A week ago, at this very minute, we were chatting with Toni Waho in New Zealand via skype during our SS19 session on Indigenous languages in the city.
We initially lost a couple of attendees when I mentioned that the title given to our session “Sociolinguistics on Facebook” was misleading but regained an audience, most of which became Sociolinguists on Facebook thereafter!
Feels more like a month ago if you asked me…although we still post everyday on Sociolinguists on Facebook comments about the wonderful time we had.
I started to give you an account of the sessions I managed to attend last week. Having an hour’s journey in the subway helped!…heartbroken by all those I missed and will list in case some feel generous enough to share their ppt with us since this blog is read by our group members on FB.
Thanks in particular to Irene and Arai who graciously shared their ppt with our colleagues. (click on this link). I will certainly post a third batch once Raoudha, Lisa, Uri, Serafin and Michael have sent their own presentations note and when you, fellow-SLonFB members will have shared your notes!
In the meantime, let me provide you in this post with the essentials. Our session went marvelously well. We were a bit nervous at first and were glad that an experienced Serafin could give us a wonderful account of Indegenous languages as Cosmopolitan and Global Languages, focusing more precisely on the Latin-American case. Here are my notes on
Coronel Molina, S. (2012). Indigenous Languages as Cosmopolitan and Global Languages: The Latin American Case. Languages in the City. Berlin, 2012.
After a few words of greetings in Quechua, Serafin gave his brief overview of Latin America’s pluriethnic and multicultural dimension. Diverse and complex linguistic landscape. Spanish is the official language of most of them with Brazil exception. These are prestige languages whereas the other indigenous languages are dispised and consider minor languages. Some 12 million people speak Quechua. Diglossic and multiglossic situation. Asymetrical relation between powerful languages and indigenous languages.
Intergenerational language revitalization. Negative language atttitudes. Conflicts. Keeping indigenous languages in this multiglossic situation. All factors continue to condemn these languages. Various models of education are favouring acculturation. We can talk of transition bilingual education.
SLIDE 1: STATUS PLANNING: Functional domain of language use (Official (schol, administration, education, politics tourissm etc. ) vs Local level.(legal, business, academia, pop culture.)
SLIDE 2: MYTHS ABOUT INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES: Ugly, primitive, no grammar, not adapted to modernity, untranslatable and non-logical, limited vocabulary for abstraction, spoken by old people, belong to the past, difficult to teach and learn, no writing system, only for isolated tribes, spoken by backwards ignorant in remote areas or rural ones, about to disappear.
All these myths can easily be proved incorrect. It is still spoken today. Petit Prince and Don Quichotte have been translated. Of course, some languages have expressions which are untranslatable, but there are always way to express what is meant. Regarding abstraction, he wrote 21 pages regarding language policy and planning in Quechua. Point is made and taken. Belonging to the past is simply a way to isolate the language. It is still spoken by young people and since colonial times, writing system has been implemented. Learning a language can be a difficult process with any language. It is not isolated and it crossed the digital divide and is spoken in large cities. Most of the speakers of indigenous languages can be found in Peru for example since most of the resources to support the indigenous are based there. In Queens, NY, 1500 Quechua speakers from Ecuador. Salt Lake City: 6000 Quechua speakers from the Andes. They have tried to make indigenous langauges disappear for 500 years without any success. As to the higher or lower status of these languages.
Gives some links
Enduring voices, National geographic, indigenous tweets, blogs , Native web, The society for the study of Indigenous Languages of the America.
What needs to be addressed is language policy and planning. Lots is taking place in rural areas but nothing is done in metropolitan area.
In Canada and the US, Consortium of Indigenous Language Organisations, on Youtube, Acervo Digital de Lenguas Indigenas, JAQI aRU (aYMARA TWEETS),
Showing an email in Quechua, TV, music (rap, rock etc…), commercials about cell phones (in Bolivia in Guarani, Aymara and Quechua), even religion, ebooks, children books. Google in Quechua and other indigenous languages, second life in Quechua. Iphones, Ipads in these languages so really ample place for hope in their healthy future.
I was so concentrated in taking notes on this first presentation that I didn’t take any photo of Serafin! If someone in the room did (and reads these lines…), kindly forward one memory at least of this great moment!
Then our wonderful friend Uri Horesh accepted to impersonate a colleague who couldn’t come due to Visa issues. So here’s Margarita’s powerpoint. What was lovely was that in the afternoon, we still managed to bring Margarita in the room, so to speak, as we made a skype discussion, very lively as quite a bit of controverse arose between the various panel members.
Huayhua, M. (2012). Hierarchical relations among Women in the Southern Andes. Languages in the City. Berlin, 2012.
In her case and the next presenter, we were fortunate to have both their ppt and notes…although it never replaced, despite skype their presence among us, this is something we should think about in future meetings!
Hierarchical Relations among Women in the Southern Andes [Slide 1]
In the Andean countries, many studies link Quechua or Aymara language with so-called “Indians” and Spanish with so-called “criollos.” If Indians learn and speak Spanish they are labeled “cholos” or “mestizos.” This way of linking ethnicity to language is connected to an old idea, which is that under the pressure of “modernization,” ethnicity is a gradient phenomenon, in which Native people become modern by assimilation to the Euro-Westernized style of life practiced by elites. This assimilationist framework implies that Native people, for example, those who speak Quechua natively, need to change from their “backward” forms of life to modern ones, in which the inevitable outcome is mestizaje or, as the anthropologist Helen Safa translated the word, “whitening.” One key feature of such whitening is the substitution of Quechua with Spanish, because Quechua is associated with stereotypes of dirtiness, stupidity, backwardness and inability to have good judgment.
The very idea of linguistic mestizaje or whitening reinforces the idea that if Quechua speaking people become fluent in Spanish they will no longer be discriminated against. In reality, even if they become fluent in Spanish, native Quechua speakers are discriminated and identified as inferiors.
In this paper I will talk about stereotypes produce through media and language use in everyday interactions among bilingual and monolingual speakers of Quechua and Spanish in the Peruvian Southern Andes.
For example, female Quechua speakers are depicted in the media as unable to produce the Spanish five vowel system, thus speaking a highly accented Spanish.
In the Peruvian TV show “La paisana Jacinta” a Quechua-speaking woman is depicted, first, as unable to make the distinction between the /i/ and /e/, and the /o/ and /u/ Spanish vowels; second, as wearing ugly mismatched clothes; third, as having a dirty face; and fourth, as incapable of learning anything.
I argue that this stereotypical depiction is part of the Peruvian imagery of female Quechua speakers, that is, the stereotype of lacking intelligence, dirtiness and ugliness is also created and re-created in daily interactions among women in a minivan service, clinic service, and in Quechua-speaking households in the village of Uqhururu, near the city of Cuzco.
[Slide 4 Cuzco city. 5 village]
But there is a particular difference: while the media stereotype circulates unchallenged across the Peruvian country, the stereotype produced in face-to-face interactions is challenged.
For the reproduction of stereotypes in these settings, access to the Spanish and Quechua languages is key. Let me illustrate how the stereotype of lacking intelligence is produced in the minivan service.
To travel to the village of Uqhururu, passengers can count on only two minivans. The usual passengers in these minivans are employees of institutions located in the village (teachers, medical practitioners, and workers of the municipality)—along with some villagers. From here on I refer to non-villagers as “agents,” since all are positioned vis-à-vis the villagers through specific government institutions.
One morning in April 2010, one of the minivans is overcrowded.
Two women board the second minivan. One of them grasps the seat backrest in the second row where two agents are seated. They stare at her with hostility and one of them yells,
24 A5: ¡Allinta sayay doñita ñit’imuwashanki ! ¡Por qué no van en vuestro carro! Esta gente
25 no hace caso, nos incomodan.
26 V6: Manan mamitay tupayamuykichu, sayakullashanin. Manaya huq karu kanchu,
27 lliwpis wihakuytaqa munanchismi, riki?
A5: You are crushing me, stand properly! Why don’t you travel in your assigned car. These nasty people do not obey, they are making us uncomfortable.
V6: My beloved mother I am not touching you, I am only standing. There is no other car. We all want to travel, right?
The word doñita, the diminutive inflection of the Spanish doña, address the villager as a child. [D]oñita is linked to nit’imuwashanki (see line 24)
an expression that asserts that the agent is being crushed, although nobody has touched her. After this utterance in Quechua, the next utterance is in Spanish, which claims that both women should have caught the first car, the one allocated for villagers. The agent’s last utterance (in line 25), no hace caso, nos incomodan portrays the villager and her companion, first as troublemakers incapable of obeying and understanding. And second, it depicts these women as having no consideration for entitled passengers’ space and comfort, making them uneasy by boarding the minivan.
In her response, the villager addresses her interlocutor as mamitay (‘my beloved mother’) to show respect, and acknowledges the agent’s social standing. Then she points out that she has not touched the agent by saying: Mana-n tupa-ya-mu-yki-chu (see line 26). Rather, she is standing: sayakushallanin, which should not bother or cause any trouble. The villager’s closing statement, lliwpis wihakuyta munanchismi riki (in line 27), makes the point that everyone needs to travel—they do not travel to cause trouble or be harassed by other passengers,
regardless of their social position. In view of this response, the agent and her companion both look at each other, move closer together, and frown in disapproval of the woman’s behavior.
The Quechua speaker looks briefly at the agents, resting her gaze on the window and uttering nothing further. The van reaches Uqhururu. Both female villagers get off on the main road.
Let’s examine an interaction from the village clinic.
An agent in the examining room is filling out the patients’ registry book. A patient comes in and sits facing the agent. The agent asks:
41 A3: Niway este- imawan CUIDAkunki qan (.) ah (?)
42 P3: Mana siñurita kuyrakuymanchu
43 A3: Por qué (?) Otro wawa kanqa
44 P3: Umayman siñurita atakawan
A: Tell me this-/ what [contraceptive method] will you use (.) ah?
P: Ms. I won’t use any method
A: Why (?) You will have another baby [reviewing a sheet in the medical record]
P: It gives me terrible headaches
Ignoring the patient’s headaches, the agent asserts in both Spanish and Quechua that the patient does not want to take care of herself. The patient becomes silent while the agent, combining Quechua and Spanish adds:
67 A3: …mana wawata aqna animal hinachu kanan (.) solo waka (.) oveja tawa (.)chunka (.) pisqa (.) COMUNlla (.) qan humano kanki igual nuqa hina ¿no cierto?
A3: …babies cannot come into being like an animal (.) only cows, sheep [have] four, five, ten offspring without any care (.) you are human like me, right?
The agent’s utterance reveals a stereotype about the patient. The patient is portrayed as an animal, a judgment that is even more severe in Quechua than it would be in Spanish or English. Animal hinachu [Slide 9 highlighted with red]
denotes that women who deliver more than three children are like animals. Resembling cows or sheep, they are not human. “Animal”—uywa in Quechua—attributes irrational behavior to those who refuse to use contraception in contrast to those who do, thus showing that one example of rational behavior is having a “proper” number of children.
The racialization of the woman may reach even the privacy of Quechua-speaking households. [Slide 10]
Let me show how with a last example. The municipality of which Uqhururu is part has an explicit policy of “modernizing” the village of Uqhururu by introducing urban domestic disciplines. The municipality sends an agent to visit each household to make sure that it is complying. Sasiku, the host (H), receives the agent (A4) on a patio, who pulls out a form, saying:
79 A4: Mamita visita ah (.) visita domiciliara ña yachankichisña riki?
A4: Little mama visit (.) house visit; you are familiar with this already, right?
The visitor warns the host that the visit is to assess whether her household meets the municipal guidelines for “house hygiene,” by checking the organization of household utensils, and kitchen and bathroom hygiene.
The Spanish dimininutive mamita [SLIDE 11, highlighted with red], alludes to the assumed lower position of the host who has to fulfill the agent’s demands. The demand is reinforced by visita ah and visita domiciliara [highlighted with purple]; these phrases convey that the inspection is rightful. To avoid any doubts, the agent, switching to Quechua, highlights that everybody in the village knows the program of “house visit.”
They go to the kitchen; there the agent pulls aside a plastic curtain covering a wooden shelving to check mugs, plates, forks, and spoons. After inspecting a mug and touching the plates, she says, muy bien, aqna kanan (‘very good, it must to be like that’). The agent asks questions about water cleanliness and personal hygiene. The host answers quickly with yes or no. The agent goes on to inspect the hygiene of the bathroom. She returns and fills out the form, saying,
80 A4: No deben de echar tierra al baño. Mana allpa kanachu!
81 H4: Mana, mana
A4: You shouldn’t put soil in the bathroom, there shouldn’t be soil.
H4: No, no.
The agent scolds the host about the bathroom cleanliness first in Spanish and then in Quechua. [SLIDE 12]
She uses Quechua to make sure that the addressee “understands” the rules of cleanliness. The supervision is invasive and it violates the host’s intimate life and the household’s sovereignty in the name of “hygiene habits.” In this interaction the woman is portrayed as having dirty practices that needs to be changed, which will happen through the municipal agent’s biweekly surveillance.
Across the settings, Quechua-speaking women are stereotyped as unable to obey and understand (e.g., in the van service), lacking intelligence (e.g., in the clinic) or being dirty (e.g., in their own households). Although these stereotyping are contested, in most cases, such stereotypes refract television stereotypical representations of Quechua-speaking woman: lacking intelligence, dirtiness and ugliness. The reproduction of the stereotypes in the media and in everyday interactions place female Quechua speakers in a subordinated position in relation to those who primarily have access to Spanish. Such stereotypes help to perpetuate the imagery of the so called Indians as ignorant in need of patronization, and by the same token, they help to maintain and justify the oppression of indigenous people. The circulation of these stereotypes helps to undermine any legitimate claim that indigenous people stand for against the state policies (e.g., mining, agribusiness, and water management).
In these interactions Quechua combines with Spanish in at least four different ways. First, Quechua utterances are followed by Spanish utterances as in line 24. [Slide 13]
Second, Spanish words are inflected by Quechua suffixes as in line 67. Third, Quechua phrases incorporate Spanish lexicon as in line 67. And fourth, a set of Quechua phrases are used after a Spanish utterance to reinforce what has been said in Spanish as in line 79 and 80.
Quechua coming from the mouths of its native speakers is dismissed, as in line 26 and 27.
The patterns of mixing Quechua and Spanish reinforce the hierarchical relations between Quechua and Spanish that are informed by racist ideologies. These interactions inform the distinctions made among women, stereotyping as irrational and “lacking hygienic” habits those who have no access to the language of power. Linguistic mestizaje or whitening is not a way station in a pattern of linguistic assimilation. Rather, it informs the nature of social dominance; at the same time such patterns are determined by the local social dominance in the southern Andes.
I have illustrated how Quechua becomes instrumental in reproducing hierarchical relations among women (and, I might add, men), in everyday interactions. In these interactions Quechua-speaking women are discriminated against and subordinated as social inferiors. The standard stories of linguistic assimilation and mestizaje, on the one hand, and the persistence of Quechua on the other, disguise a much bleaker story in which even interactions among bilinguals index and reproduce patterns of social discrimination and subordination.
Michael Hornsby, one of our founding members of Sociolinguists on Facebook group also accepted to present our New Zealand star, Toni Waho . Again, here are both his ppt and his notes.
Waho, T. (2012). Te Rei Māori – The Māori language- in the City. Languages in the City. Berlin, 2012.
Te Reo Māori in the City gives a background to the Māori Language Revitalisation effort. This presentation was prepared by Toni Waho who is the Co-ordinator of an urban based multi tribal organisation called Mana Tamariki. Mana Tamariki means “chidrens’ power.” Toni is also a Trustee of the National Te Kōhanga Reo Trust Board which is the governing body for the total immersion pre-school movement Te Kōhanga Reo. He is the Chairman of Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori (Association of total immersion Māori language schools), a director of Te Māngai Pāho – the Māori Broadcasting Funding agency and an active tribal leader. Toni was a member of the panel that reviewed the New Zealand Government’s Māori language strategy and its $600M spend in support of the Māori language in 2011.
In this presentation Toni explains the emergence of the Māori language revitalisation movement nationally and how Mana Tamariki was developed as part of the journey Māori people have undertaken to protect, revitalise and regenerate the indigenous language in Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori language revitalisation is predominantly urban based because most Māori people live in towns and cities. Mana Tamariki is a case study shared here in Berlin to give insight to issues relating to the once rural tribal based Māori residing often miles away from their tribal homelands. In Mana Tamariki Fishman’s critical stage 6 – family, neighbourhood and community – is the focus resulting in the re-growth of Māori language families.
Māori people arrived from Eastern Polynesia – Tahiti, Rarotonga – in Aotearoa about 1000 years ago. The Polynesian islands amongst the Polynesian triangle had been populated by waves of migrants from the Western Pacific and Eastern Asia. DNA research suggests the Polynesian ancestors originate in Taiwan.
The Māori language is closely related to all the other Polynesian languages especially Rarotonga Cook Island Māori, Tahitian, Marquesan, Rapanui (Easter Island) and Hawaiian. The root languages of the Polynesian language group are Samoan and Tongan which are quite distinct. They all have a similar syntax and grammar but Samoan and Tonga use consonants not found in the others.
There are seven main dialects of the Māori language. Within each dialect grouping are principal tribes. There are 57 main tribal groups. Each tribal group is made up of smaller sub-tribes. In the 1820s some northern tribal dialect groups relocated to the south of the North Island and the top of the South.Māori people first experienced contact with Europeans when the Dutchman Abel Tasman travelled via South Africa south of Australia to the west coast of the top of the South Island. The encounter was not a happy one. The Dutch fired a canon. The Māori pursued the Dutch the next day and clubbed some sailors to death. The Dutch fired on and killed one of the Māori. The Dutch did not land on Aotearoa soil. They mapped the west coast of the islands and named the country New Zealand.
120 years later in 1769 the British sent James Cook to the Pacific ocean to track the path of Venus. His expedition took his crew to Aotearoa – now known by the Western World as New Zealand. His arrival marked another violent encounter between Europeans and Māori. As he approached shore his crew shot one of the leading Māori chiefs. Cook erected the Union Jack to claim the country for Britain. He sailed around the islands mapping the shoreline. On his return to England the official British response to this claim to new British territory was to leave New Zealand to the natives. Britain could no longer afford to colonise having spent 400 years expanding its interests in India, China, Japan, the Americas, Canada and Africa.
In around 1800 it is approximated there were between 100-200,000 Māori people. British, American and French traders had established a presence. About 2,000 Europeans lived in whaling, sealing and forestry camps. By 1815 Anglican missionaries arrived to convert the savages to Christianity.
Pressure was put on the British government to take over New Zealand. In 1840 the Māori tribes signed the Treaty of Waitangi which gave the British Crown sovereignty while acknowledging Māori peoples’ autonomy and control over their domains. This lead to the colonisation of our country by the English.
Māori people identify colonisation, loss of land, the drop in population and the role of the Education system as the primary causes of the loss of the Māori language.
Prior to the Treaty there was very little tension between European and Māori. Battles between Māori had sorted out a natural pecking order. The early acquisition of guns by one tribe lead to warfare and a pursuit by the other tribes to acquire guns. A balance of power was struck after 10 years. English and French missionaries had established schools in the Māori language. Most Māori were bilingual and bi-literate, unlike most European who were monolingual and illiterate.
From the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, tension grew. Māori resisted European pressure on them to sell land. Europeans established a Parliament that excluded Māori. Pressure for land and the exclusion of Māori from the halls of power lead to the New Zealand wars. After the resisting tribes were subjugated their lands were confiscated. A Land Court was established. The only access Māori could have to cash was to sell land. European diseases had a devastating affect on Māori. By 1900 the European population had increased to 750,000. The Māori population had dropped to 40,000.
In 1867 the New Zealand Government established a free compulsory education system. However Māori had to provide land and buildings for schools. The Māori language was banned from schools and Māori children were punished, physically beaten for using the Māori language at school.
Prior to World War II 90% of Māori lived in rural tribal villages. They lived off the remaining land they owned or worked as rural agricultural labourers and domestic servants for Europeans. Their first language in the home was the Māori language. They engaged in English beyond the village, at school, in shops and at work. Most Māori community events, ceremonies and celebrations took place in the Māori language.
Most Māori tribes sent their young men to join the New Zealand defence force in support of the United Kingdom during World War II. At the end of the war, New Zealand grew in industrialisation. New factories required workers. The Government encouraged Māori to move to the cities for work and education. By the mid-1950s 80% of the now 100,000 or so Māori had moved from their rural villages to the urban and city areas.
Prior to this there had been very little contact between most Europeans and Māori. The influx of Māori to the cities was met with racist negativism. The government “pepper potted” individual Māori families amongst predominantly white communities to “assimilate” them to European ways. Māori were generally expected to become “white” the sooner the better. The Māori language was not welcome in the cities. Māori parents, themselves punished for using the Māori language at schools based in their home villages, raised their families speaking only English to them. Within one generation the Māori language was no longer intergenerationally transmitted.
By 1970 urban Māori youth, inspired by the American Black liberation movement, rose up in protest against the breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and language loss. By 1979 only 8% of the 300,000 Māori people could speak Māori.
In 1972 a petition with 30,000 signatures was taken to Parliament calling for the official recognition of the Māori language and for the Māori language to be taught in schools. This lead to an increase in the teaching of Māori language and an official Māori language day. Māori Language Day eventually became Māori Language Week.
The Māori language movement built in momentum, moving to adopting language acquisition strategies such as total immersion learning methodologies. In 1981 the first major organisation to develop was Te Ataarangi, a total immersion adult learning programme based on Caleb Gattegno’s Silent Way.
A year later Māori elders called for more to be done for the younger generations. Te Kōhanga Reo – the language nest – was launched. Native speaking elders, predominantly women – volunteered to spend their days with the grandchildren generation using only the Māori language as the language of communication.
Three years down the track it was evident that the movement of kōhanga reo children into schools has a negative impact on their language. Within 6 months they stopped using the language. An urban based Māori organisation established the first total immersion Māori language school.
In 1975 a process was established whereby Māori can lay grievances against the Crown (Government) for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. A leading Māori language organisation laid a claim against the Crown for its role in the loss of the Māori language, especially through Education policy. The result was the official legal recognition of Te Reo Māori as an official language and the establishment of the Māori Language Commission as the principal policy advisor to the Government on Māori language matters.
In 1989 the Education Act was reviewed and renewed. Kura Kaupapa Māori – total immersion Māori language schools became included as a fully state funded option. This precipitated total immersion teacher training programmes. At the same time Kōhanga Reo became funded in the same way as English language Early Childhood Centres. $70M is now allocated annually to the pre-school language nests.
In 1990 there were 900 kōhanga reo centres with 14,000 children but only 6 kura kaupapa Māori with only 150 children.
By 2011 over half the native speakers that were used to support kōhanga reo had died. This resulted in halving the number of centres and a drop in numbers of children by a third. Meanwhile schools have grown in number. There are now several options of Māori language programmes. Full immersion schools number about 100 with 7,000 children.
Education has been the Māori peoples’ main focus in language revitalisation and regeneration. The shift is now on homes, families, neighbourhood and community is now the focus.
Education has contributed to a massive increase in speakers of the Māori language – 25.2% of 400,000 Māori were fluent speakers in 2001, saving the language from the brink of extinction having dropped to 8% of 300,000 Māori in 1979. But there is a worry that in 2006 there had been a 2% drop.
In 2011 the Government reviewed its $600M spend, the bulk of which is in Education ($350M), followed by Broadcasting ($75M for Māori language radio and television) and then community language initiatives. In 2011 there was no funding for Te Ataarangi, the adult immersion programme.
The Independent Review panel recommended that the $600M should be shifted from the myriad of Government departments to a central pool governed by a single strategy that has home, family, neighbourhood and community for intergenerational transmission as the target. This recommendation has yet to be given traction.
Mana Tamariki is an organisation based in New Zealand’s 5th largest city. The building here is our permanent base, opened in 2007 after we had occupied 8 other temporary facilities over a 15 year period.
As stated above Palmerston North is New Zealand’s 5th largest city with a population of 85,000 of which Māori make up 12%. This reflects the national percentage of Māori within the national population In 1990 there were five Kōhanga Reo in the city. A group that Toni co-ordinated had launched the campaign to establish a Kura Kaupapa Māori for these Kōhanga Reo. The new school would require large numbers of new entrants. He and his friends decided to open a new 6th Kōhanga Reo called Mana Tamariki.
It opened with 12 children and followed the trend of the time. The language focus was on the children and not their parents, family or community. Mana Tamariki relocated to expand the role growing batches of 21 children, graduating 4-5 a year to the Kura Kaupapa Māori. In 1995 as a result of the Kura Kaupapa Māori expanding to a size that was larger than desirable for language quality control Mana Tamariki opened its own private school with 8 students.
In 1990 Mana Tamariki like all the Education efforts for Māori language revitalisation focussed on teaching the children the language with no link to parents or community.
After Toni and others of the Mana Tamariki leadership had carried out socio-linguistic research in 1995 they adopted the Fishman stage 6 critical stage of language revitalisation. Mana Tamariki put in place a new entry criteria. At least one parent is required to speak only the Māori language at all times to the children enrolled in Mana Tamariki including their own. The preference is both parents speak only Māori and there were several families able to uphold this. However the one-parent-one-language approach was proven in the research as being enough to create intergenerational transmission and so that is the approach Mana Tamariki adopted.
The entry criteria had an immediate galvanising of the commitment and spread of the Māori language beyond the pre-school and school education facilities to the home, the neighbourhood and community. Mana Tamariki families spread the language amongst the city as they shopped, played sport and attended community events. The Mana Tamariki entry criteria is singularly responsible for minority language spread and reversing language shift.
This rather complex messy diagram attempts to show how the focus on language relationships in answering the question “who will speak which language to whom” regenerates the language.
Three generations are the goal of intergenerational transmission so that the third generation naturally and normally uses the language to the generations immediately above and below (generation 4 not shown). In 2005 the original Mana Tamariki families achieved the creation of three generations of engagement in the Māori language with the birth of the first grandchild of one of the founding families. However, the first child born to a Mana Tamariki Kōhanga child was only born in 2010. There are now several children born of Mana Tamariki raised children with the Māori language naturally and normally being transmitted across three generations. We still have a long way to go.
The impact of taking the Fishman Stage 6 approach has been profound in our community. In 1985 Toni and his partner Penny Poutū were the only practitioners of intergenerational transmission of the Māori language within the family in Palmerston North. They were joined by a second family in 1988. Their two families established Mana Tamariki. Since 1995 the number of families has grown so that now we have 50 families, 85 children enrolled – 30 in the Kōhanga Reo and 55 in the Kura Kaupapa Māori. 150 highly fluent speakers engage regularly within and beyond Mana Tamariki at high levels of proficiency. All this language growth, regeneration, reversing language shift and revitalisation occurs in a city where 80% of the population speak only English (allowing 8% for immigrant families). The commitment by families to regenerate the Māori language as their language of the family, neighbourhood and community overcomes any negative reaction from the predominantly English monoglot community. Mana Tamariki has provided a safe zone for families who return to their homes having been buoyed and bolstered to continue using the Māori language with their children through their connection to Mana Tamariki.
There are many challenges to maintain a high quality total immersion Māori language learning environment and families within our English language city.
Families need support. In Mana Tamariki there are NO native speakers of the Māori language. As learned speakers parents continuously need access to vocabulary, phrases, correction in grammar. Mana Tamariki requires parents to be enrolled in a language programme. There are several providers of Māori language courses within the city. Many parents travel afar, returning to their own tribal areas to spend time with the remaining native speakers of their dialects.
Teenagers with all their teenage foibles are a challenge in themselves. Their natural resistance to being made to do something presents a challenge to the language zealots like the leaders of Mana Tamariki who attempt to maintain strict total immersion Māori language and pure language relationships.
In conclusion, Mana Tamariki has been able to contribute to and make a positive impact on the recent deliberations about the way forward for the Māori language revitalisation effort.
Te Reo Mauriora was published by the independent panel that reviewed the Government’s Māori language strategy. It noted the Government spends $600M on the Māori language, predominantly in Education ($350M) through several Government Departments: Education, Māori Affairs and Cultural and Heritage.
The panel recommended shifting the $600M underneath a single Minister and establish a Māori language authority to administer and distribute the funds to ensure the Māori language outcomes were achieved in
Families, neighbourhoods and communities
The Government has not yet adopted the recommendations, however there is a growing support for the panel’s recommendations amongst Māori language leaders. Discussions are pointing towards co-ordination and collaboration amongst Māori language leaders. The desired language outcome is the intergenerational transmission of the seven tribal dialects.
The cities have been the place where Māori people have resided for over 50 years. Te Reo Māori in the cities has been the focus for 40 years. The effort has been multi tribal and multi dialectal. Every dialect has been embraced – any Māori language is better than none. This approach has seen the stronger dialects merging as if to morph in to a general Māori language. During the review of the Māori language strategy tribal leaders called for support of the dialects as well as the general Māori language that has emerged.
Halting the recent drop in fluent speakers is a major priority for the revitalisation of the Māori language and it is hoped that a sharper, more focussed and co-ordinated approach through all Māori language organisations collaborating.
I’d like to thank, on behalf of Margarita and Tony, the superb efforts of both Uri and Michael to all them to be virtually present among us. We even had the opportunity to discuss with Toni live for a few minutes as proves this picture of our young colleague Csilla Horvath discussing with Toni:
Giving a really funny example of the misleading adventures of translation
Lisa then proceeded with her lively description of the present situation of the Welsh language . She mentioned the absence of capital city till 1955., of the fact that Welsh became official language as of 1957. Certain aspects of legal system are becoming more welsh. She reminded us of the small size of her country. A lot of welsh speakers complain that welsh was once spoken all over britain. It could be seen as a language of the past but there’s more beyond. Welsh was widely spoken and is still proudly spoken. Several people over the survey she conducted and described in her presentation mentioned the pride of being welsh. Last figures show an increase in Welsh speakers. Cardiff, heart of industrial revolution. There were always some Welsh communities there but due to industrial revolution, it was largely taken over by english speaking. 1978, 1st Welsh school. The initial director had to pass protest pannels while driving to his school. Now 3 Welsh medium and two bilingual primary schools plus starter units in several English medium school. From September 2012, all 3-7 year olds in EM schools following the bilingual Foundation Phase. Ingreased focus on attaining bilingualism in all EM 11-19 school. Lots of non-welsh origin school children are enrolling. Success right now but what about the future….
I should add to this that Cardiff professor, Collin Williams would have liked to join us…but alas couldn’t due to conflicting commitments.
Diolch to both our Welsh friends, may they keep in touch in the future, for a bright and vital Welsh language.
The next speaker was our dear colleague Michael Hornsby who presented a research made with Tomasz Wicherkiewicz (see my previous post about Tomasz) :
Hornsby, M. and T. Wicherkiewicz (2012). Documenting Poland’s heritage Languages: The Challenge of Polish Yiddish. Languages in the City. Berlin, 2012.
Here’s Mike’s powerpoint: Yiddish in which he describe his
project at University of Poznan. Looking at the Yiddish which we are trying to document. Critical sociolinguistic point of view. Characteristic of targetted languages: Endangerment, Speech Communities, High probability of extension. Historical data: 1922 the Commonwealth bordered an area of 388,634 KM2. Sixth largest country in Europe with 27,2 million inhabitant. A third of which of minority group. Geographical point of view. Previously much larger than today. Yiddish quite vivid at before WWII. There were a remarkable number of languages (varieties of yiddish, lithuanian, latgalian, belarusisian, ukraiinan, dresi dialects etc…). Challenges for this projects are to define the yiddish we will identify. Selection of texts and speakers. The zone of yiddish identified is more or less between occidental and oriental yiddish. As of the text, there was a wide selection from the bible to literature. Used the speakers range by Grineveld & Bert, 2011 speakers (fluent, semi-speaker, terminal speaker, remembers, ghost speaker, neo-speaker last speaker adding one further type of speaker, the territorial speaker). Gave snippets and clips of such speakers. First speaker, A doctor born in Australia, native yiddish speaker now based in London mentions the tensions of standardisation. Another one was a delightful elderly lady whose parents worked in a Yiddish theaters, talking about her beling a polylanguaging, translanguaging speaker. Another speaker mentioned fragmentation and authentiication He stereotyped yiddish speakers. cf. Bucholz, Deacon about attributes of postmodernity include the “growning pereption of fragmentation, particularity.
Problems were geographic, location, standards and who is a speaker. On a wider level, majority-minority dicotomy, plrulingualism and authenticity.
Still on jewish territories but moving from Diaspora to Israel’s minority languages, we had the pleasure to watch the very bright and lively presentation by our international Uri (a discovery, this guy is what we call in hebrew “something something” to quote my friend Lisa Rosenberg in her blog lizarosenberg.com). When Uri doesn’t wear a Keffieh, he wears anti-sionist tee-shirts…and the world still wants to boycott Israeli academics??? The world never understood anything. But this is besides the point…
Horesh, U. (2012). Adaptation of ‘mixed cities’ in Israel to a new bilingual standard: a critical analysis. Languages in the City. Berlin, 2012.
Trained in variational socilinguistics under Bill Labov, Uri mentions that ” When what we call the State of Israel” was created, the Palestinian population was divided. Some cities have ceased to be palestinians but they are still cities. Now the language is hebrew or israeli. Yet arabic is an official language. segregation in education, employment. Unlike segregation the US way, segregation is made my language. the fact that you let palestinian study in their own language in fact you prevent them from integrating…Regarding numbers, there’s no consensus regarding the data produced in 2006: Jewish 5, 3333,000, arab (palestinian) 1,387,000, other 306,000 (leads to an interesting debate. for all praticality, they probably fall into jewish categories such as russian entering under the law of return. these are jewish enough to have been prosecuted by the nazis or stalinists but not enough to mary jews…). Israeli society would consider them jews. 5 mixed cities: jaffa, Ramla, Lod, Haifa, Acco. Marked jewish speaking majority except in Jaffa which is 50-50 and this probably explain why it was included into Tel-Aviv instead of remaining separate. Regarding the mixed Jerusalem, he considers them as two separate cities (israeli and palestinian). Looks at the effect of contact of Arabic with Hebrew on the local dialect of Arabic. The more contact we have, the more their dialect sounds is lexified and sounds like hebrew, distancing itself from other arabic dialects. We may replace segregation by isolation. Since 1948, palestinian kids are experiencing de facto bilingual education. Certain subjects are taught in hebrew no matter the school. Hebrew is the LVI, Mixed towns usually have a higher percentage of christian population.Even moslem parents favour christian school than in the state run public school. One assumption is that the linguistic education will be better there. They don’t mind a little bit of christiankeit (neologism on yiddishkeit). Countereffect of nationalism. Showed three interviews initially made for phonological purposes: “after all, Heb rew is….What, what, it’s the mother tongue. Let’s put it this way, its’ the moghter tongue. Is Hebrew your real mother tongue. Yes, I’m a native of this country. I was born in this country. together with the state in 1948). “the first language of this country is hebrew. “All my clients are jews”are some of the testimonies he gathered, at times in Arabic which he speaks perfectly or in Hebrew, his mothertongue with English. In one interview was conducted in hebrew. A gay palestinian activist spoke of hebrew being the effeminate language for some of his fellow-countrymen.
and let me finish (because it was the last one) with my own presentation. I submit my powerpoint but will comment on it later (hey, I’m in Berlin and want to enjoy it a bit too…). Furthermore, my colleague Fatiha, from Bejaia, in the ensuing discussion gave some strong indications that Tamahaq, contrary to the UNESCO classification, is by no mean an endangered language…
let me also send you to Tinariwen for a proper illustration of my presentation;.)
In the afternoon, we were joined by some more SLonFB colleagues for what was really the apotheosis of our week’s discussion and of our session. Initially focusing on indigeneity and neospeakers, we covered also First Languages and their High Status, with Yolandi Khaos Klein referring to Koy languages in Cape Town and Serafin Coronel Molina raising the question whether these indigenous languages should be vivid or kept in Museums?
Michael Hornsby questioned the very label of indigenous languages with some replies via skype from Margarita who refered to Cooper’s analytical categorisation. Many quechua speakers identiy themselves as an entity, although “indigenous”. The very hot discussion moved on this being an inclusive labels by urban indigenous population who is actually more in an advocacy situation than an authentic indigenous one. This remark from Margarita, also refering to Ecuador and Bolivia was somewhat opposed by Serafin. A great moment of debate, contradiction while still respect on both ends!
Raoudha Kammoun, one of our most vibrant Tunisian supporters and a fine scholar asked whether the term minority might not in some instances be more acceptable. All around the panel admited that there should be a distinction, even though indigenous populations, according to Serafin, was a worldwide population issue. He argued that their authenticity could positively be replaced by their dynamism and vitality: “We are andeans, wewalk with lamas and we use planes” (quoting Maria Elena…?). A minority can be indigenous or vice-versa…but not necessarily.
The debate then moved to endangered and vulnerable populations. Uri remarked that Israel had declared that the Bedouins weren’t indigenous to the territory of Israel because they only arrived there at the end of the Ottoman Empire (17th century). Using this time argument led Uri to remind us all that Arabic had been continuously much longer than Hebrew….
Aboriginality in Australia and the originary languages in the Commonwealth was addressed as well as the issue of polydialectalism.
Lisa Williams refered to the social and political mechanisms supporting Welsh. Neospeakers are a population one should address both via school education and continuing education. “Such populations are of essence and should be capitalized”. The language has always been an instrument of assimilation of other culture and she went on by referring to the term microwave which, according to the generations, varied (her kids say Popti ping, an onomatopeia whereas she tends to use a purer Welsh…). Michael Hornsby wondered what was the risk of lusing nuances and higher standards. Lisa replied that the Welsh Academy protected the language.
Serafin addressed the revitalization and connectivity between home, school and politics, indicating that we need to create conditions, otherwise it won’t be sustainable: “No language is pure, it’s a product of hybridity”.
Christophe Pereira, from INALCO, joined our discussion on Asci-ised arabic and Serafin Coronel wondered whether revitalization should go hand in hand with documentation.
A mention was made of Yiddish would would owe its survival to Hassidics in New York and Israel. Amazigh revival even in Tunisia was mentioned (it had virtually disappeared) and Yiddish is thus evolving.
Arabic in Israel was addressed regarding borrowing from Hebrew and their relation to politics. Uri mentioned some morphosyntactic forms (possesive) and the fact that “the more isolated the Palestinians, the less influenced (women, for example, in traditional settings). A final reference to the fact that Arabic influenced by Hebrew was considered effeminate would have given rise to a lively debate…but our hour and a half session had already finished.
I hope these notes will be discussed by our colleagues in our group and in future conferences. Please share your notes, correct mine and add your thoughts to this thought provoking conversation.
Let me also thank here our colleagues Esther Jahns, Matthias Hüning and Uli Reich who probably devoted a full year of their lives if not more to making this conference a huge success. Of course, Berlin is attractive…but the programme and the smooth running of the conference and the attention to every little details is what made it what all participants agreed upon: A HUGE SUCCESS!