Depending on the location of the community English French Danish Spanish or

Depending on the location of the community english

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Depending on the location of the community, English, French, Danish, Spanish, or Portugese (sections "-4· 11.6)-the languages of dominant societies-have taken on significant roles in the daily life of many American Indian communities; there· fore. maintenance of the ancestral languages has assumed great importance. For one thing. if much of the daily activity must be carried out in the dominant Ian· guage, fluency in the ancestral language is a reminder that no one language has a monopoly over truth. logic, or precision of expression. For another thing, as recog· nized by the Native American Languages Act. an American Indian language is "an integral part" of an Indian group's culture and identity and forms the basic medium for the transmission. and thus survival of "the society's culture. literature, history, religion. political institutions, and values." Agnes Vanderburg sits, .. outside her summer home-a small trailer in the middle of a meadow seven miles up a gravel road on the Flat- head Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana. Marking the way to her meadow are painted wooden signs at every branch in the road: "Agnes' Culture Camp"., .. "Snee-nyeh." She stretches out each syl- lable as she speaks; it's a stopped sound at the finish. Two girls sit- ting at her feet listen intently to Agnes repeating the word "owl" in the Salish tongue; they form the sound on their lips, mimicking her. Agnes is an elder of the Salish tribe, .. , one of a number of Salish elders who are passing along . , . a heritage preserved in large mea- sure by language. SOURCES In section 1.1 the American Indian comment about "Indian" is from Shutiva 1994; other comments are from the authors· field experiences; discussion of the origin of "Iroquois" and "Sioux" comes from Goddard 1978c and Hodge 1959 [1907], respec- tively; the Darwin quote is from Clairis 1985: 753; treatment of the nature of language and the nature of speech communities draws from Hymes 1964:385-90, 1974a, 1974b, and 1981; mention of Aymara "politeness" is from Briggs 1981; the comment about Menomini speakers is based on Bloomfield 1921- In section 1.2 the Quileute example is from Hymes 1974b:47, the Pit River example from Silver's field notes. and the Nom· laki quote from Goldschmidt 1978. Estimates on number of languages, number of speakers. and the pre·Columbian population are a synthesis of sources: Chafe 1962,
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Overview 14 19 6 5 . Derbyshire and Pullum 1986. Driver 1961, Grimes 1988. Hodge 1959 .. Kaufman 1990. Klein and Stark 1985a. McQuown 1955, Olson 1991. Spencer. and Jennings 1965. Steward and Faron , 959 , and Suarez 1983 (additional sources are l1Sted in chapter 14). The quote regarding the number and diversity of languages in South ~merica 1s from Mannheim 1991 : 3 6. In sections 1.3 through 1.5 the comments on v1tal1ty. govern- ment policy. literacy, and language maintenance are based on Briggs 1983. Campbe.1' and Muntzel 1989. K. Kroeber et al. 1981. leap 1981a. 1981b. Spolsky 1978, St. Clair and Leap 19 82. Szasz and Rya 1988. and the Native American Languages Act 1990 (Congressional Record. S15024-15030, October 11, 1990). The discussion of language policy draws heavily from Szasz and Rya 1988. The reference to Agnes Vanderburg is from Shaffer 1990.
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  • Summer '19
  • languages, Native Americans in the United States, Americas, Indigenous languages of the Americas

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