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Phoenix or Relic? Documentation of Languages with Revitalization in Mind
Title:
Phoenix or Relic? Documentation of Languages with Revitalization in Mind
ID:
Amery, Rob. 2009. Phoenix or Relic? Documentation of Languages with Revitalization in Mind. Language Documentation & Conservation 3(2):138-148.
1934-5275
Link to the object:
Online:
Yes
Archive:
Contributor:
Amery, Rob (author)
Date:
2009
Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
Description:
The description of Indigenous languages has typically focussed on structural properties of languages (phonology, morphology, and syntax). Comparatively little attention has been given to the documentation of language functions or the most commonly occurring speech formulas. Speech formulas are often culturally-specific and idiomatic and cannot be reliably reconstituted from a knowledge of grammar and lexicon alone. Many linguists and lexicographers seem to have an implicit relic view of language, as if they have been trying to capture the “pure” language uncontaminated by language and culture contact. Accordingly, borrowed terms and neologisms are typically omitted or underrepresented in dictionaries. Recorded texts have tended to be myths or texts about traditional culture. Conversations and texts about everyday life, especially in non-traditional contexts, are ignored. How can we ensure that language descriptions are maximally useful, not only to linguists, but to the people most closely associated with the languages, who may wish to revive them? Considerable time is needed to produce a maximally useful description of a language and its uses. Suggestions made here emerge from first-hand experience working with Yolngu and Pintupi people in non-traditional domains, as well as from attempts to re-introduce Kaurna on the basis of nineteenth-century documentation.
National Foreign Language Resource Center
Content language:
English
DCMI type:
Text
Other format:
11 pages
Other rights:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
Other subject:
language revitalization
speech formula
Australia
Yolngu
Pintupi
Kaurna
Other type:
Article
Complete OLAC record:
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Find Related Information:

Archive: Language Documentation and Conservation
Online: Yes
DCMI type: Text
Content language: English
Date: 2000 - 2009
Date: 2000 and later
Contributor: Amery, Rob
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Title: Phoenix or Relic? Documentation of Languages with Revitalization in Mind
Other format: 11 pages
Other rights: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
Other subject: Australia
Other subject: Kaurna
Other subject: Pintupi
Other subject: Yolngu
Other subject: language revitalization
Other type: Article