Published on April 4, 2014
The Shoshoni Language: From Oral Tradtion to the Digital Age Leigh Lecture April 2, 2014 Marianna Di Paolo Department of Anthropology, University of Utah & National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian)
Introduction Focus on The Wick R. Miller Collection Shoshoni Language Project The Shoshoni language a widely spoken, indigenous language of the Great Basin the northernmost Uto-Aztecan language
Introduction: structure of the lecture Language endangerment in general Overview of the Uto-Aztecan languages Geographic distribution, language family, and linguistic vitality Focus on the goals, history, and accomplishments of the Wick R. Miller Collection Shoshoni Language Project
Language endangerment: a world-wide and local crisis ―Humanity today is facing a massive extinction: languages are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. And when that happens, a unique vision of the world is lost. With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage; the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, we lose the expression of communities‘ humor, love and life. In short, we lose the testimony of centuries of life. ―Languages are entities that are alive and in constant flux, and their extinction is not new; however, the pace at which languages are disappearing today has no precedent and is alarming. Over 40 percent of the world‘s approximate 7,000 languages are at risk of disappearing. But today we have tools and technology at our fingertips that could become a game changer.‖ (From the Endangered Languages Project websitehttp://www.endangeredlanguages.com/about/ Accessed March 26, 2014)
Language endangerment: a world-wide and local crisis At the time of contact, in North America there were ~300 indigenous languages In 1997, 175 remained Today, only 20 are widely spoken by children In the next 5 years, 70 could cease to be spoken!!!!! In 1990, there was only an estimated 2,284 speakers of Shoshoni Almost all of them were over 50 years of age For Shoshoni to continue as a community language, it is important for young people to learn it and use it.
Contextualizing Shoshoni: Uto-Aztecan Languages Geographic distribution of UA languages The UA language family The linguistic vitality of a selection of UA languages
Uto-Aztecan Languages: Geographic distribution at time of European contact From Merrill, et al. (2009)
Uto-Aztecan Languages: Geographic distribution Present-day locations of Uto-Aztecan languages in the U.S. and northern Mexico (Wikipedia)
Uto-Aztecan Languages: Geographic distribution Present-day locations of Uto-Aztecan languages in Mexico and Mesoamerica (Wikipedia)
Uto-Aztecan Languages: Geographic distribution Numic subfamily Western Numic: Mono, Northern Paiute/Bannoc k Central Numic: Panamint, Shoshoni/Gosiu te, (Comanche) Southern Numic: Kawaiisu, Chemehuevi/S outhern Paiute/Ute (Map from Crum & Dayley 1997)
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the language family What is a language family? ―Languages are always changing.‖ Over time dialects of a language can change so much as to become separate languages English and Dutch used to be dialects of the same language. Now ―English is a Germanic language.‖ ―Dutch is a Germanic language.‖ Italian and Spanish used to be dialects of the same language. Now ―Italian is a Romance (Italic) language.‖ ―Spanish is a Romance (Italic) language.‖ Hindi and Farsi (aka Persian) used to be dialects of the same language. Now ―Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language.‖ ―Farsi is an Indo-Aryan language.‖
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the language family What is a language family? A language family is all of the languages or dialects that can be proven to have descended from one common language (the root of the family tree; the mother language) The language that the Germanic, Italic, and Indo-Aryan languages descended from is called Proto-Indo-European (PIE) They, and all languages in the language family, are called ―Indo- European languages‖ PIE is dated to about 5,500 years ago by about which time there is evidence that it began to break up into separate languages as PIE-speaking people began to migrate from the homeland
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the language family The language that Shoshoni, Ute, Hopi, Tarahumara, and Classical Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) descended from is called Proto-Uto-Aztecan They, and all languages in the language family, are called ―Uto- Aztecan languages‖ Recent work on dating PUA Campbell (1997) (well-known for conservative dating)—5,000 BP (‗before present‘) Merrill, et al. 2009: (argues that it was spoken in the west central Great Basin)—8,900 BP Brown (2010): (the most conservative estimate)—4,000 BP
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the language family Establishing the Uto-Aztecan (UA) language family Undeniable evidence for the UA language family was first published about 100 years ago: Sapir, Edward. 1913, 1919. Southern Paiute and Nahuatl: a study in Uto-Aztecan, parts. 1 and 2. Journal de la Société des Américanistes de Paris 10:379-425 and 11: 443-88, and 1915 in American Anthropologist 17:98-120, 306-328. Reprinted 1990 in The collected works of Edward Sapir 5: American Indian Languages, William Bright, ed., 351-444. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Uto-Aztecan Languages: language family tree
Uto-Aztecan Languages: language family tree—Southern Uto-Aztecan
Uto-Aztecan Languages: language family tree—Core Nahua
Uto-Aztecan Languages: language family tree—Northern Uto-Aztecan
Uto-Aztecan Languages: language family tree--Numic
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the language family Linguistic evidence for language families Based on very careful linguistic analysis showing that there are systematic similarities and systematic differences between sets of languages Although the UA language family is thousands of years old, the languages are still remarkably similar Some UA cognates are still found in all branches/subfamilies of UA Cognates are words that have a common origin At one time, before the dialects became separate languages, the cognate words were the same word Cognate sets are used to establish the genetic relationship between languages
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HORN, ANTLER *awaC/*a‘awaC Shoshoni aan; oonon Tarahumara awá Huichol ‘aawaa Classical Nahuatl kwaa-kwaw(i)-tl ‘head-tree’; a’wa-tl ‘thorn’
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HOUSE, HOME *kanni (NUA); *kaLi (SUA); *ki Shoshoni kahni Tarahumara garí Huichol kíi Classical Nahuatl kal-li
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HOUSE, HOME *kanni (NUA); *kaLi (SUA); *ki Shoshoni Poho kahni (lit., ‘sagebrush house’) Please visit this poho kahni the next time you are at Red Butte Garden
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HOUSE, HOME *kanni (NUA); *kaLi (SUA); *ki Shoshoni Soonkahni ‘Salt Lake City’ (lit., ‘many houses’)
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family ROCK, STONE * tïN-(pV) Shoshoni tïmpin Tarahumara ŕeté; ŕeepó Huichol teetée Classical Nahuatl te-tl
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family ROCK, STONE * tïN-(pV) Shoshoni tïmpin White Mesa Ute tïpwi-či Southern Paiute tïmpiN- Mt. Timpanogos
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HAND, ARM *man > *ma Shoshoni ma”; mo’o Tarahumara ma; seká Huichol maamá Classical Nahuatl maa(i)-tl
Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets: establishing the language family HAND, ARM *man > *ma Shoshoni ma”; mo’o Mo'niwaini ‘Red Butte Canyon’ “The name refers to an occurence after a battle, the hands of certain captives having been cut off and hung up at the mouth of this canyon seemingly as a warning against trespass.” (Chamberlain 1913)
Uto-Aztecan Languages: linguistic vitality How likely is it that a language will survive the mass extinction of the world‘s languages? Language Endangerment Scale (in handout) Table of Uto-Aztecan Speaker Data (in handout) An assessment of the linguistic vitality of a selection of Uto-Aztecan languages Compilation of data from ~1995-2008 Scale and data from www.EndangeredLanguages.com
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the linguistic vitality of UA languages Numbers may vary because of data collection on language knowledge and use is not straightforward because of the passing of speakers over time Numbers may also vary depending on how dialects are grouped or not grouped together into languages The same language can have different names (Gosiute/Shoshoni) Speakers & linguists may disagree about whether two varieties are the same language or different languages (Shoshoni & Comanche) The vitality status of a language may change with more information: Pipil was thought to be ―Dormant‖ until Lyle Campbell reported on a small group of speakers of the language in the 1980‘s in El Salvador Pipil‘s current status is ―Severely Endangered‖ The fluent, native speaker base is small but ~3,000 children are learning Pipil as a second language
What causes languages to become endangered? So many UA languages are endangered! Is that because of some grammatical problem with UA languages or some other linguistic problem? Language endangerment is not caused by the language per se (the structure/grammar/sound system/vocabulary of the language) All human languages are useful, complex systems All are capable of being used for a range of communicative activities by their speakers English is not a better language grammatically than Yaqui or Shoshoni!
What causes languages to become endangered? Language endangerment is caused by the economic, political, social, and historical conditions that speakers of the subordinate languages have found themselves in Such extra-linguistic forces lead to institutional policies that pressure speakers to stop passing their language on to their children, rupturing “intergenerational mother-tongue transmission” The transmission of a parent‘s mother-tongue to his/her children
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the linguistic vitality of UA languages Uto-Aztecan language in the U.S. are endangered because of factors external to the languages such as the economic dominance of English the economic subordination of American Indians Federal laws/policies Esp., U.S. educational policies esp., Boarding Schools
Uto-Aztecan Languages: the linguistic vitality of Shoshoni Shoshoni a language with older fluent speakers numbering in the thousands but with very few younger speakers. fluent native speakers are almost all well over 50 now very few, young fluent native speakers Many reasons that Shoshoni is not being used very much boarding schools economic hardships associated with Shoshoni; economic success with English But many reasons to keep Shoshoni alive native identity and culture associated with Shoshoni a number of Shoshone and Goshute activists are committed to revitalizing their language
Wick R. Miller Collection Shoshoni Language Project The mission of the WRMC Shoshoni Language Project has included: documenting the Shoshoni language, developing materials to assist the Shoshoni communities in local revitalization projects, training Shoshoni language techers, disseminating materials, encouraging Shoshoni people of all ages, esp. young people, to use their language.
Shoshoni Language Project: the preservation and dissemination of legacy materials The Project was at first primarily concerned with preserving the oral tradition of the Shoshoni language speakers captured in the reel-to-reel tapes of the Wick R. Miller Collection. Recordings made by Prof. Miller throughout the Great Basin in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah One of the founders of the U‘s Linguistics Program Old audio tapes can be very fragile Eventually they lose quality, disintegrate, and can no longer be played Fortunately, the Miller recordings were still in very good condition
Shoshoni Language Project: the preservation and dissemination of legacy materials Prof. Miller had worked with speakers of Shoshoni to publish 14 of the narratives from the recordings Miller, Wick R. 1972. Newe Natekwinappeh: Shoshoni Stories and Dictionary. University of Utah Anthropological Papers, 94. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. The Shoshoni texts are written in the Miller Orthography, which Prof. Miller with native speaker and linguist, Beverly Crum, developed
Original mission of the Shoshoni Language Project: the preservation and dissemination of legacy materials 2004-07. Preserving and Enhancing Accessibility of Gosiute/Shoshoni Material in the Wick R. Miller Collection, NSF #0418351 (awarded to Mauricio Mixco (PI) & Marianna Di Paolo (co-PI)) For the preservation, dissemination, and enhanced accessibility of the Wick R. Miller recordings & materials
The Shoshoni Language Project: the preservation and dissemination of legacy materials—early accomplishments Digitized recordings and made analog copies About 480 Shoshoni narratives and some songs Traditional stories Ethnographic narratives of traditional practices Oral histories Some songs The digital recordings facilitated the transcription, translation, and glossing of the recorded materials. Completed most of the transcriptions & translations in collaboration Beverly and Earl Crum, Drusilla Gould, Imogene Steele, Boyd Graham, Bryan Hudson, Helen Timbimboo, Leland Pubigee, Rupert Steele, etc.
The Shoshoni Language Project: the preservation and dissemination of legacy materials—early accomplishments Produced a searchable Shoshoni-English/English-Shoshoni multi-dialect electronic dictionary (―the Big Dictionary‖) 30,000-word entry compilation of dialect lexicons (many provided by Beverly Crum) Recently made available on the Shoshoni Language Project website Began dissemination of materials from the WRMC
Shoshoni Language Project: language maintenance & revitalization mission We quickly learned that many people in the tribal communities were already involved or wanted to be involved in keeping their language alive The preservation and dissemination of the old recordings on CDs helped People began listening to their relatives voices again Usually an emotional experience Many words and phrases in the stories had not been used for a long time Sometimes the transcribers had to seek out very elderly people for help on the translations
Shoshoni Language Project: language maintenance & revitalization mission Our NSF-funded project was coming to an end More work clearly needed to be done Some of the communities asked us to assist with language revitalization projects they had initiated Some of this work has been funded by ANA grants to individual tribes In Spring of 2007, asked by Brian Mason, Barrick Corporation, to submit a grant proposal to continue work on the WRMC Since that time, Barrick funding has been crucial to our ability to engage in Shoshoni language revitalization outreach efforts
Further development of the Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission 2007-present. The Wick R. Miller Collection: Returning to the Communities. Barrick Gold of North America Corporation, Inc. grants. (Marianna Di Paolo (PI)) Early (documentation) accomplishments: Completed the first draft of the Shoshoni transcriptions, glossing, & English translations of the 480 WRMC narratives Developed indices for the WRMC ethnographic field note, notebooks, and recorded narratives Developed a searchable version of ethnographic field notes
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission Making existing materials available again to Shoshoni communities often means using technology, e.g., ―Returning‖ traditional narratives recorded ~45+ yrs ago to family members today WRMC recordings on digital media How to Read and Write Shoshoni. Crum & Miller, with revisions by Bryan Hudson originally published in 1992; reissued in 2011
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission Using technology to develop and disseminate new materials, e.g. 4,000-entry Shoshoni Talking Dictionary Project begun in collaboration with Boyd Graham, Education Director, Ely Shoshone Tribe Originally funded by ANA grant to the tribe Now funded by Barrick grant Built in LexiquePro, freeware from SIL Multi-speaker, pan-dialect Distributed on DVD (May 2014 update) Available on SLP website in late 2014
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission WRMC Transcription/Translation update: The narratives—traditional stories, oral histories, traditional practices Vary in length some only a few minutes long, some over an hour long Now working on proofreading and completing final translations (Mixco, Di Paolo, & Elwood Mose) To be published in a series of books with accompanying CDs of the original recordings
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission WRMC Transcription/Translation Publication Project: Plan for 2014-2015 Possible titles (or themes) for the first four volumes: 1. How the World Came to Be The Way It Is 2. Coyote and Others Fail to Heed Advice or are Too Proud 3. Shoshone Oral History 4. Shoshone Traditional Activities (Ethnography)
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission How the World Came to Be The Way It Is (31 narratives) Cottontail Shoots the Sun (11 narratives) Sun and Cottontail WRMC_009_01 Maude Moon 6/12/1967 Tapu ma‘ai Tapai WRMC_041_01 Albert McGill Sun and Cottontail WRMCT_043.03 Albert Stanton Jr. Ittsape' Tapu ma'ai WRMCT_064.01 Johnny Dick Cottontail WRMC_074_03 Martha Hooper Cottontail WRMC_083_04 Tom Premo Cottontail Shoots the Sun WRMC_084_01 Tom Premo Cottontail Rabbit and Sun WRMCT_088.01 Dave Charley Sun and Cottontail Kill the Sun WRMC_089.02 Maude Cortez Cottontail kills the Sun WRMC_114_01 Sadie & Lillian Ariwite Cottontail WRMC_118_03 Dan Brady Origin of the Indians Coyote brings duck eggs up from the south WRMC_002_02 Maude Moon (and 4 more)
Shoshoni Language Project: documentation → language maintenance & revitalization mission How the World Came to Be The Way It Is (cont.) Coyote Steals Fire (1 narrative) Theft of Fire WRMC_074_06 Martha Hooper How the Number of Months and the Seasons Came to Be (5 narratives) Seasons WRMC_014_02 Maude Moon Months WRMC_054_02 Wilson Jack Number of Months WRMC_076_07 Earl Dean Harney Number of Months WRMC_078_05 Lucy Jones Coyote, skunk and the birds and the origin of the seasons WRMC_072_02 Tom Wesaw How Pine Nuts Came to Grow Where They Grow Now (14 narratives) Theft of the pinenut WRMC_093_08 Judy Sam (and 13 more)
The Shoshoni Language Project: language maintenance & revitalization mission?? Is it possible to turn the loss of the Shoshoni language around? While it may not be possible to rebuild most endangered language speech communities, the Shoshoni community may be one of the exceptions: There are physically-active fluent speakers in most Shoshone and Goshute tribal communities, Many reservation children still hear the Shoshoni language in some traditional domains at least occasionally and some hear it in the home Most of the tribes have been engaged in language revitalization activities.
Shoshoni Language Maintenance & Revitalization: involve people of all ages Most of the fluent native speakers of Shoshoni are now grandparents and great-grandparents They are the repository of the language Most of the middle-aged adults did not have the opportunity to become fully fluent speakers, but may be passive “speakers” Mostly because of earlier Boarding School experiences But whether or not they speak Shoshoni, their support of the language is very important The upcoming set of parents (teens) could help turn things around if they become L2 speakers of the language and facilitate their children becoming native speakers
Language Maintenance & Revitalization: guiding principles In working with Shoshoni-speaking communities to encourage the use and the learning of the Shoshoni language, the Shoshoni Language Project focuses on two principles: language revitalization is rebuilding a speech community, and it is necessary to engage people of all ages in the process— fluent elders as well as teenagers because young people are ―the next generation of parents‖. Rebuilding a speech community requires many players, but crucially rests on collaboration between fluent native-speaking elders & L2 teenagers and young adults
Shoshoni Language Maintenance & Revitalization: involve people of all ages Both elders & young people are likely language activists the know-how + the drive
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community WHY is rebuilding a speech community important for revitalizing a language? Intergenerational mother-tongue transmission, the process that creates fully fluent native speakers, would be very difficult to re-establish without community support outside the home when a language as dominant, and all- powerful as English is an easy alternative for young adults (parents) and children.
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community In order to want to use a language, people have to have a reason to use it and people to use it with. If there is no speech community, then there is probably no one to talk to outside the home Easy to stop using it.
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community If young people do not use the language outside the home with other young people, it won‘t help them bond with peer group (the language won‘t be ―cool‖) they may be less likely to keep using Shoshoni later in life, as older family members pass away they may be less likely to find a spouse that speaks or supports the language so it may be less likely that their children will acquire it Intergenerational transmission may once again get interrupted.
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community The WRMC Shoshoni Language Project has developed a number of language revitalization activities and materials in collaboration with Shoshone and Goshute people in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho that have resulted in increasing the frequency of social interaction in the language, a defining characteristic of a speech community (Gumperz 1972), by providing something for people of all ages and levels of interest in their ancestral language.
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community: funding Long-term funding from Barrick has been crucial for this work. Language revitalization takes a long time. Most Shoshoni communities have few resources. Most Federal agencies do not provide long-term funding for language revitalization and there are few grants available.
Rebuilding a speech community: teaching Shoshoni Many speakers have been working hard to teach Shoshoni language courses in the communities, schools, and higher education: Owyhee, NV High School Community classes Ely, NV White Pine Co. High School Duckwater Elementary School Ibapah Elementary School Chief Taghee Elementary Academy (Ft. Hall, ID) Elko Head Start & community classes Idaho State University University of Utah (Bryan Hudson, Shoshoni (ANTH) courses during SYLAP) Great Basin College Etc.
Rebuilding a speech community: teaching/using Shoshoni Community courses are often taught to help Shoshoni speakers maintain their language, to help passive speakers become active speakers, and to help develop L2 learners Course-based language revitalization projects are important because they jump start the process of rebuilding the speech community. Some communities are also holding events for speakers to meet to listen to traditional stories (e.g., from the WRMC) and talk about them.
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Develop and disseminate Shoshoni Language Curricula, Lesson Plans, and Materials White Pine Co. High School credit course Collaborated with Ely Shoshoni Tribe (Boyd Graham) ANA grant University of Utah Shoshoni courses (Bryan Hudson) Shoshone/Goshute Youth Language Apprenticeship Program K-6 Goshute Language Program Collaborated with Confederated Tribe of the Goshutes, Ibapah Elementary School, the Tooele School District, and the Utah State Office of Education (Ruby Ridesatthedoor) Pre-K/Head Start Shoshoni Language Program
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Claymation films In Shoshoni with English subtitles First film in collaboration with Ely Shoshone Tribe— ANA grant Classroom posters Shoshoni teacher talk Oyo'on Tapaiwani Taikwappeh Encouraging the use of Shoshoni in classroom management Animals, colors, etc. Counting in Newe
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Classroom posters: counting in Shoshoni with handgame sticks
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Shoshoni language teacher workshops First Teacher Workshop offered in 2008 Funded by ANA grant to the Ely Shoshone Tribe Others funded by Barrick grant Goals Share materials and ideas Learn that ―you‘re not alone in your efforts‖ Others are trying, too Hear others use Shoshoni in public spaces Reconnect with other speakers Especially important for elderly or isolated speakers
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Shoshoni Language Teacher Workshop Wendover 2009
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Teacher Workshops in 2013 Teaching Students their Ancestral Language for Communication CELCNA Teacher Workshop March 8-9, 2013 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Breaking Through Barriers in Teaching & Learning Shoshoni October 5, 2013 Battle Mountain, NV
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Teacher Workshops in 2014 Foundations for Learning: Increasing Shoshoni Language Use in Early-Childhood Learners Rolled out Shoshoni Language Pre-K/Head Start Program Elko, Nevada March 7-8, 2014 About 180 participants!! From Ft. Hall, ID to Fallon, NV Duckwater Workshop, TBA
Rebuilding a speech community: supporting the use/teaching of Shoshoni Foundations for Learning: Increasing Shoshoni Language Use in Early-Childhood Learners 2014 Teacher Workshop
Rebuilding a speech community: developing a community of young adult L2 learners--SYLAP The Shoshoni Language Project is best known for the Shoshone/Goshute Youth Language Apprenticeship Program (SYLAP) Proposed by Ph.D. student, Katherine Matsumoto-Gray, in a term paper Modeled after a STEM summer experience for minority students that KMG participated in while in high school, offered at the University of Wyoming Offered for first time in Summer 2009 Up to 10 first-year participants each summer Sophomores to graduating seniors 48 young people have participated thus far All of the costs of SYLAP are covered by the Barrick grant
Rebuilding a speech community: developing committed young adult L2 learners—SYLAP Introduces Shoshone and Goshute high school students to a university setting to encourage them to pursue a college degree and to get them involved in the revitalization of the Shoshoni language SYLAP has three components: Learning the Shoshoni language in a college course Participating in a paid apprenticeship in documenting the Shoshoni language and developing language teaching materials for their home communities Encouraging Shoshone and Goshute youth to pursue a college education: Instilling life-skills and self esteem through group activities, Shoshone cultural activities, and college preparation workshops
Rebuilding a speech community: SYLAP outcomes The apprenticeship empowers young people to make a difference in their own lives and for their communities by connecting and assisting with their home communities‘ language revitalization programs All of the young people who have been SYLAP participants are still in high school or have graduated from high school and most go on to college
Rebuilding a speech community: SYLAP outcomes Fluent native speaker “elders” are an integral part of SYLAP Elders assist Bryan Hudson as teachers in the Shoshoni courses Drusilla Gould, Delphina Gould, Boyd Graham, Ruby Ridesatthedoor, Norm Cavanaugh, Laurie Gibson, Naomi Mason, Arloa Kelly, Elwood Mose, Rosie Jones, Bernice Lalo, etc. The native speaking elders develop a collaborative relatioship with the teenage L2 learners Elders assist the SYLAPers in the materials development projects The elders create a ―safe‖ (non-threatening) environment for the young people—no criticism for language learning ―errors‖ The young people work with the elders in a respectful manner and hang out with them in the evening
Rebuilding a speech community: developing committed young adult L2 learners—SYLAP SYLAPers began to ―return‖ in 2010 Mission expansion: We now also support the young people who have taken part in SYLAP as they move on to college and/or begin to work in their home communities in language or cultural maintenance and revitalization We currently have five SYLAP participants working for the Project, all of whom are pursuing college degrees: Sam Broncho, Trent Griffith, Justin Martin, Eric Komperud, and Devin Gardner. Please see out website for the Five Years of SYLAP video http://shoshoniproject.utah.edu/
SYLAP: Children‘s Books Project Each year, SYLAP students work in groups to create children‘s books, assisted by elders. Starting in 2009, the books focused on traditional stories for students learning the language. Since 2011, the goal of the books also includes teaching Shoshoni to early learners. Published books:
Books in progress: SYLAP: Children‘s Books Project Audio books & video books We are currently working to record and create an audio companion to each book. Each book will also be made into a video. Kutise Itsappeh is a completed video book that is available online.
The Shoshoni Talking Dictionary & SYLAP The Shoshoni Talking Dictionary was started in 2009 in collaboration with the Ely Shoshone Tribe, which received an ANA grant to create a 3,000- word dictionary. The Talking Dictionary is now a SYLAP project SYLAPers learn to record elders reading words for the dictionary by using professional recording equipment SYLAPers also learn how to edit the sound files and enter them into the dictionary database The Talking Dictionary is under revision. The update will be available in May 2014.
The Shoshoni Talking Dictionary & SYLAP
The Shoshoni Talking Dictionary & SYLAP Talking Dictionary demo aikwa ~ aiku ~ aiko ‗tongue‘ BG ~ RR ~ DG
SYLAP—videogame project Returning SYLAPers develop a videogame, with assistance from the Entertainment Arts & Engineering program at the U: Enee! Cora Artwork http://www.theeneegame.com/game-artwork/ Trent Language (the game is only in Shoshoni) Sound engineering Devin Programmer (continues to work to de-bug and develop the game) Zeph Producer, mentor
SYLAP residential experience-- forming a speech community Statement by Sam Broncho on the Resident Assistants’ influence on using the Shoshoni language. As an RA I was able to work with the students outside of the classroom. I was able to help them utilize the language in real situations. There were numerous occasions where we would be sitting in the kitchen or the living room and they ask me to hand them something. But instead of simply handing it over, I tell them [in Shoshone] to say it in Shoshone before I give it to them. The students were timid at first, but as they got used to the environment and other students they began to open up and use the language more and more. We like to [provide] an extremely safe environment for the students to use Shoshone, without criticism and without judgment.
SYLAP residential experience-- forming a speech community Sam Broncho: Why learning Shoshone in the SYLAP setting works so well: SYLAP allows students who are in the same age range and who are at the same level of comprehension to work and learn together. Other classrooms allow a wide range of people to take their courses, but SYLAP is focused on juniors and seniors in high school. This allows them to realize that they are not the only students who are trying to learn their language. This is important because they aren‘t intimidated by fluent speakers and the fluent speakers we do work with understand the criticisms that are usually given in their home towns.
SYLAP residential experience-- forming a speech community Shoshoni-only “hours” Evening activities shared by SYLAPers and elders that only allow the use of Shoshoni No English!
SYLAP residential experience-- forming a speech community Post SYLAP Sense of comraderie has already been established SYLAPers continue to use the language with each other outside of the program They all have learned to read & write using the same standardized spelling system Use technology to stay in touch with their new BFFs in communities across the Great Basin FaceBook/Twitter/Social Media Texting
Rebuilding a speech community: SYLAP & social media The SYLAPers bond into a peer-group speech community centered around their experience with the Shoshoni language Social networking keeps them connected after they return home Shoshone FaceBook, texting, etc. In SYLAP, they learn to read and write Shoshoni, facilitating social media The Shoshoni language instructor, Bryan Hudson, has encouraged this online bonding experiece Some native speaker elders participate in the social media sites
Post-SYLAP--forming a speech community
Post-SYLAP--forming a speech community
Rebuilding a speech community Some of the people that Wick recorded ~45 yrs ago were monolingual or nearly monolingual in Shoshoni Few if any children today are learning the language as a first language Kathy Adams-Blackeye (Duckwater) said that only 30% of her community now speak the language. It was 100% not too long ago (probably in her childhood). It took several generations to go from a point where almost all children were learning the language as a first language at home, to the place where the communities find themselves in now It will probably also take a good many years and concerted effort by the Newe people to rebuild their speech community, It is possible to turn it around and keep the language going But it will take people of all generations to want to do it and to work together to do it
Language revitalization as rebuilding a speech community Finally, viewing revitalization as re-structuring a speech community (i.e., recreating its infrastructure) suggests that it may take at least a generation of revitalization work involving all age groups to produce sustainable results. Fishman (2003): ―Do not give up; but do not get your priorities wrong, because you do not get many chances in this game. And above all remember that living languages are not primarily in institutions, but above them, beyond them, all around them.‖ (p. 198)
Website Please visit our website for more information and materials http://shoshoniproject.utah.edu/
Acknowledgements For their part in the shaping of these ideas, but none of the blame for my misunderstandings, I acknowledge: The wonderful Shoshone and Goshute people who have been so open and welcoming over the last decade and who have taught me more than I ever expected to learn, especially Beverly Crum, Drusilla Gould, Boyd Graham, Laurie Gibson, Ruby Ridesatthedoor, Elwood Mose, Norm Cavanaugh, and so many others! My linguist collaborators; Mauricio Mixco, Wick Miller, Beverly Crum, and Jeanne Lachowski. The students and others who have worked on the Wick R. Miller Collection project over the years, and who have inadvertently or with intent helped me think out these issues, especially Jen Mitchell, Katherine Matsumoto-Gray, Julia James, and Derron Borders. For contributing to this presentation: Derron Borders, Sarah Arnoff, Jen Mitchell, Bryan Hudson, Sam Broncho, Devin Gardner, and Katherine Matsumoto-Gray My ―new‖ colleagues in the Department of Anthropology. The Barrick Gold Corporation, who has so generously funded the WRMC Shoshoni Language Project, and especially Brian Mason, Tim Buchanan, Bill Upton, and Kristi Begay. Wick Miller for ―pushing back the frontiers of science‖ day after day.
References Brown, Cecil H. 2010. "Lack of support for Proto-Uto-Aztecan at 8900 BP." PNAS 107(11). Campbell, Lyle. 1997. American Indian Languages: a Historical and Comparative Assessment. New York: Oxford University Press. Merrill, William L., Jonathon B. Mabry, Gayle J. Fritz, Karen R. Adams, John R. Roney, and A. C. McWilliams. 2009. "The diffusion of maize into the southwestern United States and its impact." PNAS 106(50):21019–21026. _____, et al. 2010. "Reply to Hill and Brown; maize and Uto-Aztecan cultural history." PNAS 107(11). Sapir, Edward. 1913, 1919. Southern Paiute and Nahuatl: a study in Uto-Aztecan, parts. 1 and 2. Journal de la Société des Américanistes de Paris 10:379-425 and 11: 443-88, and 1915 in American Anthropologist 17:98-120, 306-328. Reprinted 1990 in The collected works of Edward Sapir 5: American Indian Languages, William Bright, ed., 351-444. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Stubbs, Brian. 2011. A Uto-Aztecan Comparative Vocabulary. Preliminary edition. Blanding, UT: Rocky Mountain Books and Productions. http://multitree.org/trees/23630 (Tree is based on Campbell 1997 and many other studies.)