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I gu.aa yáx̱xwán: Be of Good Courage

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Title: I gu.aa yáx̱xwán: Be of Good Courage
Authors: Taff
Issue Date: 02 Mar 2017
Description: Presenting both qualitative and quantitative evidence, this talk will focus specially on the notion that there is a causative, beneficial link between ancestral Indigenous language use and the health of the user.
Qualitative evidence will be provided in the form
of eye-witness accounts of Indigenous language use fostering health such as: elders reversing mental aging during extended language documentation work, language learning fostering sobriety, and positive changes in children engaged in learning their ancestral Indigenous language.
Though quantitative data in this eld is scarce, we will look at studies linking Indigenous language use to suicide rate, drug abuse, physical violence, diabetes, social and emotional well-being, obesity, cognitive function, and economic opportunities.
We’ll look at studies of bilingualism itself and its effects on health, finding information that language communities, health care workers and educators should con- sider; compared to monolinguals, bilinguals live longer without dementia; bilinguals of any age have greater executive function and cognitive flexibility; bi- and multi-lingual brains have more grey and white matter.
We will conclude by considering ideas for future studies in this eld, for instance: what happens in the brain when an ancestral language goes into disuse under duress and then, what happens in the brain when that language’s dormant neurology is reawakened?
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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