Country-Lines

Country-lines is a wonderful archive of story-telling from Aboriginal Australia. The site has a growing collection of animations created in collaboration with Aboriginal communities in different parts of Australia. For example, Yanyuwa people from Boorooloola have a set of stories of saltwater dreamings, narrated in Yanyuwa and illustrated. This is a wonderful teaching resource.

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Clamor Schürmann’s Barngarla grammar

The work of the German missionaries on South Australian languages in the first half of the nineteenth century has few contemporary parallels for thoroughness and clarity. This commentary on the grammatical introduction to Pastor Clamor Schürmann’s Vocabulary of the Parnkalla language of 1844 reconstructs a significant amount of Barngarla morphology, phonology and syntax.

It should be seen as one of a number of starting points for language-reclamation endeavours in Barngarla, designed primarily for educators and other people who may wish to re-present its interpretations in ways more accessible to non-linguists, and more suited to pedagogical practice.

Read or purchase Mark Clendon’s latest opus here.

Documentation of Endangered Languages

Sally Thomason has a new book chapter out on the pitfalls of documenting endangered languages. Book details follow:

Responses to Language Endangerment

In honor of Mickey Noonan

Edited by Elena Mihas, Bernard Perley, Gabriel Rei-Doval and Kathleen Wheatley

 
This volume further complicates and advances the contemporary perspective on language endangerment by examining the outcomes of the most commonly cited responses to language endangerment, i.e. language documentation, language revitalization, and training. The present collection takes stock of many complex and pressing issues, such as the assessment of the degree of language endangerment, the contribution of linguistic scholarship to language revitalization programs, the creation of successful language reclamation programs, the emergence of languages that arise as a result of revitalization efforts after interrupted transmission, the ethics of fieldwork, and the training of field linguists and language educators. The volume’s case studies provide detailed personal accounts of fieldworkers and language activists who are grappling with issues of language documentation and revitalization in the concrete physical and socio-cultural settings of native speaker communities in different regions of the world.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 142]  2013.  xv, 273 pp.