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ERIC Number: ED349135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
On the Language Effort and Work in Alaskan Athabaskan Languages.
Kari, James
This paper presents a field linguist's personal observations on language work and the language effort in Alaskan Athabaskan languages. Language work is the various ways in which people can make real accomplishments in one of the smaller languages for the benefit of themselves and the people around them, and for the benefit of the larger society. Language effort is used in a broader sense to mean the various ways in which work with the Native language involves participation by people from the local language/ethnic community as well as nonmembers. The Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska has increased public awareness of the locations and viability of Athabaskan languages. Participation in the language effort has been limited mainly to a small group of writers and expert elderly speakers. Bilingual programs in Athabaskan languages in Alaskan schools were inadequately supported and short-lived. The author's field work with Athabaskan languages involves translating narratives by native storytellers, and developing a dictionary. Recommendations for enhancing the language effort in Alaska include: (1) fostering the community development potential of the language effort; (2) training and employing more people in the actual methods and skills of language work; and (3) developing new teaching venues and methods. Productive language work must adhere to rigorous standards of accuracy through a variety of projects. Language work can be enhanced through systematic filing of data and use of computers for teaching and learning. (KS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Alaska Native Language Center; University of Alaska