« World Oral Literature Project - Peter K. Austin | Blog home | National Indigenous Languages Policy for Australia »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

Buffet style linguistic eating was available in Melbourne last week - first the Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society, and then the Conference of the International Pragmatics Association's annual conference. Galactic conference fees put IPRA out of many people's reach (earlybird rego 350 Euros), but ALS still sticks to the cost recovery principle and makes sure the costs are low. Thanks to the La Trobe University organisers!

Australian Indigenous languages featured heavily at ALS: fieldwork, a whole session on the language Murriny Patha, papers on historical linguistics, word order and information structure... and the future of linguistic work at AIATSIS, and information about projects happening there. On non-Indigenous stuff, there was a brilliantly argued plenary by Anne Cutler (MPI and MARCS) on native listening - she has a book in progress which will be a must-read. I almost regretted not having followed a psycholinguistics path.

And there were good outcomes from the ALS AGM:

  • The Society is continuing to support Pacific Linguistics, about the only place that continues to publish books on languages of our region that are properly copy-edited and don't command galactic prices. (Disclaimer: I'm on the board)
  • The Society is expressing its concern about the decision to close down bilingual education in the Northern Territory
  • The Society's journal AJL is going to appear more often, and is now ISI indexed which means
    • better awareness of the work published therein
    • more people will want to publish in it
    • probably more work on Australian languages will be published, and will become better known

The first plenary at IPRA was also on Australian languages - Peter Sutton's musings on how Australian Indigenous people's beliefs and practices about languages have been altered by the move to settlement life, and how this leads to them speaking English, a creole or a lingua franca instead of their traditional language.

Sutton's book, The Politics of Suffering was launched, and has been much discussed in the news. Gotta read it, because I bet the arguments are more subtle than their portrayal in the media. Another book has hit the streets and the media too -- Nick Evans' Dying Words: Endangered languages and what they have to tell us. Oh to have time to read them! Class preparation..sigh. Nick's book has attracted a long and luscious piece from Nicolas Rothwell (The rest is silence (18/7/09). He mentions Nick's joy in learning from speakers of other languages, but the piece exudes the melancholy of a healthy man at the burial of a distant acquaintance.

Rothwell writes

"Inevitably, the group of researchers familiar with indigenous thought-worlds feel frustration as they observe the mainstream's attitude towards Aboriginal art and life. "I don't think there's been a serious attempt in this country to portray Aboriginal culture in the rigorous intellectual way that's necessary," says Evans.

You bet we feel frustration. And here's an example why. In the same issue Rothwell also has a piece 'The local road to recovery' (18/7/09). It has some good stuff on how Indigenous people's autonomy has been eroded over the last few years. In the course of this he slips in an offhand remark on bilingual education, asserting that many traditional leaders "secure in their own languages, oppose plans to deliver bilingual education." He doesn't feel it necessary to say anything more about the traditional leaders (languages? regions?). Or on the other hand to mention the letters and petitions in favour of bilingual education from many speakers of Australian languages in communities about to lose the bilingual education programs which they have supported for 30 years or so. Or to mention that the NT Government plans to dismantle, not deliver, bilingual education.

So it's fashionable to mourn languages, but deeply un-so to help speakers who want to keep their languages.

"Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
Officiously to keep alive:" [A.H. Clough]

The Authors

About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
More

Recently commented on

FAQ

Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics

Links

E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages

Projects

ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text