Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Language Death and Language Preservation: Linguistics Brown Bag Lecture Series

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 10, 2008

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Associate Professor of Linguistics writes:

‘Atowa Seeni, (good day) everyone! We’re very excited to announce our next linguistics brown bag speaker, Mr. George Clay who comes to us from the Solomon Islands. Mr. Clay’s native language, Oroha, has only 38 speakers remaining. He will be in Bowling Green this week to work with linguists on documenting Oroha and will present at our March linguistics brown bag–a rare opportunity to meet a Last Speaker and learn first-hand about the process of documenting an endangered language. Hanuaramana huni ‘o! (Peace)

Within the next one hundred years, up to 90% of the languages spoken on Earth today may die due to a complex web of social, economic and environmental pressures. Oroha, once widely spoken on the Solomon Islands, is one such language. George Clay is one of the last thirty-eight native speakers of Oroha and has been working with linguists to document and revitalize his native language before it is too late.

On Friday, March 14, at 12:30 pm in 111 Olscamp Hall, Mr. Clay will present his experiences documenting and preserving his language and culture and his hopes for his and other communities facing similar challenges.

Everyone is welcome! No prior knowledge of linguistics is required. This event is sponsored by the BGSU Department of English and the Black Swamp Literary Society.

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