The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice: Toward a Sustainable World

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9780123493545: The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice: Toward a Sustainable World

With world-wide environmental destruction and globalization of economy, a few languages, especially English, are spreading rapidly in use, while thousands of other languages are disappearing, taking with them important cultural, philosophical and environmental knowledge systems and oral literatures. We all stand to suffer from such a loss, none more so than the communities whose very identity is being threatened by the impending death of their languages. In response to this crisis, indigenous communities around the world have begun to develop a myriad of projects to keep their languages alive. This volume is a set of detailed accounts about the kind of work that is going on now as people struggle for their linguistic survival. It also serves as a manual of effective practices in language revitalization.

Key Features
* Includes 23 case studies of language revitalization in practice, from Native American languages, Australian languages, Maori, Hawaiian, Welsh, Irish, and others, written primarily by authors directly involved in the programs
* Short introductions situate the languages, to help make the languages more "real" in the minds of readers
* Each chapter gives a detailed overview of the various kinds of programs and methods in practice today
* Introductions and maps for each of the languages represented familiarize the reader with their history, linguistic structure and sociolinguistic features
* Strong representation in authorship and viewpoint of the people and communities whose languages are threatened, gives the readers an inside understanding of the issues involved and the community-internal attitudes toward language loss and revitalization

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Review:

"...read the book! You will be inspired."
LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION, MULTILINGUAL MATTERS (Vol. 17, No. 3)

"This book focuses on most of the issues which are of serious academic interest in the practice of language revitalisation. It differs from some other books in this area, which focus more on the causes of language endangerment and marginalization. Modern mono-culture's threats to diversity (whether human or biological) form a topic of some interest in the media at the moment. Therefore, this book will appeal not only to language educators and linguists, but also to environmentalists, anthropologists and sociologists."
Nicholas Ostler, President, Foundation for Endangered Languages, Bath UK

"This is a useful, and at times refreshing, collection. Among the high points are Hales's astute commentaries on immersion programs and the use of mass media to preserve (rather than overwhelm) local languages; Clay Slate's exploration of the tensions between indigenous and non-indigenous audiences in creating an intellectual forum for Navajo linguistic scholarship at the highest level; and the back-to-back chapters by Sam Warner and Bill Wilson on Hawaiian revitalization, an object-lesson in how feuding over "control" can subvert even the most successful of language programs. The concluding section on 'sleeping language' (languages with no surviving first-language speakers) is a timely exploration of the links between archival research-clearly the future of our field-and revitalization."
The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Newsletter

"...On the whole, this is a wonderful book, a welcome addition to the growing literature on endangered languages, and a repository of excellent language-renewal ideas. Attractively printed in large format, with an appropriately bright green cover, the volume deserves a place on the shelf of anyone interested in language revitalization or minority language teaching, whether linguist, language teacher, or community activist."
THE MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL

About the Author:

Leanne Hinton is a professor of linguistics at the University of California, the director of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, and a consulting member of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival.

Kenneth Hale has taught linguistics in the Anthropology Departments at the University of Illinois and Arizona, and since 1967, he has been teaching and doing research in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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