Leanne Hinton: What counts as a "success" in language revitalization?

Journalists, grant givers and an interested public often ask which language revitalization programs and strategies have been successful. But “language revitalization” is a broad term that can include many different possible goals, and “success” is a point of view rather than a concrete fact. This paper is a result of conversations with Indigenous language activists as to what they view as success (or failure) in the language revitalization for themselves and their communities. These conversations lead to the observation that what counts as success is diverse, individualistic, and transitory, since one event perceived as a success immediately leads to changing goals, strategies, and viewpoints. Nor can “success” be seen as an endpoint of effort, since language revitalization is an unending process —the effort must never stop, in a land where another language is the dominant and dominating tongue.  Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the Future Speakers: Indigenous Languages in the 21st Century series.

Speaker Bio

Leanne Hinton, professor emerita Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley & Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival Leanne Hinton specializes in endangered languages and is an advocate and practicing trainer in the field of language revitalization. Hinton has helped found several organizations for language revitalization, and has helped design several widely-used revitalization programs and strategies. She has written and edited numerous books and articles on language revitalization, and has won several awards for her work.

The Museum of Anthropology, the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, the Department of Linguistics, and the Department of Anthropology present a new lecture series supported by the Dean of Arts, and in partnership with the First Nations House of Learning and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, to spark a conversation about the futures of Indigenous languages in the 21st century.

Thursday October 22, 2015, 11.30-1.00PM at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Lillooet Room (Rm 301).

Select Articles and Books Available at UBC Library

Hinton, L. (2013). Bringing our languages home: Language revitalization for families. Berkeley, California: Heyday. [Available at Koerner Library – P40.5.L356 B75 2013]

Simpson, J., & Wigglesworth, G. (2008). Children’s language and multilingualism: Indigenous language use at home and school. New York;London;: Continuum. [Available at Koerner Library – P115.2 .C45 2008]

Tsunoda, T., & Ebrary Academic Complete (Canada) Subscription Collection. (2006;2013;). Language endangerment and language revitalization: An introduction Mouton de Gruyter. [Link]

UBC Library Research Guides

Aboriginal Languages

First Nations and Indigenous Studies

First Nations Languages of British Columbia