Thursday 6 October 12-1.30pm, Seminar room S226, John Woolley Building
You are invited to a special seminar on research into the revival of Indigenous languages with a focus on Australia, but including examples from elsewhere, that demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of language revival efforts and engages with the development of a new field of research - ‘revivalistics’. Revivalistics looks at the many practices, cultural and linguistic, that are involved in the revival and maintenance of the world’s increasingly endangered Indigenous languages. Of particular interest is the growing body of research that demonstrates the positive impact of language revival projects on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities worldwide.
The seminar is brought to you through a collaboration between the Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Research/Office of the DVC Indigenous Strategy and Services, the Department of Linguistics, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Sydney University Conservatorium of Music.
Awakening Dreaming Beauties: Language Reclamation and Social Wellbeing
Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann
The University of Adelaide
Respondent: Professor Michael Walsh
This lecture will explain why language revival and diversity are (1) right, (2) beautiful, and (3) beneficial. In our globalized world, more and more groups are losing their heritage. Language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration are becoming increasingly relevant as more and more people seek to reconnect with their ancestors, recover their cultural autonomy, empower their spiritual and intellectual sovereignty, and improve their wellbeing and mental health. There is an urgent need to offer comparative insights, for example from the Hebrew revival, which is so far the most successful known linguistic reclamation. Given capricious governmental policies, this lecture will propose compensation (for linguistic activities) for peoples whose mother tongue was killed (due to linguicide), making Indigenous tongues the official languages of their region, and erecting multi-lingual official signs, changing the lanGscape (linguistic landscape). The lecture will also explore some cognitive advantages of multilingualism.
Ghil‘ad Zuckermann is Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide. He is the author of Israeli – A Beautiful Language (Am Oved, 2008), Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Engaging – A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property (2015) and the first online Dictionary of the Barngarla Aboriginal Language (2016). He is the founder of Revivalistics, a new trans-disciplinary field of enquiry surrounding language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration. He has launched, with the Barngarla Aboriginal communities of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, the reclamation of the Barngarla language. His MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Language Revival: Securing the Future of Endangered Languages, has so far attracted 6,000 students from 150 countries: https://www.edx.org/course/language-revival-securing-future-adelaidex-lang101x http://www.facebook.com/ProfessorZuckermann
Michael Walsh holds a PhD in Linguistics and has been dedicated to working with Australian Aboriginal languages for over 40 years. He has worked and published extensively on documenting and revitalizing Aboriginal languages of Australia, especially in the Northern Territory and New South Wales. His most recent project concerned the identification of indigenous language collections at the State Library of New South Wales in order to make them accessible to the communities. Dr. Walsh’s research interests include lexical semantics, cross-cultural pragmatics, language and identity, language and law, linguistic geography, language revitalization, song language and other expressive uses of language. In addition to his linguistic research, Dr. Walsh has a strong record of advising and supporting Aboriginal communities in legal matters, such as land rights. He held positions at several Australian universities and research institutions and is currently affiliated with AIATSIS, the University of Sydney and the Australian National University among others.
Dr Sebastian Fedden | Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Letters, Art and Media | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
N367, John Woolley Bld A20 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
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