Endangered Languages in Museum

Peter Austin pa2 at SOAS.AC.UK
Fri Aug 30 04:56:21 UTC 2013

Will there be a day when this death and dying metaphor can be put to rest?
A coffin? My goodness, can't we be a little bit more creative? And a little
bit more sensitive?

How about sharing some lessons from communities working to revitalise their
languages? There are lots of games, apps and other fun interactive things
for kids to do that are freely available on the internet now. Put a nice
package of them together and sensitise the kids to how languages are
threatened but communities are responding to strengthen their languages.
You could start by looking at www.firstvoices.com and moving on from there.

That's my 2p worth.

Peter Austin

On Friday, 30 August 2013, Lena Terhart <lena.terhart at gmx.de> wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> the UNIKATUM children's museum in Leipzig, Germany, is preparing an
exhibition on language (
http://www.kindermuseum-unikatum.de/papperlapapp.html in German). I thought
it would be nice to present language endangerment as part of the exhibition
and together with the responsible people of the museum, we are now thinking
about one exhibit, probably a coffin that shall be filled with words that
may die out.
> In order to present a big variety of endangered languages, I would like
to ask you to contribute with
> - a list of max. 5 words in the endangered language (basic vocabulary,
something that may be interesting for children, e.g. animals, plants,
natural phenomena, or maybe also simple verbs)
> - in the orthographic convention you use
> - together with a translation
> - and some basic info about the geographic location and number and age of
speakers or alternatively a link to your website where I can find the
> Additionally, photographs of the speakers and/or environment could be
very nice, and ideally also recordings of the words (MP3), but that is not
a requisite - I know that the search for individual words and cutting
process may be too time-consuming.
> The mounting of the exhibition will start on the 16th of september
already so that I need the word lists until the 13th latest.
> Thanks!
> Lena

Prof Peter K. Austin
Marit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics
Director, Endangered Languages Academic Programme
Research Tutor and PhD Convenor
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

web: http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/index.php?cd=pa
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