LINGUIST List 13.1638

Mon Jun 10 2002

Review: Socioling: Hinton & Hale (2001)

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

What follows is another discussion note contributed to our Book Discussion Forum. We expect these discussions to be informal and interactive; and the author of the book discussed is cordially invited to join in. If you are interested in leading a book discussion, look for books announced on LINGUIST as "available for discussion." (This means that the publisher has sent us a review copy.) Then contact Simin Karimi at or Terry Langendoen at


  1. Paulina Jaenecke, Hinton & Hale (2001) The Green Book of Language Revitalization

Message 1: Hinton & Hale (2001) The Green Book of Language Revitalization

Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 19:05:40 +0000
From: Paulina Jaenecke <>
Subject: Hinton & Hale (2001) The Green Book of Language Revitalization

Hinton Leanne, and Ken Hale, eds. (2001) 
The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice. 
Academic Press, xvii+450pp, paperback ISBN 0-12-349354-4
Book Announcement on Linguist:

Paulina Jaenecke, doctoral student at the Freie Universitaet Berlin.


The Green Book on Language Revitalization is a book on the different
aspects of language revitalization. The book is a collection of papers
written by people actively involved in language revitalization
projects. Although the focus is on North American indigenous
languages, examples from other countries are included in the book.

The book is meant as a reference for individuals and communities, that
are interested in the revitalization of an endangered language. It is
aimed at readers without a background in linguistic theory.


The book contains 33 chapters which are divided into 9 parts. It also
contains 16 introductions to the languages mentioned in the articles
and maps to show the geographic location of the languages.


Chapter 1: Language Revitalization by Leanne Hinton 
In this chapter Hinton gives an general overview of the field of
language revitalization and the methods that can be used to revitalize
a language.

Chapter 2: Diversity in Local Language Maintenance and Restoration: A
Reason for Optimism, by Anna Ash, Jessie Little Doe Fermino and Ken Hale
The authors analyse the success of language revitalization efforts for
four different languages: Lardil (Australia), Tuahka (Nicaragua),
Wampanoag (USA) and Irish (Ireland). They see reason for optimism
because of and because of the independence of these movements. This
independence means that the movements are adapted to the local
situation and circumstances, which indicates that people are
struggling to protect diversity.


Chapter 3: Federal Language Policy and Indigenous Languages in the
United States, by Leanne Hinton 
In this chapter Hinton gives an overview of US language policies in
the United States especially those affecting native American

Chapter 4 To Help Assure the Survival and Continuing Vitality of
Native American Languages, by Robert D. Arnold
In this chapter, Arnold, a member of the US Senate Committee on Indian
Affairs, relates how the Native American Languages Act of 1992 was
passed. He gives an overview of the different steps and the opinions
taken into account when policies are made.


Chapter 5: Language Planning, by Leanne Hinton 
Hinton explains what language planning is and gives a step by step
guide to language planning. She also cites two case studies of
language planning, the Karuk Language Restoration Committee and the
Yurok Language Committee. She emphasizes the opinion that planning
should help and not hinder revitalisation projects.

EXCURSUS: Introduction to the Pueblo Languages, by Leanne Hinton

Chapter 6: Native Language Planning, by Christine P. Sims 
As an example of native American language planning, the efforts of the
Acoma Pueblo community are introduced. In this community, summer
immersion camps for children were planned and carried out with the
community as a basis for support of the program.

Chapter 7: The Key to Cultural Survival, by Regis Pecos and Rebecca
In the last twenty years, the Pueblo de Cochiti has experienced
language shift from Cochiti Keres to English. Although the traditional
lifestyle is valued and connected to the use of Keres, outside
influences like the building of a dam and flooding Cochiti land and
the plan to establish a resortlike community on the land threaten
cultural survival. In order to stop language shift, activities to
support Keres, like language classes and a summer camp for children
were planned and carried out by community members.

EXCURSUS: The Navajo Language I, by Ken Hale

Chapter 8: Navajo Head Start Language Study, by Paul Platero 
Navajo Linguist Paul Platero studied the use of Navajo and the support
that Navajo speaking children received in typical Navajo
Kindergarten. He gives recommendations on how to improve the
kindergarten setting for encouraging the use of Navajo.


Chapter 9: Introduction to Revitalization of National Indigenous
Languages, by Leanne Hinton
National Minority Languages e.g. Welsh, Irish, Maori, differ from
indigenous languages of small communities in some aspects: they have a
historical or potential role in governance. National minority language
communities also face the problem of language shift, mostly because of
imperialism. Although the situation of national minority languages
differs from that of local minority languages, the language
maintenance projects can offer stimulating ideas for local minority

EXCURSUS: Introduction to the Welsh Language, by Leanne Hinton

Chapter 10: Welsh, by Gerald Morgan 
In this chapter Morgan analyses the success of Welsh language
maintenance efforts, with special emphasis on the role of the school.

EXCURSUS: Introduction to the Maori Language, by Ken Hale

Chapter 11: Te Kohanga Reo, by Jeanette King 
In this chapter Jeanette King introduces the Te Kohanga Reo, a Maori
language revitalization approach. In so-called "language nests"
children are raised in an Maori-speaking environment. This early
childhood immersion program has grown over the years and led to the
introduction of Maori-Medium schools.

EXCURSUS: An Introduction to the Hawaiian Language, by Leanne Hinton

Chapter 12: The Movement to Revitalize Hawaiian Language and Culture,
by Sam L. No'eau Warner
This chapter describes the situation of Hawaiian today and the
language revitalization measures that have been tried.

Chapter 13: Mai Loko Mai O Ka 'I'ini: Proceeding from a Dream, by
William H. Wilson and Kauanoe Kamana.
This chapter describes the 'Aha Punana Leo, a Hawaii organization that
tries to re-establish Hawaiian as the daily language of
communication. The 'Aha Punana Leo has been quite successful in
creating a place for Hawaiian in the educational sector.


Chapter 14: Teaching Methods, by Leanne Hinton 
This chapter gives an overview of different teaching methods. Hinton
advises the immersion method as the best method for learning and
teaching a language, but gives some advice for teaching when immersion
is not possible. Hinton also gives some practical advice on teaching
methods and lesson planning and provides a sample lesson on clothing.

EXCURSUS: The Karuk Language, by Leanne Hinton

Chapter 15: Teaching Well, Learning Quickly, by Terry Supahan and
Sarah Supahan 
In this chapter the authors explain how they teach Karuk with the
communication-based language instruction approach and how to plan a
lesson using the five step lesson plan.

EXCURSUS: The Navajo Language II, by Ken Hale

Chapter 16: Tsehootsooidi Olta'gi Dine Bizaad Bihoo'aah, by Marie
Arviso and Wayne Holm
Two of the founders of the Navajo immersion program at Fort Defiance
give a report on how they started the immersion program for
kindergarten children. The project tried to improve academic abilities
of Navaho children by developing academic Navajo abilities. They give
an account of the methods used and the problems they encountered.

Chapter 17: The Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program, by Leanne Hinton 
The Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program was developed in
California, where there are many indigenous languages with very few
speakers. In order to pass on those languages, the Master-Apprentice
approach puts together a speaker of a language (Master) and a learner
(Apprentice). This approach trains the communicative skills of the
learner, because only the target language is allowed as a means of
communication. After a method-training session learning takes places
in a natural setting during day to day activities, in an one-to-one
setting. The program has been successful, some of the former
apprentices now work as language teachers themselves.

Chapter 18: Linguistic Aspects of Language Teaching and Learning in
Immersion Contexts, by Ken Hale
Hale gives examples of how grammatical structures can be taught in
immersion class settings.


Chapter 19: New Writing Systems, by Leanne Hinton 
In this overview Hinton discusses the pros and cons of having a
writing system. She also describes the steps in developing a writing
system and cites some case studies of how communities have made their
decision about a writing system.

EXCURSUS: An Introduction to Paiute, by Leanne Hinton and Ken Hale

Chapter 20: Language Revitalization in the San Juan Paiute Community
and the Role of a Paiute Constitution, by Pamela Bunte and Robert Franklin
This chapter describes the attempts to raise awareness and pride by
the translation of the Paiute constitution into Paiute and thus to
reduce language shift.


Chapter 21: Audio-video Documentation, by Leanne Hinton 
In this chapter Hinton gives some basic information on using modern
technology to document a language. She discusses the pros and cons and
emphasizes that although recording a language is important, it alone
does not save a language.

EXCURSUS: Australian Languages, by Ken Hale

Chapter 22: Strict Locality in Local Language Media, by Ken Hale 
This chapter describes how the Walpiri of Australia make use of modern
media, but shape it in accordance with traditional narrative styles.

Chapter 23: Reflections on the Arapaho Language Project, or When Bambi
Spoke Arapaho and Other Tales of Arapaho Language Revitalization
Efforts, by Stephen Greymorning
Greymorning tells of his language revitalization efforts for
Arapaho. Besides starting an immersion class project, he asked
permission to dub the Disney movie Bambi into Arapaho. He worked out
the translation and the film was successfully synchronized and shown
and distributed in the community.

EXCURSUS: Irish, by Ken Hale

Chapter 24: Continuity and Vitality, by Colleen Cotter 
This chapter describes two Irish radio stations that work with
different methods with the common goal to help language maintenance.

EXCURSUS: The Mono Language, by Ken Hale

Chapter 25: On Using Multimedia in Language Renewal, by Paul Kroskrity
und Jennifer Reynolds
The authors of this chapter report on the making of a CD- Rom for
learning the Mono language of California.

Chapter 26: Can The Web Help Save My Language?, by Laura Buszard-Welcher 
Buszard-Welcher analyses websites dedicated to endangered Native
American languages and evaluates the possibilities the web offers for
the revitalization of endangered languages.


Chapter 27: Training People to Train Their Language, by Leanne Hinton 
Hinton emphasizes the difference of teaching a foreign language or
teaching a language to immigrants versus the teaching a minority
language. One major difficulty in teaching a indigenous minority
language is that the speakers of the language are rarely trained as
teachers for the minority language.

EXCURSUS: Inuttut and Innu-aimun, by Ken Hale

Chapter 28: The Role of the University in the Training of Native
Language Teachers, by Alana Jones and Irene Mazurkewich
This chapter describes the development of a program for training
native speakers of Inuttut and Innu-aimun as teachers in Labrador.

EXCURSUS: Languages of Arizona, Southern California, and Oklahoma, by
Leanne Hinton

Chapter 29: Indigenous Educators as Change Agents, by Teresa McCarty,
Lucille Watahomigie, Akira Yamamoto and Ofelia Zepeda
In this chapter, two native American language institutes, AILDI
(American Indian Language Development Institute) and ONLA (Oklahoma
Native Language Association Workshop) / ONALDI (Oklahoma Native
American Language Development Institute) are introduced. In these
institutes, native American teachers learn how to put indigenous
knowledge into the curriculum.

EXCURSUS: The Navajo Language III, by Ken Hale

Chapter 30: Promoting Advanced Navajo Language Scholarship, by Clay Slate 
This chapter gives an overview on the on the Dine College's Navajo
Language Programs supporting Navajo scholarship by Navajos for
Navajo's purposes.


Chapter 31: Sleeping Languages - Can they be awakened?, by Leanne Hinton 
Languages that are not spoken any longer are often called dead
languages, or moribund, if they have few speakers left. Hinton prefers
the term "sleeping languages". In this chapter, Hinton describes the
efforts to revive some of these languages and how this can be done.

Chapter 32: The Use of Linguistic Archives in Language Revitalization,
by Leanne Hinton
For four years the Native California Language Restoration Workshop has
been held at the University of California, Berkeley. In this workshop,
people who are interested in their "sleeping" ancestral language learn
how to make use of the resources available.

EXCURSUS: The Ohlone Language, by Leanne Hinton

Chapter 33: New Life for a Lost Language, by Linda Yamane 
Yamane tells of her process of learning and reconstructing her
ancestral language, Rumsien by means of Harrington's field notes.


This book is about the efforts to stop shift and revitalize a
language. This is a positive change, because a lot of books on
endangered languages place the focus on language shift. All the
authors in the book are interested in language maintenance and
language revitalization. Most of the authors are actively working in
language revitalization projects. They had an idea about how to
revitalise their language and tried it in the field. They share their
expertise with the reader and write about both their positive and
negative experiences. All the authors share an enthusiasm for their
work and a love for the languages they work with, which becomes clear
when one reads the articles. (and I can only render their passionate
accounts inadequately) The scope of the authors' activities vary
widely. Linda Yamane is trying to reconstruct her ancestral language
by herself, while in Marie Arviso and Wayne Holm set up an immersion
programs for Navajo children that has been working for 16 years. 
The book provides those readers interested in reviving their
ancestral language with ideas what they can actually do and how to go
about it. It becomes clear, when reading the book that one person's
effort can really make a difference. Some of the advice given is very
practical, for example chapters 14 and 15 contain sample lessons for
preparing a language class, while others are more theoretical in
nature, like the article on Irish-language radio. Few technical terms
are used and little or no linguistic background is expected of the

One of the questions that remains is: are the languages revived the
"real languages"? Leanne Hinton raises this question herself, when she
writes about the efforts to revive the Mutsun language and adapt the
language to modern society. Hinton (p414) writes: "It is funny,
poignant and thought- provoking to realize that the most commonly used
words in Mutsun right now are words that never existed when the Mutsun
language was still alive." One can argue about the linguistic purity
of the languages thus revived, what becomes clear however is that
revitalization efforts raise the self-esteem of learners and speakers
of endangered languages, which can be crucial for survival if there
are only 3 or 4 speakers left.

Although this book is aimed at practitioners; I highly recommend it
for linguists. It shows ways in which linguistic scholarship can be
put into practical use, but also shows some of the problems linguists
can encounter in the real world.


Paulina Jaenecke has just handed in her Ph.D. thesis on Sorbian, a
regional minority language spoken in Germany. Her research interest
lies in the area of language maintenance and intercultural
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue