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ANTH 240

by: Hallie Notetaker
Hallie Notetaker
Minnesota State University, Mankato
GPA 3.66
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About this Document

Week 2 Notes on the meaning of Indigenous Languages
Language and Culture
Dr. Chelsea Mead
Class Notes




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Popular in Anthropology

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hallie Notetaker on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 240 at Minnesota State University - Mankato taught by Dr. Chelsea Mead in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Language and Culture in Anthropology at Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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Date Created: 09/15/16
What do you mean “Indigenous” Languages? Questions to Answer  What does Indigenous mean?  What are “Indigenous Languages”?  How does a language become Indigenous and what role do groups of other language  speakers play in that process?  What single stories do you bring to the table that you need to work on?  Danger of Single Stories   What is a single story? o One idea about a different culture that shapes your entire story of them   How do they stay alive? o People in power stay in power and keep telling these stories; media; only see the  bad   How does it connect to you and the indigenous language research?  What does “Indigenous” Mean?  First Peoples o Particular group in a geographical space with earliest known connections to that  land   Other definitions o Shared experiences of marginalization, negative impact of resource extraction,  cultural homogenization, economic modernization  Legally Definition   A list of requirements, measurements, qualifiers  o Descent from original inhabitants prior to a group of settlers who have since  become the dominant population  o Distinct from the dominant population  o Political marginality causing poverty, limited access to services  Strategically Defined  Open door policy   Self­identified  Collectively Defined   Not explicitly articulated   Unique identity separate from states   Solidarity in similar ways of life and histories of colonial/state domination  Complexities of “Indigeneity”   Not a particularized identity for those who claim it   Who decides who is Indigenous?   What about peoples who don’t neatly fit the definition?  Indigeneity in Asia  All citizens are of the soil, no first occupancy   Possible corruption or impractical amount of claims   National histories of colonial victimization and liberations  Historical Issues   Primordial image  o Migration o Unchanging culture  o Restricts people’s agency   Victimhood and paternalism   W. European Colonization Standard  o Indigenous identity doesn’t require continual domination by Europeans  Complex and Contested   Selective adaptation and Negotiation   Survivance = survival as resistance  Indigenous Languages   Harrison’s definition  o “People who have inhabited a particular land since before recorded history and  have a strong ecological engagement with that land may be considered  indigenous”  o Problem with “before recorded history”  Who recorded that history and what about oral history, cave paintings,  etc.?  Other Considerations to Keep in Mind   Biological perspective   Scientific perspective   Linguistic Anthropology vs. Linguistics   Languages are alive  o Understand from a cultural perspective  Indigenous Language Loss   Colonialism  o Invasion of place by outsiders  o Military backed control, occupation, extraction of resources of a place  o To control peoples and in proselytizing frenzy, local religion, culture, languages,  governments economic systems, health practices, education, etc. are forbidden,  suppressed and eradicated  o People resist as well  o Utilize the children to relay new practices   2001 – 6,912 distinct human languages in the world   2005 o 204 had fewer than 10 speakers  o 344 had fewer 10­99 speakers   1/10 of world’s languages have fewer than 99 speakers   Lose a language every ten days   Dictionaries and outsider efforts aren’t enough   Impact on speakers  o Isolated and invisible  o Few opportunities to speak  o Hard to be heard  o Hard to not forget  How Does Loss Happen?   Political or social discrimination   Genocide   Trauma and its impact   Print literacy – tool of conquest   Indoctrination of children  o Expedient tolerance  o Colonial schooling   Social relationships   Slurs   Mocking cultural appropriation   Shunning   Re­enactments of conquest   Re­telling of single stories to solidify the narrative   Historical erasure   Racist language practices  What Do We Lose   Human knowledge base  o Medicines  o Relationships with land and place  o Ecological knowledge   Cultural heritage  o Stories, histories, arts   Human cognition  o Diversity of languages and human capabilities  o Word order in a language S­V­O or O­V­S 


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