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LINGUIST List 20.3758

Wed Nov 04 2009

FYI: Foundation of Three New Linguistic Organisations, Uni Bremen

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        1.    Susanne Schuster, Foundation of Three New Linguistic Organisations, Uni Bremen

Message 1: Foundation of Three New Linguistic Organisations, Uni Bremen
Date: 04-Nov-2009
From: Susanne Schuster <suschuuni-bremen.de>
Subject: Foundation of Three New Linguistic Organisations, Uni Bremen
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Three times is the rule in Bremen - three new linguistic organisations
founded on the occasion of the Festival of Languages:
- Ethnic Language of the Marianas
- American Indian Languages
- Lesser-used Languages

The Festival of Languages has left traces of success not only in the
general public, but also in the realm of academic disciplines. On the
occasion of the Festival of Languages in Bremen (September-October, 2009),
three new international linguistic organisations have seen the light of
day. In all three cases, the University of Bremen is the locus of the new
institution.

Ethnic Language of the Marianas:
On the occasion of Chamorro Day (27 September, 2009), the Chamorro
Linguistics International Network (CHIN -
http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/chin/) was founded in the local Überseemuseum
(“Overseas museum”). CHIN is the first international association of all
those experts, who study actively the moderately endangered autochthonous
languages of the Marianas - Chamorro - located on the western rim of the
Pacific. Dr. Rafael Rodríguez-Ponga (Madrid/Spain) was elected president,
vice-president is Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz (Bremen/Germany), honorary
president is Dr. Robert A. Underwood, the president of the University of
Guam. At the moment, CHIN has 20 members from seven countries worldwide.
CHIN aims at coordinating research activities in order to contribute
substantially to the survival and ausbau of the ethnic language of the
Marianas which is currently under pressure from the dominant English. Since
1996, the work-group of Thomas Stolz in Bremen has been working
continuously on Chamorro. These activities have brought about among other
things the official cooperation of the University of Guam and the
University of Bremen.

American Indian Languages:
The 4th of October, 2009 was devoted to the indigenous languages of the
Americas. On this occasion, the inauguration of European Network of
Amerindian Linguistics (ENAL - http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/enal/) was
celebrated by more than 40 participants from 11 different countries. The
renowned Hispanicist from Bremen, Prof. Dr. Klaus Zimmermann, was elected
honorary president of ENAL because of his outstanding contributions in the
realm of Amerindian linguistics. His colleague from the linguistics
department in Bremen, Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz was elected president of ENAL
unanimously. His vice-presidents are the internationally acknowledged
experts of American Indian Languages: Prof. Pier Marco Bertinetto
(Pisa/Italy), Prof. Dr. Wilfried Dietrich (Münster/Germany), Dr. José
Antonio Flores Farfán (Mexico), Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hurch (Graz/Austria),
Prof. Dr. Marianne Mithun (Santa Barbara/USA) and Dr. Jeanette Sakel
(Bristol/UK). The main task of ENAL consists of providing a forum for the
exchange of ideas and coordination of joint projects for the European
community of linguists who work at least part-time in the field of
Amerindian linguistics. Presently, ENAL has over 50 members from all parts
of the world. Since 1996, the work-groups of Prof. Dr. Zimmermann and Prof.
Dr. Stolz have carried out research projects on American Indian languages.
From this work, a number of PhD-theses and habilitations (“second PhD”) on
languages such as Quechua, Yucatec and Zapotec have resulted.

Lesser-used Languages:
On the final day of the Festival of Languages (7 October, 2009), the
International Center for the Study and Teaching of Lesser-used Language
(CeSTeaLul - http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/cestealul/) was founded. The new
organisation seeks to provide a permanent place for lesser-used languages
in the academic world. At this place, lesser-used languages can be
researched, taught and learned. CeSTeaLuL is unique globally. It is still
in the initial phase of development, though. Again, Prof. Dr. Stolz is the
head of the institution. Among the founding fathers of CeSTeaLuL, there are
Dónall Ó Riagáin (Ireland) and Dr. Steven R. Fischer (New Zealand). Since
1999, Prof. Stolz has been the head of an initiative which took care of
preparing the creation of CeSTeaLuL. The programme of the linguistics
department in Bremen includes regular courses on lesser-used languages
(from Welsh to Greenlandic). At the same time, the department carries out
research projects on lesser-used languages with the financial help of the
DFG (German Science foundation) and other funding organisations.

These three new linguistic organisations mark out the linguistics
department in Bremen as an internationally renowned address. Bremen
currently boasts a considerable number of unique items. The International
Association of Maltese Linguistics (GHILM -
http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/ghilm/) - founded in 2007 - is only one of
them. The philosophy of linguistics in Bremen is to put those topics and
languages in the foreground which otherwise tend to be neglected.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Stolz
Universität Bremen
FB 10: Linguistik
PF 330 440
D-28 334 Bremen, Germany

Phone: ++49-(0)421-218-68 300
Fax: ++49-(0)421-218-7801
Email: stolzuni-bremen.de

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; General Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics

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