Courses in Language Revitalization

Lower-Division Course

C70. Working with Grammar: Linguistic Tools for Learning and Teaching a Native American Language. (3 units.) This course is for people who want to learn a Native American language, understood to include any of the hundreds of indigenous languages of North, Central, and South America. Since most of these languages are not taught in the usual formal educational settings, a major emphasis of the course is helping students develop strategies for self-directed language learning and effective teaching methods to help others learn as well. The course will also provide a basic introduction to principles of linguistic analysis that will make materials developed by specialists more accessible and useful to learners.

Upper-Division Course

154. Language Revitalization: Theory and Practice. (3 units.) This course will explore a range of theories and practices that undergird efforts by linguists and language activists to revitalize and revalorize endangered languages in communities around the world, with a focus on the Americas. Beginning with an exploration of how linguistic diversity, language vitality, and language politics interact, the course will narrow focus toward individual student projects that explore language revitalization issues in the context of a specific language or community, including the option to create usable revitalization materials for that community. 

Graduate Course

251. Indigenous Language Revitalization: Contexts, Methods, Outcomes. (3 units.) This course provides consistent engagement with indigenous languages, speakers, and texts. It gives an overview of historical and social contexts that produce language endangerment and loss; definitions and debates over terms and methods associated with language revitalization; ethical and methodological issues in language revitalization work; practical skills in language documentation and linguistic analysis; and case studies and outcomes in language revitalization.

Endangered and Indigenous Language Courses

Celtic 15. Elementary Modern Irish. (4 units.) A beginning course in Modern Irish. Students will be learning the basics of Irish grammar, and developing ability to understand, speak, read and write the language.

Celtic 16. Introduction to Modern Welsh. (4 units.) Introduction to modern Welsh conversation and grammar. Emphasis in the first-semester class is on pronunciation, mastering consonant mutations, using several tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, past), and the acquisition of basic vocabulary and idiom. Simple written materials based on traditional Welsh stories will supplement classroom oral-aural work.

Celtic 85. Intermediate Modern Irish. (4 units.) The second semester of Modern Irish. Continuing instruction in speaking, comprehension, reading and writing skills. By the end of this semester, students will have become acquainted with all of the central grammatical constructions of Irish, and will be ready to begin reading accessible Irish prose.

Celtic 86. Intermediate Modern Welsh. (4 units.) Continuation of Celtic Studies 16, emphasizing progress in conversation, grammar, and idiom. Using tenses previously learned, students will learn how to ask and answer many types of questions and will learn conjugated prepositions and idiomatic uses of prepositions. Future and conditional tenses and simple relative clauses will be introduced. Level-appropriate written materials will supplement class work, and students will begin learning about Welsh culture as they learn the language.

Celtic 102A. Elementary Breton. (4 units.) This course will teach students to speak, read, and write modern literary Breton. We will follow the curriculum established by the only good introductory Breton text in English, which I will supplement with exercises and readings from current Breton publications and contemporary literature. Students will have covered most of the grammar of Breton by the end of the course.

Celtic 102B. Advanced Breton. (4 units.) Advanced readings in Breton. Continuation of Celtic Studies 102A. This course will teach students to speak, read, and write modern literary Breton. It will follow the curriculum established by the only good Breton text in English, which will be supplemented with exercises and readings from current Breton publications and contemporary literature.

Celtic 144A. Modern Welsh Level 3. (4 units.) This course continues the Celtic Studies 16-86 sequence. Advanced grammatical concepts are introduced and vocabulary building (especially idioms) is emphasized. Students read materials such as magazines, newspapers, catalogues, and popular novels. Regular language laboratory attendance is required.

Celtic 144B. Modern Welsh Level 4. (4 units.) This course continues the Celtic Studies 16-86-144A sequence. Emphasis is on mastering the fine details of Welsh grammat (including prepositional idioms), accent reduction, and acquiring conversational ease. Dialect information is introduced. Supplementary reading will introduce students to the standard literary languages; brief compositional exercises will be based on this material.

Celtic 145A. Intermediate Irish Language. (4 units.) The third level course in modern spoken Irish designed for students who have completed two semesters of formal instruction. Continued stress on vocabulary building and reading of texts with intensive conversation drills to activate the learned vocabulary. Idiomatic usage will be reinforced in both oral and written exercises. Class activities will include conversation and discussion of assigned texts in Irish.

Celtic 145B. Modern Irish Level 4. (4 units.) The fourth semester of Modern Irish. Readings in Irish literature will be a major focus of the curriculum, but will also be accompanied by advanced grammatical instruction and conversational practice.

ILA 180. Advanced Study in Indigenous Languages of the Americas. (3 units.) This course is designed to introduce students to Nahuatl textuality by drawing examples from poetry and painting. Addresses interrelations between alphabetical writing, pictography, and orality. The course will also offer students an introduction to Ancient Nahuatl through the study of James Lockhart's Nahuatl as Written (one day per week will be dedicated to the study of Nahuatl). Students will also be introduced to the paleography of colonial Nahuatl texts.

Yiddish 101. Elementary Yiddish. (5 units.) Introduction to Yiddish language and literature. Attention to reading, writing, and speaking in the context of the historic Yiddish cultural environment.

Yiddish 102. Intermediate Yiddish. (5 units.) Further intensive study of Yiddish, building on the foundation established in 101. Advanced grammar and introduction to the reading of original texts.

Yiddish 103. Readings in Yiddish. (3 units.) Study of selected Yiddish texts including prose, poetry, and drama, from various periods and geographic areas, in the context of time and place. Review of relevant grammatical topics. Increased attention to the Hebrew/Aramaic component. Selections may vary from semester to semester.