[RNLD] Announcement: MLiP - Storytelling and Language Revitalisation - Tue 29 November 2016

Jonathan Schlossberg schlossberg.jonathan at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 02:07:41 EST 2016

*Announcement: Melbourne Linguistics in the Pub - Tuesday 29th November

*Storytelling and Language Revitalisation*

Treasure Language Storytelling is a new kind of performance event where we
gather to celebrate the small languages spoken in our neighbourhoods,
towns, and cities. Storytellers share stories in the original languages
before interpreting them into English or another widely spoken language
known to the audience. These are not professional storytellers but ordinary
people at the living end of an unbroken chain of oral transmission. When
they tell their stories, we experience our shared humanity and we connect
in a deeper way. Could this be an effective strategy for promoting language
vitality in urban settings?

Treasure Language Storytelling was developed by Steven Bird and Robyn Perry
in the San Francisco Bay Area and more recently in Darwin. We drop the
crisis framing (Krauss 1992 et seq) and instead seek new ways to recognise
and celebrate the linguistic diversity in our midst. We replace terms like
"endangered language" with "treasure language" (Grinevald and Pivot 2013).
By putting on multilingual storytelling events at popular venues, we
showcase bicultural citizens and confront the monolingual mindset. The work
is founded in a creative approach to social change called the "Great
Turning" (Macy and Brown 2014), and an appreciation of the pervasive impact
of framing (Lakoff 2014), and has so far led to four events (videos at

) and a draft resource kit (Bird and Perry 2016).

I would like to facilitate a discussion of the following:
(1) the format and its potential impact on language vitality;
(2) how this impact could be systematically evaluated; and
(3) arrangements for an event in Melbourne to coincide with International
Mother Language Day (21 February 2017)


Bird, Steven and Robyn Perry (2016)
Treasure Language Storytelling Resource Kit (esp pp1-2),

Macy, Joanna and Molly Young Brown (2014)
Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (chapter
1, esp p5),
New Society Publishers.

Further Reading

Grinevald, Colette and Bénédicte Pivot (2013)
The Revitalization of a ‘Treasure Language’: the Rama Language Project of
Nicaragua (esp sec 4.3),
In Jones and Ogilvie (eds) Keeping Languages Alive: Documentation, Pedagogy
and Revitalization, Cambridge University Press. https://www.academia.edu/

Lakoff, George (2014)
Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate,
Chelsea Green Publishing

Krauss, Michael (1992)
The world's languages in crisis, Language 68(1),

Date:      Tuesday 29th November, 2016

Time:       6:00 - 8:00 pm
Venue:     Function room (upstairs)

              *University hotel*

*Address: *272 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053

*Phone:   *(03) 9347 7299


 (menu available online)

LIP is an occasional gathering of language activists and linguists in
Melbourne and is coordinated by the MLIP committee: Ruth Singer, Stefan
Schnell (Melbourne Uni), Jonathan Schlossberg (University of Newcastle),
Harriet Shepard, Alan Ray, Jonathon Lum (Monash Uni)

Contact Ruth Singer (University of Melbourne) with any questions:
*rsinger at unimelb.edu.au
<rsinger at unimelb.edu.au>*
You can receive these announcements by signing up to the RNLD mailing
list: *http://www.rnld.org/node/5

Jonathan Schlossberg
PhD Candidate
ELDTA Linguistics Research Program
University of Newcastle
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