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Media: Court Says Yup'ik Not Written Language

Submitter: Elizabeth Pyatt

Submitter Email:
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Writing Systems

Media Body: Just a story about issues of language support for some indigenous languages.


'A Federal Judge has [made a preliminary ruling] that Yup’ik is not an
historically written language. The ruling is part of a lawsuit brought on
by Yup’ik elders and tribes against the State of Alaska and the City of
Bethel. The ruling by Judge Timothy Burgess could limit the kind of
language assistance the state is required to provide.'

The audio file on the site explains that this lawsuit was brought up by the
Alaska ACLU because the tribe was seeking further support in translating
voting materials into Yup'ik and more support is mandated for 'historically
written languages.'

However the story says that this ruling may not preclude additional
translation support (in fact the final ruling may clarify what is needed).
Also, the state may actually record CD-ROMs.
Issue Number: 19.2341
Date Posted: July 23, 2008