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Language endangerment: A history

Authors:
You’ve come too late to learn our language, you
should have come earlier. Nowadays we are a
numbered people.
~ Marta Kongarayeva (born 1930), Tofa speaker
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1, 2011. Department of Anthropology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
1
Pat Gabori
One of the last 8
speakers of Kayardild
Passed away in 2009
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
2
Boa Sr
Last speaker of
Aka-Bo
Passed away in
2010, at age ~85
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
3
Great Andamanese Languages
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
Extinct
7 speakers (2006)
Aka-Bo
Aka-Bea
Akar-Bale
Aka-Kede
Aka-Kol
Oko-Juwoi
• A-Pucikwar
Aka-Cari
Aka-Kora
Aka-Jeru Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
4
The Last Speakers of Chitimacha
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
5
Language Endangerment:
A History
Daniel W. Hieber
Rosetta Stone
November 10, 2011
Overview
1. State of Languages Today
2. History of the Causes
3. History of the Responses
4. Language Profile: Chitimacha
5. Language Profile: Navajo
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
7
THE STATE OF LANGUAGES
TODAY
1. Living Languages
2. Critically Endangered Languages
3. Countries by # of Languages
4. Languages by Vitality
5. Small & Large Languages
6. Poor Data
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
8
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
9
Countries by Number of Languages
Image courtesy of Worldmapper.com
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited guest
lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language &
Culture’ Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1,
2011. Department of Anthropology, James
10
Critically Endangered Languages
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
P f A L P h N 1 2011 D f A h l J M di U i i H i b VA
11
Languages by Vitality
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited guest
lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language &
Culture’ Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1,
2011. Department of Anthropology, James
12
Smallest
languages
3,586
Mid-sized
languages
2,935
Biggest languages
83
8 million speakers
0.2%
1,200 million
speakers
20.4%
4,500
million
speakers
79.5%
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited guest
lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language &
Culture’ Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1,
2011. Department of Anthropology, James
13
Koasati
Tunica
Natchez
Choctaw
Chitimacha?
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history.
Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1, 2011. Department of
14
CAUSES: FROM PREHISTORY TO
TODAY
1. The Original State of Language
2. The Agrarian Revolution
3. Languages Outgrow Their Borders
4. The Rise of the Nation-State
5. The Political Means
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
15
The Original State of Language
ante 8,000 BCE
Language itself is 50,000 years old (at least)
Population estimate, dawn of Neolithic: 10 million
Size of communities is capped at several thousand until
5,000 BCE (city-states in the Fertile Crescent)
Most languages had fewer than ~500 speakers
Kayardild probably never more than ~150 speakers
Gurr-goni stable 70 speakers for as long as anyone
remembers
Number of languages peaked 10,000 y.a.
~ 5,000 20,000 languages
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
Professor Amy L. Paugh, Nov. 1, 2011. Department of Anthropology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
16
The Agrarian Revolution
8,000 BCE 5,000 BCE
Shift to sedentary communities
Speaker communities became larger
Decrease in # of languages offset by population
expansion
Renfrew-Bellwood Effect
Decrease in deep-level diversity, i.e. the number of
unrelated stocks or deep lineages
Decrease in number of language families
First massive extinction of languages
Didn’t happen everywhere
Papua New Guinea still fits the pre-Neolithic model
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
P f A L P h N 1 2011 D f A h l J M di U i i H i b VA
17
Languages Outgrow Their Borders
3000 BCE 1500 ACE
Celtic (Europe, prehistory
51 BCE
Akkadian (Mesopotamia
ca. 2250 500 BCE)
Greek (Balkans, Persia,
Eastern Europe 1600 BCE
1453 ACE)
Hittite (Turkey 1750
1180 BCE)
Aramaic (Mesopotamia ca.
700 BCE onward)
Sanskrit (Southern Asia
500 BCE onward)
Arabic (Middle East, North
Africa 622 750 ACE)
Latin (Europe, North
Africa, Middle East 753
BCE onward)
Germanic (Northern
Europe (ca. 500 BCE
onward)
Mandarin (221 BCE
onward)
Nahuatl (Central Mexico
600 1519 ACE
Quechua (South America
ca. 1100? ACE 1572)
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
18
The Rise of the Nation-State
(1500 – 1900)
Portuguese Brazil, Southern Africa
Dutch Indonesia, South Africa, New England
French – Europe, West Africa, North America,
Madagascar
Russian Northern Asia
English – North America, India, Eastern Africa,
Australia
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
19
The Political Means
(1900 – today)
Compulsory education
New, post-colonial states
Unintended consequences
Konmité Pou Etid Kwéyòl (KEK) Dominica (Patwa)
Native Title legislation Australia
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Continuation of linguistic nationalism
English-Only legislation
Imagined communities
Reliance on State services, conducted in the language of the
State
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
20
RESPONSES & REVITALIZATION
1. The Spanish Missionaries
2. Colonial Explorations
3. The Boasian Linguists
4. The Rise of Generativism
5. Revitalization
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
21
The Spanish Missionaries
1500s – 1700s
Alonso de Molina Nahuatl
Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians each
wanted their own Nahuatl grammar
Tradition continued in S. America (Quechua), N.
America (Guale, Timucua; Florida), and Brazil
Jesuits were excellent field linguists
Numerous manuscripts lost when they were
expelled from Paraguay
By 1700, 21 grammars were published
Missionary work was (and is SIL) common
globally
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited guest lecture, Anthropology 305: ‘Language & Culture’
P f A L P h N 1 2011 D f A h l J M di U i i H i b VA
22
Colonial Explorations
1700 – 1900
Jefferson lists
Bureau of American
Ethnology
Roger Williams
Narragansett (Rhode
Island)
Intense interest in
comparative
linguistics
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
23
The Boasian Linguists
1900s – 1950s
Franz Boas describing each language and culture
in its own terms
Sparked a whole cadre of field linguists
Mary Haas
Morris Swadesh
Edward Sapir
Benjamin Lee Whorf
J. P. Harrington
Margaret Mead
Ruth Benedict
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
24
The Rise of Generativism
1950s – 1980s
Leonard Bloomfield, Language (1933)
Structuralist linguistics
Comprehensive description of N. American
languages
Meaning is irrelevant to understanding how
language operates
Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures (1959)
Transformational grammar
Universal Grammar (later works)
Introspection as a method
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
25
Revitalization
1990s – 2010s
1992 – Language publishes seminal article
Ken Hale On endangered languages and the
safeguarding of diversity
Ken Hale Language endangerment and the human
value of linguistic diversity
Krauss The world’s languages in crisis
Training indigenous speakers as linguists (Hale)
Journals (LD&C), Conferences (LD&D, SILS, SSILA),
Organizations (FEL, ELF)
Recognition and support from the field
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
26
PROFILE OF AN ENDANGERED
LANGUAGE: CHITIMACHA
1. Prehistory
2. Interactions with the Europeans
3. Revitalization
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
27
Prehistory – 1940
Lived in the Louisiana area for 2,500 6,000 years
Language isolate possibly the first inhabitants
1700 diseases halved the population
ca. 1706 1718 French colonists actively enslaved tribe
1727 Chitimacha rediscovered west of Mississippi
1802 Jefferson list collected by Martin Duralde
1881 1882 Documented by Albert S. Gatschet
1907 1920 Documented by John R. Swanton
1917 sold tribal land to the government
1930 population dropped to 51 people
1930 1934 Language documented by Morris Swadesh
1934 Chief Benjamin Paul, last expertly fluent speaker, dies
1940 Delphine Ducloux, last proficient speaker, dies
Documentation Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
28
Revitalization
1990? - 2011
2000 census 720 registered Chitimacha
3 beginner intermediate speakers
1995 – Revitalization program begins
2008 – Chitimacha Rosetta Stone begins
Constructed from Swadesh’s documentation
2010 – Chitimacha Rosetta Stone released
Being learned by every student in school
2010 – Preschool immersion program begins
In progress Chitimacha dictionary and grammar
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
29
PROFILE OF AN ENDANGERED
LANGUAGE: NAVAJO
1. History & Conflict
2. Navajo today
3. The Navajo Handprint
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
30
Navajo Today
Most widely spoken American Indian language
1970 – 90% of BIA boarding school children spoke
Navajo
1992 – 18% of preschoolers knew Navajo
2011 – Less than 5% of school-aged children
2006 – Navajo Language Renaissance
2010 – Rosetta Stone released
In progress Navajo workbooks
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
31
Contact Information
Daniel W. Hieber
Associate Researcher, Rosetta Stone Labs
(540) 236-7580
dhieber@rosettastone.com
www.danielhieber.com
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language
endangerment: A history. Invited
guest lecture Anthropology 305:
32
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Language endangerment: A history. Invited The Boasian Linguists
  • Daniel W Hieber
Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited The Boasian Linguists 1900s -1950s
Invited Navajo Today • Most widely spoken American Indian language • 1970 -90% of BIA boarding school children spoke Navajo • 1992 -18% of preschoolers knew Navajo • 2011 -Less than 5% of school-aged children • 2006 -Navajo Language Renaissance •
  • The Navajo Handprint Hieber
The Navajo Handprint Hieber, Daniel W. 2011. Language endangerment: A history. Invited Navajo Today • Most widely spoken American Indian language • 1970 -90% of BIA boarding school children spoke Navajo • 1992 -18% of preschoolers knew Navajo • 2011 -Less than 5% of school-aged children • 2006 -Navajo Language Renaissance • 2010 -Rosetta Stone released • In progress -Navajo workbooks