times/dates are marked with an asterisk (*) below.
For more information, or to be added to our mailing list or bCourses site, please contact Måsi Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez (email@example.com), or Claudia Iron Hawk (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you'd like to attend any of our events but have questions/concerns about accessibility or other accommodations, please reach out via email!
Spring 2024 Meeting Schedule:
January 24: Spring orientation
New and returning members share a bit about their background, as well as experiences with fieldwork and revitalization methods.
February 7: Nicaela Leon & Yazmin Novelo (Endangered Languages Project)
Noelia Nicaela Leon Coico is a Quechua illustrator and linguist. She holds a degree in Applied Linguistics (San Simón University, Cochabamba, Bolivia) and formed in Revitalization of Language & Culture (Funproeib Andes). She works in the field of intercultural communication, translation of indigenous languages and the use of language on the internet. She is part of the internship at the Endangered Languages Project (ELP) and co-founder of the project "Atuq Yachachiq" that produces and disseminates Quechua didactic and literary material freely available on the internet.
Yazmín Yadira Novelo Montejo has a Master in Sociolinguistics (Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia), Graduate in Social Communication (Autonomous University of Yucatán, Mérida, Yuc. México), and formed in Revitalization of Native Languages and Identities from the University of Mondragón (Basque Country). She has been an associate professor at the Autonomous University of Yucatán and at the Autonomous University of Mexico, ENES-Yucatán headquarters. She specializes in the revitalization of native languages and identities through cultural production and the media. She is a founding member of Yúuyum Radio and musical projects in the Mayan language. She is currently director of the U Péekbal Waye', a project which works for the mayan language revitalization; she collaborates as a mentor in linguistic revitalization with the Endangered Languages Project and also co-directs the Nojolo'on Community Center for Peace in Peto, Yucatán, a space for citizen activation for Peace and NonViolence.
Language activism in Abya Yala: trends and urgencies
In November 2023, the Endangered Languages Project invited speakers of different native languages from Abya Yala, in order to reflect on their works searching for the right of native language speakers to live in the present and the future in their languages. The trends of linguistic activism in the area cannot be generalized, but in this space, the urgent need to change the narrative that guides linguistic activism in the area was recognized.
February 21: TBA
Abstract coming soon.
March 6: Alexander Elias (UC Berkeley)
Abstract coming soon.
March 20: Christine Beier (UC Berkeley)
April 10: Madeline Snigaroff (University of Chicago)
April 24: TBA
Abstract coming soon.Note: This a joint meeting with the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department Fieldwork Forum.
Fall 2023 Meeting Schedule:
September 6: Fall orientation
New and returning members shared a bit about their background, as well as experiences with fieldwork and revitalization methods.
September 20: Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez (UC Berkeley)
Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez (she/her) is a Ña’a Davi Chilanga and a PhD student in the linguistics program at UC Berkeley. Her work focuses on the revitalization and documentation of Da’an Davi, or Mixtec of Southern Puebla. She has also been involved with the Oaxacan diaspora and their languages in California.
Two approaches to Da'an Davi revitalization: working with children and bilingual teachers
Da’an Davi, or Mixtec of Southern Puebla, is spoken by about 2,200 people (INEGI 2020). The language is considered endangered since the youngest speakers belong to the grandparent’s generation. In this scenario, the bilingual teacher has been seen as the responsible person transmitting the indigenous language at school. For this reason, working with children outside the classroom is beginning to revalue the language in our community not only as a cultural but mostly as a political element. In this talk, I will discuss my own experience working with these two groups, the challenges that I have encountered as well as the future plans.
October 4: Julia Peck (UC Berkeley)
Julia Peck (she/her) is a second-year PhD student in the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department. She primarily works on Judeo-Spanish (Ladino). She grew up in a practicing (Ashkenazi) Jewish family and never learned her heritage language, Yiddish, which was lost with her grandparents. As a speaker of Spanish and legal resident of Spain, she learned to speak Judeo-Spanish as a way of engaging in Jewish language reclamation, and she is actively involved in Ladino's revitalization movement. She also thinks about language contact and its effects on morphosyntax, as well as language attitudes and ideologies. Julia is originally from Washington, D.C., and received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a special concentration in Linguistics. She then received her master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Oxford as an Ertegun Scholar.
Avlaremos en Kaza! Towards an At-Home Language Nesting Tool for Judeo-Spanish
This talk will recount ongoing language revitalization work on Judeo-Spanish (Ladino), the endangered language of the Sephardic Jewish diaspora. Specifically, I’ll present my current project — an at-home language nesting tool I am developing for Judeo-Spanish, inspired by the amazing work of Dr. Zeke Zahir and the Puyallup Tribe (Pacific Northwest). I’ll reflect on the specific needs of diasporic minority language communities and the importance of the home as a domain of language reclamation, and attendees will get to virtually visit the homes of speakers in Istanbul with whom I worked this summer. It is a work in progress, and I will welcome thoughts on the project from others working on revitalization!
October 18: Pa Vue (UC Berkeley)
Pa Vue (she/her/nws) is a fourth-year PhD student in the School of Education at UC Berkeley. Her research interests are in Hmong language reclamation, literacy practices, and indigenous knowledge production. She explores connections between literacy, language, and creativity, broadly conceived, and works toward engaging the Hmong community in creating emergent vitalities (new domains of language use) that can support Hmong language revalorization.
The Affordances and Challenges of Teaching an Endangered Language on Instagram
Today, social media platforms play an extremely important role in connecting people, creating interest, and generating new knowledge. In this presentation, I discuss the affordances and challenges of teaching an endangered language on Instagram. Affordances include multimodal ways of learning, accessibility to language learning material, and collaborative meaning making. Challenges include the limitations of the technology itself (short videos, limited number of pictures able to be posted, inconvenience of scrolling), the different times and ways in which learners discover my page, and the positioning of me as a language expert.
November 1: Jessica Yazmin Chab Tuz y Seydi Abigail Pat Yam (Fototeca Tuzik')
Jessica Yazmin Chab Tuz (ella) es la traductora y tesorera del proyecto y Seydi Abigail Pat Yam (ella) es la editora, correctora y coordinadora del proyecto en Fototeka Tuzik'.
Aproximación a la revitalización de la maaya t'aan desde la representatividad y las artes
Fototeca Tuzik' (México) somos una colectiva de juventudes mayas fundada en el 2021 y somos la primera fototeca del estado de Quintana Roo. Fototeca Tuzik' es un espacio que surge por la necesidad de contar nuestra propia historia que, desde un principio fue subordinada por la historia hegemónica del Estado. A través de fotografías y medios audiovisuales, hemos investigado y documentado la historia de nuestra comunidad Tuzik’, Quintana Roo, la cual difundimos en una exposición fotográfica permanente ubicada en un espacio construido con materiales de la región como la madera y la palma de huano. En la fototeca, también brindamos talleres de fotografía, pintura, lengua maya, entre otras disciplinas artísticas que permiten compartir la historia de nuestras ancestras y ancestros a las nuevas generaciones del pueblo.
Nota: esta sesión es en español.
November 15: Sterling Martin (Project ENABLE: Enriching Navajo As a Biology Language for Education)
Sterling Martin (he/him) is a Diné scientist with Project ENABLE.
Introducing Project ENABLE: an online resource for Enriching Navajo as a Biology Language for Education
To address the global decline of Indigenous languages, The United Nations has declared 2022-2032 “The International Decade of Indigenous Languages”. One Indigenous language undergoing rapid decline is Diné bizaad (Navajo language). Project ENABLE (Enriching Navajo as a Biology Language for Education) aims to tackle this issue head on. Over the last 40 years, the number of Diné bizaad speakers has dropped by 42 percent, and current estimates predict by 2030 only 10 percent of Diné (Navajo) will speak their language. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even more dire. The virus has ravaged Dinétah (Navajo Nation), causing the loss of many Diné bizaad speaking community members. One issue contributing to the difficulty controlling COVID-19 in Dinétah is that there are almost no words for modern biology terms despite Diné bízaad being a rich and expressive language. In this time of the COVID-19 global pandemic, accelerating climate change, and the prevalence of advancing technology it is more urgent than ever to formally incorporate these biological terms into Diné bizaad so all speakers can understand the world around them.
For this session, I plan to discuss our experience creating modern Diné science neologisms and considerations for our website to disseminate these words to the Diné community. In partnership with high school teachers on Dinétah, we identified 250 foundational biology terms that reflect foundational biology concepts to be translated into Diné bízaad. We then worked with a well-regarded Diné language expert (Mr. Frank Morgan) to translate these English science words (including scientific definitions and example sentences) into Diné bizaad with a culturally respectful, Diné perspective. With Mr. Morgan's help, we generated scientifically accurate words that would be understandable by community members that primarily speak Diné bizaad. These words and audio pronunciations (important so users can hear the pronunciations in both English and Diné bizaad) are curated on our website: https://enablenavajo.org/dine/. This website is designed to work on both cell phones and computers in areas with low internet connectivity, which is crucial as much of Dinétah has scarce internet access, along with poor cell reception. Project ENABLE will allow teachers to supplement their biology lessons with terms in Diné bizaad, allowing the next generation of Diné students to discuss science with their families and communities in their native language.
December 6: Katie Sardinha (University of British Columbia)
Katie Sardinha, PhD, (she/her) is a SSHRC postdoctoral researcher in the Linguistics Department at the University of British Columbia. She began working with Kwak’wala speakers in 2009 as an undergrad, and has committed herself to supporting the goal of Kwak’wala language revitalization for life. Katie completed her MA/PhD at UC Berkeley in 2017 (“The Semantics of Kwak’wala Object Case”), after which time she returned to her hometown of Summerland, BC, to help manage her family’s organic orchard. From 2018-2022, Katie continued work on Kwak’wala as an independent researcher, adopting community goals while utilizing Jacobs Research Grants to fund fieldwork, and pirate websites to access academic publications. In 2022, she taught a class at Simon Fraser University in the Indigenous Languages and Linguistics program, where she witnessed the value of teaching linguistic analysis to Indigenous language learners and teachers. She carries this lesson forward in her postdoctoral work (2022-2024), where she is developing an online Kwak’wala course that utilizes an inductive learning paradigm to simultaneously teach Kwak’wala sentence structure and linguistic analysis.
Using an inductive learning approach to train speaker-linguists in Kwak'wala grammar: Can we accelerate language revitalization?
What is the most effective way to transmit grammatical knowledge of a language to adult language learners? In this talk, I’ll discuss why we are using an inductive learning paradigm to meet the goals of Kwak’wala language revitalization, what this approach entails, and how it functions to train speaker-linguists, who will then possess the tools necessary to accelerate revitalization efforts.
Our course begins where we have seen many language courses get stuck, focusing on sentence structure and the ability to generate new sentences given a small set of abstract, but intuitive concepts. We approach language as a pairing of meaning and form, in which predicates (form) describe events (meaning). We show that predicates have arguments, which can be classified into five core grammatical roles. In parallel with these categories of form, we then demonstrate corresponding categories of meaning: events have event participants, which can be classified into five core event roles. From these basic principles, together with rules for deriving word order, we proceed to derive argument alternations and to understand the Kwak’wala voice system, which underlies the formation of passives, wh-questions, relative clauses, indefinite object constructions, and clefts.
Similar to many Linguistics courses, the course is taught using structured sets of data – that is, sets of sentences and/or words which differ from each other minimally. We call this the “DOGS” method: students are presented with data (D); then they are led through the process of making observations (O) of the data; they are then led through the process of making generalizations (G) from the observations; and finally, they are led to reflect on the significance (S) of what they have just seen. Compared with traditional deductive learning, inductive learning tends to require greater investment of time and attention on the part of students. However, it also tends to result in deeper learning and better retention, while simultaneously teaching students how to do linguistic analysis.
Throughout the talk, I will mention some of the most important lessons I have learned doing fieldwork with Kwak’wala speakers from their 70s into their 90s. I will also briefly touch upon how we are using culturally relevant metaphors from the world of living things to help learners understand, and naturalize, the reality of inter- and intra- speaker variation.
Note: This a joint meeting with the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department Fieldwork Forum.
Spring 2023 Meeting Schedule:
February 8: Maura Sullivan (Tulane University)
Maura Sullivan (she/her) is a tribal member from the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation in what is now called "southern California." She holds a master's degree in Linguistics from Tulane University and two bachelor's degrees in History of Art and Native American Studies from UC Berkeley. She is currently in a PhD program in Linguistics at Tulane University and is on a predoctoral writing fellowship in Philadelphia at the American Philosophical Society, where she is working on her dissertation "Redefining our Record: Chumash Inquiry in Smithsonian Archives."
Redefining our Record: Chumash Inquiry in Smithsonian Archives
March 8: Hilaria Cruz, PhD (University of Louisville)
Hilaria Cruz, PhD, (she/her) is a linguist and a native speaker of the Chatino language spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico, and by members of the Chatino diaspora residing especially in the Southeastern United States, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. She teaches Native American religions and linguistics in the Comparative Humanities Department at the University of Louisville. Hilaria has been collaborating with computer scientists to further the study of indigenous and endangered languages and the cultural practices associated with these communities. She is also passionate about creating children’s books in indigenous languages of North America to fill the scarcity of materials in these languages. She is currently a board member of the Special Interest Group for Endangered Languages with the Association for Computational Linguistics.
Crowdsourcing endangered language children’s books
An indigenous language with books and printed materials suggests comparability with dominant languages, elevating the status of these historically discriminated languages in the eyes of Native language speakers and dominant language speakers. For indigenous youth, printed materials in the language of their community increase their self-esteem, promote their intellectual development, and increase their reading level, as well as help preserve the language. In this talk, I will share my experience crowdsourcing stories, skill, and experiences from diverse communities to create, translate, and publish children’s books in Native American languages and other languages around the world, including the Chatino, Mixtec, Triqui, and Zapotec, as well as Ojibwe, Hupa, Greek, and Bisaya.
March 22: Mskwaankwad Rice (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Mskwaankwad Rice (he/him) is a PhD student of Linguistics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As an L2 learner of his heritage language, he is interested in all things Ojibwe (endonymically known as Nishnaabemwin in his home dialect), and it is his work in language reclamation that has led him to study Linguistics formally. Outside of academia, his language work includes running a Nishnaabemwin immersion program for L2 adult learners called Eshki-nishnaabemjig, which he co-founded with two fellow learners. He also co-hosts a podcast called The Language, where he and his colleague Miigwanaabiikwe discuss anything and everything related to reclamation and the L2 experience. They hope to support others on their respective journeys in this movement.
Power and positionality: a case study of Linguistics’ relationship to Indigenous languages
In this talk, I will discuss the problematic history and relationship that Linguistics has with Indigenous peoples, taking the Ojibwe people and language as a case study. The earliest linguistic writings about the Ojibwe language were made by missionaries, motivated by the evangelical goal of assimilating Indigenous peoples based on a white supremacist belief in the inferiority of Indigenous peoples and cultures. It is not customary for linguists to address their positionality or the history of their sources and the discipline in their research, and I will suggest a blueprint for how this can be done. I will also talk about my experiences in language reclamation efforts.
April 5: Yan Garcia (California State University, Long Beach)
Yan Garcia (he/him) is a second language learner of Nahuatl, as well as a Nahuatl language teacher. He is involved in the promotion of the and revitalization of the Nahuatl language, as well as the creation of language learning tools and resources. He obtained his master's degree in Linguistics from California State University, Long Beach, and a master's degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Redlands. Today, he primarily works with children with disabilities in elementary schools
Community Nahuatl Teaching in Los Angeles
This talk will discuss the community-based approach of teaching the endangered Nahuatl language in Los Angeles, with a focus on language revitalization for people of indigenous and mixed-indigenous descent. The Nahuatl language is spoken by indigenous communities in Mexico and is considered to be endangered due to language shift and globalization. The community-based approach involves engaging the communities in the teaching and learning of the language, with an emphasis on fluency and pedagogical practices of second language acquisition. This approach aims to create a sense of community and cultural identity among people of mixed indigenous descent while preserving and revitalizing an endangered language. The success of this approach could have implications for other endangered languages and highlights the need for collaboration.
April 19: Anna Belew (Endangered Languages Project)
Anna Belew, PhD, (she/her) is the program manager at the Endangered Languages Project, a nonprofit organization that supports the revitalization and promotion of endangered languages worldwide. Her research focuses on language endangerment, revitalization, and sociolinguistics, especially in Iyasa, a language spoken by about 2,000 people on the coast of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. She applies her research to build networks of solidarity and support between Indigenous language communities, and help people access the knowledge they need to fight for their languages.
"I don't feel alone anymore": Building relationships of support and solidarity through language revitalization mentoring
In the years leading up to the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032, there has been a global blossoming of language revitalization, reclamation, and normalization. According to a global survey of revitalization efforts (Pérez Báez et al. 2019), each passing decade since the 1960s has seen a steep increase in language revitalization - which has been linked directly to improved mental, physical, and social well-being (Whalen et al. 2016). However, access to knowledge, training, and support in language revitalization is unequally distributed across global regions, with little or no formal infrastructure or funding to support revitalization in most parts of the world. Many revitalization practitioners (or those who wish to get started in revitalization) feel isolated, lack needed resources, and have no access to training or guidance in language revitalization. The ELP Language Revitalization Mentors program, which launched in February 2023, supports these practitioners by connecting them to a global community of practice, offering personalized guidance and encouragement, and providing free learning and capacity-building resources in revitalization. Anyone can make unlimited, free online appointments to talk in 11 languages with the ELP Revitalization Mentors - all of whom have deep expertise and experience in revitalizing their own languages, and who serve as accessible, supportive peer guides to revitalization practitioners anywhere in the world. This talk will discuss the global state of grassroots language revitalization, outline some of the needs and gaps in language revitalization infrastructure, present the ELP Language Revitalization Mentors program and upcoming Revitalization Helpdesk resource, and share lessons and stories from the first two months of the ELP Revitalization Mentors program.
May 3: Panel Discussion (UC Berkeley)
"Through their eyes: A panel discussion on fieldwork and revitalization at Berkeley"
The Berkeley Linguistics Department has a long history of fieldwork and documentation and has become one of the leading institutions for language revitalization, having designed a graduate degree Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. In this panel discussion, we will have a conversation with members of the Berkeley Linguistics Department regarding their individual and shared experiences with fieldwork/documentation and/or revitalization during their time in the department. What did these fields look like during their time? Have the fields changed? If so, how? What is the next step or path for fieldwork and revitalization? These are just a few of the questions panelists will discuss, as well as questions from audience members. The event will feature the following panelists:
- Leanne Hinton, Professor Emerita, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
- Zachary O'Hagan, Manager, California Language Archive, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
- Tzintia Montaño-Ramírez, PhD student, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
- Alexander Elias, PhD student, Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley
Fall 2022 Meeting Schedule:
September 14: Welcome Back & Orientation Meeting
* September 28: Anna Macknick (UC Berkeley)
This meeting will be held in collaboration with FForum (Fieldwork Forum) during their meeting time from 3-4 p.m.
* October 12: DEILR Welcome Back & Info Party
This meeting will be held in collaboration with the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.
We're looking forward to collaborating with the DE in Indigenous Language Revitalization program to introduce our working group members to current students in the program and learn about each other's respective research, as well as learn more about the program and meet the faculty.
October 26: Emily Drummond (UC Berkeley)
November 9: CANCELED
November 16: CANCELED
November 30: CANCELED
* December 7: Game Night with Tea at Cafe Ohlone
This meeting will be held in collaboration with the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.
We're excited to once again to collaborate with the DEILR program for a much need moment of "Restoration" during RRR Week! Join us for fun games using Indigenous languages and Cafe Ohlone treats sponsored by the DE program!
Spring 2022 Meeting Schedule:
January 26: Poetry and Language Revitalization
* February 7: Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil (Ayutla Mixe / COLMIX)
Tequiologies: Indigenous Solutions Against Climate Catastrophe
February 9: Janet Chávez Santiago (Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec)
Enjoying the Zapotec language and culture: experiences in creating sources and teaching Dixza [view poster]Zapotec is a broad language that varies by region, and as it changes from town to town, the ways of passing on the language are also different. In the very particular variant of my town, Teotitlán del Valle, Zapotec is acquired orally within the family and from the community, social, and political life. However, nowadays many families are speaking to their children only in Spanish, and youth are drawn towards Spanish-dominant language. In seeking to contribute with the creation of new alternatives to learn and enjoy the Zapotec language, culture, and traditions, I have worked on putting together the structure for a basic Zapotec course. In this talk, I would like to discuss some of the challenges that I have faced, such as not having an standardized orthography and the lack of content in the language, and most importantly, I would like to share the Zapotec achievements and enjoyments.
February 23: Mother Language Day Cooking Show Celebration
- Tvetene Carlson; Ahtna; Arctic blueberry pancakes
- Annabel Rabiyah; Iraqi Jewish dialect of Arabic; beidth bsamak (eggs with fish)
- Muriel Ammon (Tsnungwe); Hupa; qo:-nehwa:n mił k’iwe:whe’ (eggy rice)
- Maura Adela Cruz and Sarah Orozco;Zapoteco de Santa Maria Jaltianguis; squash blossom quesadillas
- Ataya Cesspoooch; Noohahpahgup (Ute language); Ahpoos peeyavanna (apple crisp)
- Tzintia Montaño; Mixtec of Puebla and Spanish; Mole family recipe
- Irene Yi; Mandarin; 鸡蛋西红柿 / ji dan xi hong shi (eggs and tomatoes)
March 9: Nubantood Khalil (Nubian Language Society)
Nobiin Revitalization, A desperate battle against time to restore a disappearing language [view poster]
March 16: Ed Fields (Cherokee Nation)
The UC Berkeley Language Revitalization Working Group, Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization, History of Art Department, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley, and the American Indian Graduate Program at UC Berkeley are proud to host a special conversation with Ed Fields, citizen of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee language instructor at Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah Oklahoma. Mr. Fields grew up speaking Cherokee and actively preserves the language by teaching Cherokee at all levels. His classes are full of traditional Cherokee folklore from his childhood. He is widely regarded as a Cherokee national treasure.
Please register for the Zoom link here.
April 13: Jenny Davis (Chickasaw Nation / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Indigenous language futurism and the temporalities of language reclamation
The revitalization or reclamation of Indigenous and endangered languages is often driven or shaped by what Erin Debenport (2015) calls ‘hopeful nostalgia,’ where if “read through the lens of nostalgia, language revitalization can be seen as both a symptom and a cure, a way to diagnose the amount of cultural loss and a way to reinstate what has gone missing, what has been taken, and what is seen to be vital to the health of the community” (111). By definition then, language reclamation looks to the past in order to understand the present and to imagine radical linguistic futures. While the past is often privileged in discussions of language revitalization as an anchor of authenticity and cultural continuity, present day language use in revitalization contexts also utilizes comics, gaming, memes, and other creative and technological domains that position Native American languages as always simultaneously ‘once and future.’ In this talk, I consider the role of these Indigenous linguistic and cultural temporalities in understanding Indigenous language activism with particular interest in linguistic futurisms, or the imagining of Indigenous languages in Indigenous perspectives of the past, present, and future.
April 27: Gabriela Pérez Báez (Language Revitalization Lab, University of Oregon)
Increasing inclusion in academia in support of language
The Global Survey of Language Revitalization Efforts showed that out of 245 surveys collected from around the world, 29% of assets that facilitate the efforts and 45% of needs that hamper them, relate to support (Pérez Báez et al, 2019). Among these, an important type of support is that related to cooperation, including collaborations between language communities and academia. This presentation begins with some of these data as backdrop for examples of collaborations. The first is about efforts to document the lexicon of Diidxazá (zai, Otomanguean) which include the publication of a specialized ethnobotanical dictionary (Pérez Báez et al 2019). The second, is the long-standing National Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous languages which has now served 141 tribal representatives from 65 language communities (Baldwin et al 2018). The third is the recent launching of Living Languages-Lenguas Vivas-Línguas Vivas, the first international, multilingual journal dedicated to topics in language revitalization and sustainability. The journal has developed a novel structure for publication and peer-review that is inclusive of revitalization practitioners who are not in academia (Amaral et al 2022). While these projects are rather different from each other –documentation, capacity building and dissemination—they illustrate how academia can evolve to increase inclusion and be more collaborative in support of language revitalization.
Fall 2021 Meeting Schedule:
December 1: Ataya Cesspooch (Fort Peck Sioux / Assiniboine / UC Berkeley)
November 17: David McLeod (Ojibway / Métis / Native Communications Incorporated) & Brian Wright-McLeod (Dakota / Anishnabe / York University)
Indigenous Music and Radio in Canada
November 3: Eva Garroutte (Cherokee Nation, Boston College)
First Contact! As Told by a Cherokee Historian of the Secret Nighthawk Keetoowah Society in 1905 [View recorded presentation here]
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Eva Marie Garroutte taught in the Departments of Sociology and the Native American Studies program at the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma) and at Boston College (Massachusetts). She is a Research Association professor at Boston College and now lives on the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma.
October 20: Prem Phyak (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
October 6: Claire Bowern, Sarah Babinski, Juhyae Kim, Jeremiah Jewell, Amelia Lake, Kassandra Haakman, Shayley Martin, Marisa Norzagaray, and Irene Yi (Yale)
Contemporary Digital Linguistics and the Archive: An Urgent Archival Audit [abstract here]
September 22: Language revitalization materials show-and-tell!
Bring any language revitalization materials that you've been working on, that you've used in the past, or that you are inspired by. We will have a round-robin-style show-and-tell along with time for discussion. We'll ask everyone to briefly describe their material, what they liked about it, and what they didn't particularly like or would like feedback on. So we can get a sense of how many people will have things to share, please email us if you'd like to share something! You can write to Martha Schwarz (email@example.com), Allegra Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Julia Nee (email@example.com).
September 1: Catching up
Come get to know your fellow LRWG-ers and share your hopes and goals for the upcoming semester!
Spring 2021 Meeting Schedule:
January 27: Discussion of "Toward racial justice in linguistics: Interdisciplinary insights into theorizing race in the discipline and diversifying the profession"
Join us for a discussion of the above article by Charity Hudley, Mallinson, and Bucholtz in the December 2020 volume of Languaeg, as well as the response articles in the same volume.
February 3: Ruth Rouvier & Julia Nee give practice talks for ICLDC7
February 17: *Please note special time, 3:40-5:00pm PST* Alex Chang, Ash Cornejo, Zaphiel K. Miller, Irene Yi, and Sharon Marcos, "Presentations from Language Revitalization in Fall 2020"
Ash Cornejo (3:40-3:55) - "Indigenous Plant Identification: An Interactive Mapping Project"
Alex Chang (3:55 - 4:10) - "Taiwanese Revitalization Through Song Annotation"
Irene Yi (4:10-4:25) - "Chumash Language Learning Through Storytelling, Illustration, and Body Reclamation"
Zaphiel K. Miller (4:25-4:40) - "Uchinaa Language Reclamation through Music"
Sharon Marcos (4:40 - 4:55) - "I AM HERE FOR MYSELF: Affirmations of Self Love in Q'anjob'al"
March 3: Víctor Cata and Rosemary Beam de Azcona, "Challenging the reader: la traducción de lenguas minoritarias a lenguas coloniales"
This talk will be held bilingually in English & Spanish / Se presenta de manera bilingüe español-inglés
March 17: Yuliana Kenfield (Western Oregon University), "Decoloniality & Coloniality within Sociolinguistics Ideological Practices in Higher Education"
Andean college students in Cusco, Peru, struggle to overcome sociolinguistic discrimination against Quechua-Spanish bilingualism during their pursuit of higher education. To examine this situation and possibilities for change, I employed a participatory method, photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1994) within a community-based participatory research framework, to facilitate bilingual college students’ exploration of Quechuan practices in their university. Findings of this participatory study explain how bilingual participants contributed to community critical awareness of Quechua-Spanish bilingual ideologies in Cusco when presenting their visual metaphors during photo interventions. Participants shared personal experiences to maintaining their Quechua language(s) and shared their proposals for encouraging their university to create a fertile terrain for bilingualism, rooting out ideologies of deficits toward Quechua, and promoting Quechua practices in college.
In sum, this presentation shares concepts arising from voices within the data. It illustrates the ways students’ efforts and visions create spaces for their Quechua practices to flourish despite hindrances from their university. The chapters respond to the following questions: What issues do the photovoice participants, Andean college students, raise related to opportunities to use their Quechua at college? What do they propose to transform this reality?
March 31: Screening of Guardians of the Forest
April 14: No meeting
April 28: Kahtehrón:ni Stacey (Kahnawà:ke Education Center)
May 5: Melissa Campobasso, Hearts Gathered Waterfall School: A Salish Montessori Immersion School
Fall 2020 Meeting Schedule:
August 26: Welcome back!
During this meeting, we'll take some time to share a bit about ourselves, our interests, and what we're hoping to learn over the course of the semester.
September 2: Henry Sales (This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies)
My name is Henry Sales, I am from Guatemala, a native Mam speaker, from the town of San Juan Atitán, I currently live in Oakland, CA. I speak Mam, Spanish and English, and I have a passion for preserving Mayan language and traditions, as well as providing for the underserved Mayan populations in the U.S. I used to work as a Mam language interpreter, co-founder of the Mayan dance and performance group, I lead the Mayan soccer team, teach a Mam language class at Laney College and Oakland High with Mam speakers, worked at the San Francisco public library, and coordinate volunteer, outreach, and service events for and with various Mayan communities. Above all I take pride in celebrating the Mayan language and culture and I invite you to do the same. I am an activist, a teacher, a volunteer, and an advocate for mistreated and underrepresented Mayan populations. I am an Administrative Assistant Trilingual III at the Rudsdale Newcomer High School.
*September 10: Wes Leonard (Miama Tribe of Oklahoma & UC Riverside)
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, September 10 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Zoom link.
*September 23: Vincent Medina (Muwekma Ohlone) & Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone) on "Recovering Ohlone"
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, September 23 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (email@example.com) for a Zoom link.
September 30: Sumittra Suraratdecha (This event is co-sponsored by the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at Berkeley)
*October 8: Angel Sobotta (Nez Perce Language Program) on "Story Work and Star Work"
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 8 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Zoom link.
October 14: Ideological Clarification
Discussion of Roche (2019) "Does Ideological Clarification Help Language Maintenance?" (reading available on bCourses or via email email@example.com).
*October 15: Trisha Moquino and a Virtual Field trip to Keres Children's Learning Center
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 15 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Zoom link.
*October 22: Zalmai Zahir (Lushootseed Language Program)
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, October 22 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (email@example.com) for a Zoom link.
*October 27: Cheryl Tuttle (Round Valley Schools) on "Games and Language Play"
Note: this talk takes place Tuesday, October 27 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Beth Piatote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Zoom link.
*November 5: Isaac Bleaman (UC Berkeley) on "Revitalizing Hebrew and Maintaining Yiddish"
Note: this talk takes place Thursday, November 5 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Line Mikkelsen (email@example.com) for a Zoom link.
*November 17: Greg Sutterlict (Yakima Language Program) on "COVID and Language Revitalizaiton"
Note: this talk takes place Tuesday, November 17 from 2-3:30pm. Contact Beth Piatote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a Zoom link.
December 9: Discussion of Saiakwatsirón:ni - We Are Reigniting the Fire: Regeneration of Kanien’kéha Silent Speakers by Kahentéhtha Angela Elijah
Spring 2020 Meeting Schedule:
January 29: When a community isn't asking for language revitalization, what's next?
A discussion of ethics around how/whether to talk about language endangerment in communities where the language isn't seen as endangered, guided by two readings:
Henze, Rosemary and Kathryn Davis. 1999. “Authenticity and Identity: Lessons from Indigenous Language Education.” Anthropology & Education 30(1): 3-21.
Pérez-Báez, G. (2014.) Addressing the gap between community beliefs and priorities and researchers’ language maintenance interests. In G. Pérez-Báez, C. Rogers, & J. E. Rosés Labrada (Eds.) Language Documentation and Revitalization in Latin American Contexts (pp. 165-194). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
For access to these readings, please email Julia at email@example.com.
February 12: A discussion with Mary Hermes (University of Minnesota)
In anticipation of Mary Hermes's talk at Fieldwork Forum at 4pm, we'll be reading and discussing selected papers from Hermes, and she will join us for a discussion of that work. We will read "Designing Indigenous Language Revitalization" (Hermes, Bang, and Marin 2012) and "New Domain for Indigenous Language Acquisition and Use in the USA and Canada" (Hermes, Cash Cash, Donaghy, Erb, and Penfield 2016). For access to the readings, consult our bCourses page or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 26: Language revitalization in contexts where English isn't the matrix language: How do you prioritize multilingual language learning when access to English isn't guaranteed?
March 4: Participatory Action Research in Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec Language Revitalization (Julia Nee, UC Berkeley) (note: talk from 2-3, questions until 3:30)
One common barrier to language revitalization is the presence of an “ideology of contempt” towards a language as a result of colonial and racist practices (Dorian, 1998). But the role of language ideologies in shaping language use is profound (Silverstein, 1979; Wollard & Schieffelin, 1994; Irvine & Gal, 2000; Kroskrity, 2006; among others), and language revitalization projects will not be successful in the long run if the negative language attitudes that supported language loss are not addressed (Dauenhauer & Dauenhauer, 1998; Hinton, 2001; Bradley, 2002; Beier & Michael, 2018). In strategizing ways to revitalize Teotitlán del Valle Zapotec use through Participatory Action Research, or PAR (White et al., 1991; Czaykowska-Higgins, 2009; Tuck, 2009; Martin et al., 2018), involving interviews, focus groups, and photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1997) with language activists, parents, and children, one common theme that emerged was the importance not only of teaching linguistic forms and structures, but also of building a supportive community of language learners and users. In this talk, I explore how PAR was implemented in Teotitlán, and how insights gained through using this methodology have allowed for improvements to the Zapotec language camps for kids that have been hosted since 2017. Specifically, I consider speaker-learner interactions and student-generated work (such as creative storybooks) to better understand the ways in which community-building activities such as field trips to archaeological sites increase learner investment (Pavlenko, 2001; Riestenberg & Sherris, 2018) and lead to greater acquisition and use of Zapotec among children. Additionally, I respond to previous calls in the literature to expand the range of genres studied in language documentation (Meek, 2011; Vallejos, 2016), and I argue for the importance of documenting the language revitalization process itself as a way to better understand how language is (or is not) being transmitted intergenerationally.
March 18: Radical/non-uniform/multiliterate approaches to orthography development
This week, we will read and discuss the following two articles, available on bCourses. The discussion will take place virtually via Zoom, and a link will be sent out at 2 on Wednesday.
April 1: Using historical documents with language learners in revitalization
This discussion, led by Edwin Ko, focuses on ways in which historical documents can be used with learners as part of language revitalization. As part of this discussion, it's recommended that you read "Ethics and Revitalization of Dormant Languages: The Mutsun Language" (Warner, Luna, & Butler 2007 in Language Documentation & Conservation) and "Teaching Wailaki: Archives, Interpretation, and Collaboration" (Begay, Spence, & Tuttle, Manuscript - not for circulation). Both articles are available at our bCourses page.
April 15: Developing pedagogical materials
In this discussion, led by Emily Drummond, we'll consider how education, language documentation, and pedagogical materials creation intersect and interact. Our discussion will be grounded by "Integrating Documentation and Formal Teaching of Kari'nja: Documentardy Materials as Pedagogical Materials" (Yamada 2011) and "Is Revitalization Through Education Possible?" (Hornberger & De Korne 2018, in the Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization).
April 29: Reflection on how we will incorporate what we've talked about this semester into our upcoming projects
Fall 2019 Meeting Schedule:
September 05: Welcome!
At our first meeting, we'll all introduce ourselves and discuss our interests in this group. We'll go over some proposed readings/speakers for this semester. As a way to frame the discussion, we invite you to read Hinton_2018_Introduction_What_is_Language_Revitalization.pdf in order to frame your ideas about what language revitalization is in relation to others' ideas.
September 19: The role of universities in language revitalization
This week, we'll discuss the past, current, and future role(s) that Universities play in language revitalization. To ground our discussion, we invite you to read this article by Little et al. about a community-university partnership in Canada, alongside the McGill Vision Statement"Bridging communities and universities through language engagement." Closer to home here at UC Berkeley, we also encourage you to consider the chapter by Baldwin, Hinton, and Perez-Baezon Breath of Life from the Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization alongside the report on Native American collections in archives on the UC Berkeley campus. Some questions we'll likely discuss include: (1) what barriers to collaboration exist and how can we in our (multiple) roles work to address them? (2) how do the goals of different individuals, groups, and institutions work together or challenge one another? (3) what alternatives to the current model could we propose?
October 3: Decolonizing methodologies
Join us for a discussion of decolonizing methodologies, facilitated by Lissett Bastidas. It is recommended to read the works listed below, and to conder the following questions:
1. Why is an Indigenous creation story that may or may not have a chronology usually considered in academia a myth and not part of history nor religious studies?
2. Can that change? How?
Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2012. Decolonizing Methodologies. Pp. 26-41
Kovach, Margaret. 2010. Ch 4 "Applying a Decolonizing Lens within Indigenous Research Frameworks." In Indigenous Methodologies. Pp. 75-93
Optional: Teaiwa, Teresia. 2014. "The Ancestors We Get to Choose: White Influences I Won't Deny." In Theorizing Native Studies edited by Audra Simpson and Andrea Smith. Pp. 43-53.
October 17: Ways to assess
Join us for a presention and discussion of assessment strategies for indigenous languages, led by David Sul. He writes:
I will be focusing my presentation entitled “Indigenous Language Assessment Development” toward those of you who are looking for practical assessment development advice. I will include some important definitions as well as a nuts and bolts description of the instrument development process undertaken to construct the Dibishgaademgak Anishinaabemowin (Measuring Anishinaabemowin) assessment that is the focus of my dissertation. At the conclusion of the presentation, I hope to draw contrasts between the approaches taken within the seven articles and the one undertaken by our assessment development team.
October 31: Technology and language revitalization
Join us for a presentation and discussion of the relatinship between technology and language revitalization led by Edwin Ko. Edwin has shared an annotated bibliography of twelve selected articles involving digital technology within language revitalization which can be downloaded so that you may read articles you find relevant. Last month, Edwin was invited to participate at a two-day meeting at Carleton University where the topic was "Digital Tools for Endangered Languages: Listening, Learning and Looking Ahead." He will share some of the highly stimulating discussions from the meeting. Open discussions are highly encouraged.
November 14: Visit by Margaret Noodin at 4:00pm; discussion of Noodin's articles from 1-2
In anticipation of Margaret Noodin's talk at 4pm today, we'll be reading and discussing two of her papers: Waasechibiiwaabikoonsing Nd'anami'aami, "Praying through a Wired Window": Using Technology to Teach Anishinaabemowin (2011; in Studies in American Indian Literatures 23(2):3-24; https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5250/studamerindilite.23.2.0003) and chapter 8 from Bringing Our Languages Home (2001) "Anishinaabemowin: Language, Family, and Community". Come ready to discuss, ask questions, and get excited about Noodin's talk!
December 5: Project update