Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

Writing an Endangered Language

File Description SizeFormat 
guerin.pdfBetter quality950.88 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
guerinsmall.pdfFaster download704.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Item Summary

Title: Writing an Endangered Language
Authors: Guérin, Valérie
Keywords: Mavea
Issue Date: Jun 2008
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Guérin, Valérie. 2008. Writing an endangered language. Language Documentation & Conservation 2(1):47–67.
Abstract: This paper reports on Mavea, an Oceanic language spoken in Vanuatu. The state of endangerment of Mavea is first evaluated using UNESCO’s framework for assessing language vitality. The framework’s nine criteria are applied to Mavea, and the results demonstrate that the language is unquestionably endangered. If this language shift is to be reversed, one of the first steps in doing so is to document the language. Materials in and on the language have the potential to restore the language’s prestige, or to restore its usage through vernacular literacy. In the case of Mavea, many community members became eager to see printed versions of the materials I had collected during the documentation process, but the language had no writing system. Thus, this paper additionally describes the Mavea community’s efforts to establish orthographic conventions for their language and their desire to disseminate the resultant written materials throughout the community. This grassroots interest in vernacular literacy is argued to be a beneficial step towards reversing negative language attitudes.
Sponsor: National Foreign Language Resource Center
ISSN: 1934-5275
Appears in Collections:Volume 02 Issue 1 : Language Documentation & Conservation

Please contact if you need this content in an alternative format.

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons