Fwd: [RNLD] Linguistics in the pub 5th anniversary: Issues in the documentation of newer language varieties Wednesday 29th October 2014

Nick Thieberger thien at unimelb.edu.au
Fri Mar 13 21:30:21 UTC 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ruth Singer <ruth.singer at gmail.com>
Date: 7 October 2014 at 15:13
Subject: [RNLD] Linguistics in the pub 5th anniversary: Issues in the
documentation of newer language varieties Wednesday 29th October 2014
To: r-n-l-d <r-n-l-d at unimelb.edu.au>, Jeremy David Taylor <
jeremy.taylor at unimelb.edu.au>, Alice Gaby <Alice.Gaby at monash.edu>, Adam
Schembri <A.Schembri at latrobe.edu.au>

Announcement: Linguistics in the pub

LIP has now been going for 5 years, who would have thought!
Thanks to the hard work of co-organiser Lauren Gawne, numerous discussion
leaders and participants LIP continues to foster ever more sophisticated
discussions of issues in language documentation and of course, the imbibing
of delicious food and drink.

After the discussion led by Felicity Meakins, we will move to a more
elegant venue to celebrate the anniversary.

*Issues in the documentation of newer language varieties*

*Discussion led by Felicity Meakins (University of Queensland)*

By now it is well understood that traditional Indigenous languages are
losing speakers rapidly and tragically. While a concerted effort has been
directed towards the documentation of traditional Indigenous languages, the
languages spoken by most younger generations in remote Indigenous
communities are less well understood. It is generally assumed that a shift
to English is underway in remote Indigenous communities, but this is not
always the case.

In the last decade, the program of language documentation in Australia has
extended to languages spoken by younger generations. Now we have
descriptions of young people's varieties of Dyirbal, Pitjanjantjatjara and
Murrinh-Patha; as well as descriptions of dialects of Kriol (Roper River,
Kimberly, Barunga, Tennant Creek) and mixed languages Light Warlpiri and
Gurindji Kriol.

Understanding the first language of younger generations is important for a
number of reasons including education models, which take into account the
first language of students, and models of language evolution and change.
Nonetheless many issues arise in the documentation of non-traditional
Indigenous varieties.

   - Documenting non-traditional languages is potentially face-threatening
   to communities which maintain a strong ideological link between identity
   and language competence
   - New language varieties are often considered substandard varieties by
   older generations
   - New language varieties are often consider linguistically less
   interesting by linguists
      - variation is assumed to be unprincipled (the fallacy of ‘random
      - simplification of morpho-syntactic systems is assumed often without
      rigorous examination
   - Much of the work on new varieties has been undertaken within rubric of
   education rather than typology
      - Newer varieties are then often viewed through the lens of English
      or a traditional language which often leads to the above problems

The Rhydwen (1995) reading is a first person account of a linguist
launching into work on a newer language variety, Barunga Kriol. It
documents some of the difficulties outsiders face when learning these
languages and touches on issues of language prestige and perceptions of

*Reading: *Rhydwen, M. (1995). Kriol is the colour of Thursday. *International
Journal of the Sociology of Language, 113*, 113-119.  (a pdf will be made
available on the RNLD Melbourne LIP webpage http://www.rnld.org/MLIP )

Date:             Wednesday 29th October 2014 !!!! NOTE DIFFERENT DAY OF
Time:             6:00 - 8:00 pm
Venue:           Upstairs room, Prince Alfred Hotel

191 Grattan St, Carlton

(corner of Bouverie St)

ph (03) 9347-3033

Food and drinks available at the venue

LIP is coordinated by Ruth Singer (University of Melbourne)
rsinger at unimelb.edu.au

LIP is an occasional gathering of language activists and linguists in
Melbourne. All are welcome. Those in other parts of Australia and the
world who can't make it to the Melbourne LIPs are encouraged to
organise a local gathering to discuss this topic and support language
activities in your area.

Dr Ruth Singer
DECRA Postdoctoral Fellow
Linguistics Program and Research Unit for Indigenous Language
School of Languages and Linguistics
Faculty of Arts
University of Melbourne 3010
Tel. +61 3 90353774
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/resource-network-linguistic-diversity/attachments/20150314/fd9ca503/attachment.html>

More information about the Resource-network-linguistic-diversity mailing list