Lost Language Day challenges

Robin Sabino sabinro at mail.auburn.edu
Sun May 26 02:59:53 UTC 1996

My concern is related to Jonathan's point that 
> It's not necessarily the case that speakers of many endangered languages
> "don't sense the danger".  Rather, many  do not want to speak their native
> language (or do not want to pass it on to their children), as it may often
> be linked to negative soicio-politico-economic status, or seen as an
> impediment to progress.

Should anyone be put in the position of choosing between social/political/
economic survival and instantiating his or her identity in language?  The 
ancestors of the Echota Cherokee tribe, sacrificed their language 
in order to escape the Trail of Tears.  Having achieved political 
parity, and (for some tribal members, economic parity), 
they now struggle to regain their language and the cultural and historical 
knowledge which Cherokee language records encode. 

That my government is responsible for their plight, shames me. That 
members of my species have repeatedly created such situations shames 
me. I feel obligated to right these wrongs whenever I have the opportunity to
do so.

Robin Sabino
Auburn University

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