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Wichita, a dying language

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posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:09 PM
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I'm not sure where to post this. Feel free to move it.
This story has to do with the Wichita, an American Indian people. Their language is dying. There is only one fluent speaker left. IMO, this is just another affect of the genocide that has been perpetrated against the American Indian people from the start. It also shows what damage English only laws can cause.

www.sott.net...




posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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It's the US Governments direct responsibility to save these things. This is only because they wanted to take the land and impose jurisdiction on these tribes.

A cool and decent government would have been doing everything possible to get full records of this language (and tons of others that are dissipating).

All the Govt has to do, is fund Anthropologist/Linguistic Departments at Local Universities. It's super simple. They can do case studies and compile data.

They do this stuff all the time already, we just have to direct our current resources more effectively.

But these days, failure by the Government is a dime a dozen.




[edit on 29-5-2010 by muzzleflash]



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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How do you save a language that has no written componet, It seems the tribal leaders themselves must share in some of the blame for the loss of the language. Best thing that coul dhappens now is for younger folks of the tribe and some university get together to make a written componet of the language so that it may be saved. This is one of those things I dont mind spending tax dollars on.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by DarkStormCrow
How do you save a language that has no written componet, It seems the tribal leaders themselves must share in some of the blame for the loss of the language. Best thing that coul dhappens now is for younger folks of the tribe and some university get together to make a written componet of the language so that it may be saved. This is one of those things I dont mind spending tax dollars on.


I agree it would be a good use of money.

We chunk money away on stupid stuff daily. Why not something good?

The language would be converted to a phonetic equivalent. Sounds can be (in most cases) transcribed.

I was thinking that if it was like a click language we were screwed. Not so maybe. Tape recordings could be analyzed and formulated.

I hate when things like this happen.



posted on May, 29 2010 @ 05:38 PM
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I'm surprised this is just coming up now. Over the course of the last couple hundred years, quite a lot of native languages have been worked out to a written language even if they didn't begin with that. Around here I think you can take classes in Cherokee, for example.

I think it would be neat if the last speaker of Wichita were to record several albums' worth of say, their cultural legends and so on, along with an english 'general translation' of the content. Not only would it ensure that some record of the language's spoken-value is kept but perhaps in the future something more could be done about it, even though obviously it'd be more difficult then without a native speaker, but we decode even ancient languages, after all.

I agree about the tribal chief/elders but I think it's worth understanding that genetically, possibly the worst imaginable thing that could happen to most of the natives is a shift in food to processed grains -- from flour/sugar to alcohol -- and when the natives became dependent on government, it annihilated much of their culture and people from the inside, as a result. The non-natives might not have known it was akin to addicting babies to drugs and ensuring a population % of ill health and addiction in adulthood that is staggering in many tribes, but that is the result of it anyway. Add this to poverty of a kind many of us can't even imagine... The side-effects of this are profound and IMO there's been drastically less proactive education, and just plain optimism, culture-wide as a result. In order to be driven you have to have the energy and attitude for it. The food supply has been a genuine problem that changes attitudes and whole cultures, not just individuals. To this day government still provides 'food' -- to make up for the land stolen that had actual animals to eat on it -- that is white flour, white sugar, white rice, cheap pasta, as 'dominant' provisions. If you've read or heard anything about the genetic response to foods and the very different "increase in ill health and obesity" in some population segments than others, it would make slightly more sense that quite a number of native tribes have just not seemed to have the gumption to maintain a 'cultural heritage'.

RC



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