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University of Tuscia April 2014 Lecture 1

University of Tuscia April 2014 Lecture 1






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    University of Tuscia April 2014 Lecture 1 University of Tuscia April 2014 Lecture 1 Presentation Transcript

    • Language Diversity and Language Endangerment in the Asia-Pacific region Peter K. Austin Department of Linguistics SOAS, University of London University of Tuscia 9th April 2014
    • © 2014 Peter K. Austin Creative commons licence Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
    • Outline • Global language ecology • Endangered languages • Typologies of endangerment • The Asia-Pacific region • Case studies • Indonesia • Australia • Conclusions and future outlook
    • Some questions How many languages are spoken on earth today? Which are the world‘s largest languages?
    • Major languages Numbers of speakers in millions (from Dalby 2002:30) Mother tongue Wider communication 1 Mandarin 800 1,000 mostly China 2 English 350 700+ *multinational 3 Hindi/Urdu 350 550 mostly India and Pakistan 4 Spanish 315 450 *multinational 5 Russian 165 290 mostly former Soviets 6 Malay 50 250 in four countries 5 Bengali 170 180 India and Bangladesh 7 Arabic 165 180 *multinational 8 Portuguese 160 180 in five countries 9 Japanese 125 140 mostly Japan 10 German 90 110 in three countries 11 French 75 130 *multinational
    • Global language ecology  The world‘s largest 9 languages each have 100+ million speakers (Mandarin, Spanish, English, Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Japanese) and together have 2.6 billion speakers (40% of world total)  largest 20 languages have 3.2 billion speakers (> 50% of world total)  4% of world‘s languages are spoken by 96% of world‘s population, ie. only 4% of world‘s population speaks 96% of world‘s languages so there are many languages that are very small (50% have less than 10,000 speakers, 25% have less than 1,000)
    • Global language ecology  radical reduction in speaker numbers has been recorded in past 40 years for indigenous languages across many regions of the world together with increasing age profiles of remaining speakers — Krauss 1992 ―the coming century will see either the death or the doom of 90% of mankind‘s languages‖, less extreme estimate is 50% (only 3,500!)
    • Number of languages by area 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 Asia Africa Pacific Americas Europe Region
    • Language groups 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 S. America N. America PNG Africa Australia C. America N. Asia S/SE Asia Europe Pacific
    • Speaker community profiles 1. intergenerational language transmission 2. percentage of speakers within total population (not absolute numbers) 3. domains and functions of language use 4. language attitudes and ideology of wider community 5. speakers‘ attitudes toward their own language
    • Typology of languages  Viable (safe, strong) - spoken by all age groups, learnt by children, actively supported (can be large or small populations)  Endangered - socially and economically disadvantaged, under heavy pressure from larger language, spoken by reducing population and could disappear without community support  Moribund - languages no longer learnt by children with few older speakers, little social function  Extinct - no native speakers
    • Reasons for endangerment 1. external causes — military, religious, cultural or educational subjugation often associated with colonialist policies; physical or medical catastrophe (eg. HIV/AIDS) 2. internal causes — speech community has negative attitude to the language (often in order to overcome discrimination and assimilate to the majority culture) and chooses not to pass on its language and undergoes language shift (L1 to L2 shift) usually through a period of unstable bilingualism, can be catastrophic (radical) or gradual taking many generations
    • Language shift • World-wide pattern of language loss - languages move safe --> endangered --> moribund --> extinct • Historical evidence, eg. Italian peninsula: Oscan, Umbrian, Piceni, Etruscan, Gaulish all replaced by Latin • In last 200 years and especially last 60 years process has speeded up through colonialism, rise of hegemonic nation states (with monolingual ideology) and globalisation
    • Types of speakers  Fluent - full control of all styles, vocabulary and lexicon  Semi-speakers - partial control of styles, vocabulary and lexicon, often stronger passive than active competence  Rememberers - no longer use the language, can remember words or expressions from earlier usage as former speakers or forms used by older semi-speakers or fluent speakers
    • Should we care? 1. NO we shouldn‘t — fewer languages are better — loss of languages leads to mutual understanding and global peace and would be economically rational (but: naive and counter- examples, also whose language will be the chosen one?) 2. YES, because we need diversity (ecological analogy) 3. YES, because languages express identity 4. YES, because languages are repositories of history and culture 5. YES, because language contributes to the sum of human knowledge (each language represents a different view of the world) 6. YES, because languages are inherently interesting
    • Is it a hopeless situation? NO, there is evidence that language shift can be reversed, eg Welsh now has increased speakers; because of education more children now speak Welsh than past 100 years Maori, New Zealand - kohanga reo ‗language nests‘ have created new generation of speakers Hawaiian - similar model created new speakers Mexico - reversal of monolingual language policy, training of Mayan speakers Etc etc
    • What can we do? Linguists, language activists and policy makers can work on documentation, protection, and support (including revitalisation) of endangered languages in a respectful and collaborative manner:  work with members of language community  understand language use patterns and language attitudes  provide reliable and comprehensible information
    • Measuring language situations  GIDS – graded intergenerational disruption scale (Fishman)  EGIDS – extended GIDS (Lewis & Simons 2010)  Category of official recognition  Ethnologue catalogue (www.ethnologue.com)  0 International – widely used between nations  1 National – used in education, work, media, government at national level
    •  2 Provincial -- used in education etc. in a region  3 Wider Communication – used in work and media but no recognition  4 Educational – vigorous use with standardisation, literature and schooling  5 Developing – vigorous use, standardised, limited use  6a Vigorous – face-to-face communications by all  6b Threatened – face-to-face use by all, losing users  7 Shifting – adults use but no transfer to children  8a Moribund – only grandparents generation use  8b Nearly Extinct – very few of grandparents generation  9 Dormant – reminder of heritage but only symbolic use  10 Extinct – no speakers or identity associations
    • Asia-Pacific region
    •  More than 3,600 languages (50% of world total)  More than 28 language families  Some of the world‘s largest languages (Mandarin, Hindi) and some of smallest (PNG has 350 with less than 1,000 speakers, many in Australia with just 1 speaker)  High levels of multilingualism but low levels of official government recognition (most countries have only one official language – exception is India)  Most countries effectively pursue monolingual linguistic ideology and language policy (education, media etc.), eg. Thailand, Burma, China, Japan, Vanuatu
    • Asia  Internally diverse, especially SE Asia  Population 4.2 billion  2,300 languages  Institutional 224, Developing 376, Vigorous 841, In Trouble 685, Dying 178 (Ethnologue)  See www.ethnologue.com/region/asia
    • Pacific (Australia, PNG, Pacific islands)  Population 34 million  Living languages 1,300  (more than 250 extinct in Australia)  High levels of language density, eg. Vanuatu 200,000 people speak 110 languages  Institutional 99, Developing 363, Vigorous 411, In Trouble 231, Dying 207  See www.ethnologue.com/region/Pacific
    • Case study 1 – Indonesia
    • Indonesia  Western Indonesia  Larger islands with few languages, large speaker numbers  Sumbawa – Samawa (300,000), Bima (200,000)  Lombok – Sasak (2.75 million)  Bali – Balinese (3 million)  Java – Javanese (75 million), Sundanese, Madurese, Minangkabau  Sumatra – Acehnese, Batak, Gayo  Eastern Indonesia  Large islands with many languages (Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua), medium speaker numbers  Small islands with very many languages, small speaker numbers
    • Language statuses  One official national language: Bahasa Indonesia (created for independence from Malay)  Regional languages (eg. Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, Makassarese) recognised as ―locally significant‖ with some media and primary-level education but little official support  Regional versions of (creolised) non-standard Malay locally important as lingua franca, eg. Papuan Malay, Ambon Malay, Manado Malay  Most other languages diglossic with BI and undergoing shift, special genres and literature are highly endangered
    • Sasak language • 2.85 million speakers • Lots of regional variation – phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon • Ethno-linguistic labels: Ngenó-ngené, Nggetó-nggeté, Menó-mené, Kutó-kuté, Meriaq-meriku • Speech levels: lexical alternatives mark low-mid-high status of addressee in relation to speaker, and humble- honorific forms express relation between speaker and some other referent – uniform across Lombok • Traditional writing on palm leaves (lontar) in an Indic script, recitations, only 100 people can now read lontar
    • Sasak traditional script Javanese script Balinese script
    • Aksara Sasak = Balinese script
    • Uses of Aksara Sasak • Lontar – in early modern Javanese/Sasak • Copies of lontar
    • Endangered script from endangered performances • ―Texts were widely used during numerous ceremonies … Nowadays the reading of lontar is becoming increasingly rare. Owing to changes in the culture of the island and the different perceptions people have of their position in the world, the texts are read less and less often and the tradition is in danger of becoming extinct‖ (van der Meij 1996: 158-159)
    • Endangered script from endangered manuscripts • Wetu telu vs. waktu lima • Van der Meij (2002:193) ―the waktu lima are continuing their efforts to eradicate old customs and practices root and branch, which has resulted in the destruction of old manuscripts. Their preference goes out to Arabic teachings and orthodox books in modern Indonesian. The influence of the waktu lima on the wetu telu is substantial and many manuscripts are no longer found among the latter group … Nowadays, because people need money, manuscripts are being sold in great numbers to the international tourists visiting the island, as well as on Bali … many manuscripts are disappearing fast‖
    • Lontar reading 2002
    • Lontar reading 2012
    • Case study 2 – Australia
    • Contact situation  600 groups with own land, customs, way of speaking – possibly 1 million people  300 different languages  Two major groupings: Pama-Nyungan (southern 3/4 of country) and non-Pama-Nyungan (25 different families?) - not clear if all are related  Different speech styles (avoidance, ritual, song) and widespread multilingualism through exogamous marriage
    • Proportion of speakers 1996
    • Today  Only 12 languages remain strong  90% of languages are moribund (few old speakers remain) or extinct (50%)  Bilingual education in some areas only, but under attack from local governments  Strong Aboriginal cultural identification but knowledge of languages rapidly lost among younger age groups and switch to Kriol or English  Many social problems: health, housing, unemployment
    • An example - the Gamilaraay DARLING RIVER Brewarrina Goodooga Walgett Cobar Moree Tenterfield Coonabarabran Tamworth Dubbo Bathurst Wagga Wagga SYDNEY Muruwari Bigambul Gamilaraay/ Kamilaroi Barranbinya Wayilwan Wangaaybuwan Bundjalung Ngarabal Gumbaynggirr Nganyaywana Biripi Geawegal Wonnarua Wiradjuri Ngiyambaa area that Tamsin Donaldson studied Yuwaalaraay SYDNEY LOCATION Toomelah- Boggabilla
    • Early recorders  Explorers - Mitchell  Settlers - McMaster, Milson  Missionaries - Ridley  Compilers - Curr  Others  Records typically poor at all levels, but often that‘s all we have
    • Anthropologists (1930-1950)  N.B. Tindale  First Gamilaraay text  Kinship system  Gerhard Laves  Marie Reay
    • S.A. Wurm (1955)  Peter Lang, Harry Hippi  Fieldnotes (44pp)  First tape recording  Detailed phonetics, core morphology and syntax  Some confusions
    • Amateur professionals and professional amateurs (1970-1990)  R.M.W. Dixon  Peter Austin  Janet Mathews, John Gordon, Harry Hall  Corinne Williams (néé Casey)  Austin recorded rememberers and created databases of all existing materials
    • Revival  The paper dictionary (1991-93)  Collaboration: Austin, Nathan, Bill Reid  Web dictionary (1995)  John Giacon  Community-based developments  Gayirragi-Winangali
    • Conclusions • Around 7,000 languages are spoken on earth today, but of these 20 represent 50% of the world‘s population • the Asia-Pacific region has around half of the world‘s languages, most are small and many languages are threatened by language shift (especially in Australia) • Even where languages appear to be vigorous, traditional knowledge, genres and ways of speaking can be threatened • Language revitalisation is underway in some places • We need much more research in this part of the world to understand the language ecologies and to decide what can be done about them
    • Thank you!