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Matthew McDaniel akha at
Mon Sep 27 17:46:38 UTC 1999

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			 Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 00:46:38 +0700
			 From: Matthew McDaniel <akha at>
			 Organization: The Akha Heritage Foundation
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			 To: Endangered Languages Linguist list
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Subject: Re: [Li-AmInd] Re: ELL: New SIL Alias
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Diego makes many points very clearly.

I do not know if I am on his side, if he is on my side, nor that it matters,
his points are valid.

And what missionary ever had proof that they were right?

So we allow non scientific evidence on the part of our white
missionaries but
require scientific evidence that they are doing damage?

Sounds pretty much like shadow boxing, in and out of the invisible wall
if you
ask me.

I am of the opinion that most white missionaries are extremely racist
and think
Jesus was white for all practical purposes.

Further, if we had glistening proof, I mean nuclear proof that SIL was
destroying and endangering languages who would we report it to?

The world court of governing missionaries?

I mean this is the kind of situation that people have a fuse only so
long for
and then the missionaries get all the persecution they could hope for because
people got tired of being told they had no evidence while the big boys keep
pushing them around down south behind the school.


Diego Quesada wrote:

> On Wed, 22 Sep 1999, Victor Golla wrote:
> >
> > Apparently Diego has been inspired with the truth about New Tribes Mission
> > in much the same way that the missionaries he castigates are inspired by
> > the Word of God.  Proof is not required if a "hypothesized situation" is
> > emotionally satisfying and consistent with one's prejudices.
> I clarify:
> I am not 'castigating' any missionaries. It is simply that in language
> endangerment there is no middle point when it comes to threatening
> situations: either you are in favor or against.
>         Describing a grammar of an endengered language has nothing to do
> with preventing the language (and its speakers) from vanishing from the
> surface of the earth. Basically it's us linguists who profit from the
> recorded grammars of dead languages (and forget about Hebrew in Israel;
> that is a completely different business). The real cheesecake is what the
> people who enter the communities do there, with both the language and its
> speakers: what good does it make a community if their language is
> described (usually in a language and metalanguage they do not understand)
> but at the same time the culture that that language embodies is displaced
> (and despised)?  Here is where the black & white issue appears. I am
> against. I do not see how that can be 'castigating' or where is prejudice
> in that. I, like I bet must subscribers of this list, can well justify the
> point of view that alienatin of any sort is an agent of endangerment; and
> to the point that calling that stand "prejudice" would border on
> ridicule.
> Second, my initial posting was (and the intention still is) to find out
> the degree, nature, extent and so on, if any, of the connections between
> SIL and akin organizations. What is imflammatory in that? Dismissing the
> lack of technical evidence -precisely the initial motivation of the basic
> "research question"- and proceeding to ask around and try to find out is
> not prejudice either. I can hardly see how it is. I'd be thankful to
> Victor if he could explain why simply posing a question for discussion and
> query is prejudice.  Moreover, how is not quitting at the initially
> apparent absence of "evidence" prejudice. Suggesting the opposite ("just
> shut down the door and leave")  strikes me as unscientific. In other
> words, are we supposed to do research when the evidence is there only? and
> when it is not, are we supposed to stop? What kind of research procedure
> is that? If the evidence is there, why bother 'researching'?
> J. Diego Quesada


Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number:  Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.

US Address:

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304

Donations by direct banking can be transferred to:

Wells Fargo Bank
Akha Heritage Foundation
Acc. # 0081-889693
Keizer Branch # 1842  04
4990 N. River Road.
Keizer, Oregon,  97303 USA
ABA # 121000248

Or In Thailand:

Matthew  Duncan McDaniel
Acc. # 3980240778
Bangkok Bank Ltd.
Maesai Branch

Web Site:
mailto:akha at

Discussion Groups:
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