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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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The World in a Shell: request for assistance



Date Submitted: 20-Jan-2010
From: Mark Swindle
Subject: The World in a Shell: request for assistance
Contact Email: click here to access email
 

Notice: 'The World in a Shell' (http://www.worldinashell.net/), is an art-science
concept piece - embodied in the form of a modified shipping container -
that will travel, over the coming 5 years, to 11 locations
(http://www.worldinashell.net/map/wiasmap.html) - with each location - e.g.
Ghanzi, Botswana - selected on the basis of both its status as a Unesco
World Heritage site; and because of the presence of 'first peoples' there
- e.g. the Khoe San, in Botswana. At each location it will serve as a sort
of art/research/cultural laboratory; as a demonstration of a sustainable,
non-disruptive-to-lifestyle technology; and as a collector and transmitter
of data.

The project kicks off with an exhibition in Rotterdam at the NAi in March,
with all the exhibit's catalog content due by the end of January. In the
catalog there will be a section to present the people and locations which
will be visited. To make it a more personal story we would like to publish
the following hand written sentence in (one of) the original
language/dialect of the first peoples - either by one of the first peoples,
or someone with the capability of writing in the Native tongue.

What is the meaning of freedom?

This handwritten sentence would then need to either be scanned or digitally
photographed at high resolution, then returned to us.

Following is the status of each of the locations/peoples/languages we still
need samples from. If you can assist, please help out - and return the
sample by the end of January!

Location - People - Language

Mörön, Mongolia - Mongols - Mongolian

Puyo, Ecuador - Shuar - Shuar

Quésso, Congo- Pygmy - Bantu language related to Komo

Ghanzi, Botswana - Khoe-San - Khoi

Kuk Swamp, Papau, N.G. - Papauns - Melpa, Enga, Western Dani, Ekari?

Balalae/Shortland - Solomon Islands - Malinesier ?

Oualâta (Walatah), Mauritania - Moors - Hassaniya or the Soninke language
of Azer?

Queensland, Australia - Murri Aborginals - Bundjalung ?

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (Thar desert) - Rajasthani - Rajasthan?