ELL: Endangered Languages Debate

Henry Szymonik heszy at jetcity.com
Mon Oct 4 14:22:26 UTC 1999

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Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 07:22:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Henry Szymonik <heszy at jetcity.com>
To: endangered-languages-l at carmen.murdoch.edu.au
Subject: RE: ELL: Endangered Languages Debate
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> I think it pays to make a clear distinction between a "means of
> preserving their language" and a relatively benign cultural
> intervention.  If christianity was such an effective means of
> preserving the language does that mean that non-christian Cherokees
> no longer speak the language?

That is not logical.  Just because it is proposed that christianity was an
effective means of preserving the language, it does not follow that there
are no other effective means of language preservation.

One thing that we seem all too easy to dismiss is the possibility that
there are Natives who are Christian because they want to be and because
they truly believe in it.  Of course there were forced conversions, and
more subtle pressures to label oneself as Christian, but to assume this
for all Natives is patronizing.

Again, I am an atheist and by no means pro-Christian, but I try to respect
those who truly believe in their chosen religion.

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