LINGUIST List 12.2885

Sat Nov 17 2001

FYI: Endangered Lang Fund,Cognitive Systems Research

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>


  1. Doug Whalen, Endangered Lg. Fund Grants, 2001
  2. Branney, Kate (ELS), Cognitive Systems Research

Message 1: Endangered Lg. Fund Grants, 2001

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 09:12:52 -0500
From: Doug Whalen <>
Subject: Endangered Lg. Fund Grants, 2001

 ELF Awards 10 Grants in 2001
 The Endangered Language Fund is pleased to announce the grants
awarded in 2001. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we were
able to fund ten of the sixty proposals that we received this year. The
selection was harder than ever, as more and more worthy proposals are
submitted. We hope to be able to expand our fundraising so that a larger
proportion of these efforts can be funded.
 Two projects were funded for work in Oklahoma, thanks to the
generosity of the Kerr Foundation. As in the previous year, the
=46oundation's grant allowed us to promote work in this language-rich
portion of the U.S. One grant, spearheaded by Joyce Twins, will allow
the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe to record materials for the teaching of
Cheyenne. Another grant will allow Justin Neely, a member of the
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, to apprentice himself to the some of the last
truly fluent speakers of Potawatomi. Both of these projects will result in
the collection of material that will soon be irreplaceable.
 We invite you to become a member, to help us stem the tide of
language loss. Pick up a form at
 Here are the ten awardees:
 Justin T. Neely (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Potawatomi Language
Preservation and Apprenticeship Program
 The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is centered at a reservation in
Shawnee, Oklahoma. Neely will apprentice himself to two elders fluent
in the language. These master-apprentice programs have been among the
most successful for continuing a language tradition when the youngest
generation has not learned the language from childhood. Eventually, his
efforts will be recorded and used as a basis for language instruction
 Mary D. Stewart (Sto:lo Nation), Preservation and Revitalization of
the Upriver Halq'emeylem Dialect Language within the Family Entity
 Upriver Halq'emeylem (Halkomelem) is a Salishan language of the
Central Coast branch. Only five elders still fluently speak the language.
The present project will bring together words and phrases into interactive
language resources that will be designed to bring young children (birth 
to age 6) into contact with the language through the entirety of the family
unit. Audio tapes will be created, and there will be instruction booklets
geared toward children and parents.
 Angela M. Nonaka (UCLA), Saving Signs from Bhan Khor: 
Documentation and Preservation of an Indigenous Sign Language in
 The similarities and differences between spoken and signed
languages, and the progress of their endangerment, are relatively
unexplored in linguistic science. The present proposal will study the Ban
Khor Sign Language, which is used by about 1,000 people in remote
areas of northeastern Thailand. It was developed from Thai Sign
Language about 60-80 years ago. A basic grammar and lexicon
(recorded in video format) will make further assessment of the language
and its endangerment possible.
 Mildred Quaempts (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian
Reservation), Umatilla Immersion Camp
 Umatilla is one of the three languages spoken by the confederated
tribes (Cayuse and Walla Walla are the others), and they are spoken
fluently by fewer than 60 people. Quaempts is one of the fluent second-
language learners of Umatilla, and she will conduct an immersion
program for sixteen tribal members of various ages. Several elders will
be available for a five-day, intensive language experience. Much of the
interaction will be recorded, and some of that will be used to help create
new language teaching materials.
 Paula L. Meyer (Claremont and San Diego State), Baha California
Tiipay Comparative Dictionary
 Baja California Tiipay is a Yuman language closely related to U. S.
versions of Tiipay (also called Diegue=F1o) but still considered by its
speakers to be a separate language. There has so far been no extensive
description or dictionary work. Only a handful of elderly people still
speak the language, as the parents have been convinced that knowing the
language is detrimental to success in modern society. The present project
will therefore focus on a dictionary, to retain the last vestiges of a
language that is bound for extinction.
 Marina Dmitrievna Lublinskaya (St. Petersburg U.), Collection of
Audio Material in the Nganasan Language
 Nganasan (along with Nenets and Enets) belongs to the Northern
Samoyedic group of Uralic languages. Although the size of the speaking
population seems never to have exceeded about 1,500, at present only
about 50% of the population (and 15% of the children) speak the
language, indicating that the language is on the decline. There are at
present no audio recordings, and time is running short to record the truly
fluent speakers. Lublinskaya will record words, phrases, texts and
folklore for transfer to CDs which can be distributed to the community.
 Kristine Stenzel (U. Colorado), The Wanano Project
 The speakers of Wanano hope that the bilingual education that is
guaranteed by the 1988 Brazilian constitution will someday become a
reality. To help make that possible, Stenzel will help produce written
material for this Tucano language. She will also record conversational
data to help understand the complex situation of life with many
languages that is so typical of Brazil. These little-studied languages have
many unusual linguistic features, such as the simultaneous interaction of
two noun categorization systems, the coding of up to five evidential
categories, and a possibly unique tonal system.
 Kenny Holbrook (Capitola, CA), Instruction in Northeastern Maidu
 Only a few speakers of Maidu survive, and one of the best hopes of
continuing the language is for young language learners to apprentice
themselves to those speakers. The main teacher in this case will be
somewhat unusual, in that he is not a native speaker. But William
Shipley, emeritus from UC Santa Cruz, learned Maidu from Holbrook's
grandmother over fifty years ago and is now poised to pass on that
knowledge to a descendant. All of this will make the substantial corpus
of written material more useful and accessible for future generations.
 Zarifa Nazirova (Tajik Academy of Sciences), The Vocabulary of the
Traditional Culture of the Ishkashim Language
 The layer of language that deals with the spiritual life of a people is=
interest to linguists, ethnologists, art historians and members of the
heritage community. The present project will collect as many lexical
entries in the cultural domain as possible. Tracing the influence of the
various languages of contact (other Pamirian languages and various
Tajik languages) will be explored even as the cultural significance is
recorded as extensively as possible. The cultural heritage-and the paths
of cultural evolution-will be available permanently thanks to this effort.
 Joyce Twins (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), Cheyenne
Pedagogical Materials
 Cheyenne is an Algonquian language spoken in western Oklahoma
and Montana. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have undertaken an
ambitious language program that uses telecoursing to put the Cheyenne
language into four high schools in western Oklahoma. However, there is
a severe lack of teaching materials at all levels. The present project will
help alleviate this problem, especially in the use of sound recordings of
fluent speakers to give life to the written materials that predominate now. =

Marcia Haag (U. of Oklahoma) and Laura Gibbs (Talking Leaves
consortium) will lend their expertise to this project as well. Creating this
material while there are still native speakers with us is of the utmost
importance. While many tribes are recreating their languages from
historical records, those still blessed with native speakers can create a
much more usable curriculum with modern technology, which lets us
preserve the sounds of language in addition to writing it down.
The Endangered Language Fund
Dept. of Linguistics
Yale University
P. O. Box 208236
New Haven, CT 06520-8236 USA
Tel: 203-432-2450
Fax: 203-432-4087

Doug Whalen (
Haskins Laboratories
270 Crown St.
New Haven, CT 06511
203-865-6163, ext. 234
FAX: 203-865-8963
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Message 2: Cognitive Systems Research

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 14:57:07 +0100
From: Branney, Kate (ELS) <>
Subject: Cognitive Systems Research

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