Tag: 2020年上海喝茶资源群

Preserving a culture, one speaker at a time

first_imgThousands of indigenous languages are in danger of disappearing before the end of the century, including most of those spoken in North America, according to a report from UNESCO. This is part one of a two-part series of discussions with Native American language preservationists and their efforts to revive their ancestral tongues.When Richard Grounds began the Euchee/Yuchi Language Project (ELP) in 1996, it was no light undertaking. Grounds wanted nothing less than to prevent his tribe’s cultural extinction, and he knew he must start with its words.“We are an original people,” he said. “Our elders tell us our language is a gift from the Creator, and it is our special responsibility to care for that gift and pass it on to our children.”The Yuchi people, also known as the Coyaha, traditionally inhabited eastern Tennessee, though their origins remain a mystery and their language is a linguistic isolate that does not resemble any other Native American tongue. During the 17th century the Yuchi moved south, and in the 1800s they were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma, currently one of the worst regions for language loss. A concerted assimilation effort after World War II saw thousands of Native American children enrolled in boarding schools where they were only allowed to speak English, and could be punished for using their native languages. Like many indigenous peoples, the Yuchi came close to losing their language in a single generation.Grounds, who delivered the 2015 Greeley Lecture at Harvard Divinity School and returned this year to participate in the School’s Native American Speaker Series, does not believe this was unintentional. For centuries, the U.S. government, academics, and settlers told Native American tribes that their culture was on the brink of extinction, and treated them accordingly. Yet it only became a reality when they were prevented from learning their languages.Grounds at the Yuchi Knowledge Bowl, featuring “Yuchi Einstein” who spreads the message to the community that they are as smart as he is if they can speak their language. Courtesy of the Euchee/Yuchi Language ProjectBefore the first Europeans came to the Americas, thousands of native languages were spoken across the continent. Today only about 150 remain, and three out of four are spoken exclusively by people born before World War II. When Grounds began his program there were fewer than two dozen fluent, first-language speakers of Yuchi, and all of them were grandparents of non-speakers. Only three remain, each over 90 years old.Today’s parents grew up hearing their grandparents speak Yuchi, said Grounds, but did not learn or pass it on to their children. “What we’re fighting against is a sort of internalized colonialism. People have been anaesthetized to the value of their language.”Growing up, Grounds remembers his grandmother speaking Yuchi to him and his siblings, but as children of non-speakers, they never picked it up. “We had a feel for the language, maybe a few words and phrases, but we were never fluent,” he said. Grounds went on to learn several languages, passing graduate proficiency exams in French, German, Greek, and Hebrew, “But there was no funding to learn the language of my grandmother. It wasn’t important on the scale of European intellectual history.”Grounds sought out elders and learned Yuchi from them, but he knew that few of his tribespeople would have the privilege, time, and energy to do the same. With the help of the elders and concerned Yuchis, Grounds founded the ELP as a nonprofit to pay for student transportation and class materials. But because the Yuchi are not a federally recognized tribe, there is little reliable funding available to the program. It relies heavily on grants and donations.Centered around the Yuchi House — “more or less a hothouse for growing and teaching the language,” Grounds said — the ELP provides immersion classes for Yuchi children of all grades, free of charge. Community classes for curious adults are also offered.“Maybe they spoke as kids and they want to pick it back up now that they’re adults, but they’re not ideal candidates,” Grounds said of the adult students. “The ideal situation is to get to them before they learn English.”The sense of hope in the Yuchi community is matched only by the sense of urgency. Not only have nearly all their native-speaking elders died, but none of those who remain live particularly close to each other. Simply getting them to and from classes can take more time than the classes themselves, Grounds said.Elder Maxine Wildcat Barnett teaches the children a story about shat’anA (fox) during an immersion class. Courtesy of the Euchee/Yuchi Language ProjectThe program has been able to make a few adults fluent enough to teach the roughly 60 enrolled children, but the gap between the last generation of first-language speakers and the next is so large that the program will be dependent on second-language speakers for many years to come.To make matters worse, Yuchi is a notoriously difficult language to learn. It has no known relative to compare with; it is agglutinative, so an entire sentence can be contained in one verb; glottal stops are integral, drastically changing the meaning of words that sound homonymic to an untrained ear; it is not only gendered but has different registers for men and women, and different pronouns for tribespeople and non-Yuchis.Like many Native American languages, Yuchi originally had no orthography, or standard written language. Linguists in the 20th century attempted to decode the language, but were unsuccessful until a phonetic transliteration was created in the 1970s. Grounds designed the orthography specifically as a teaching aid — the native-speaking elders do not use it outside of the classroom — knowing that there was little room for phonetic ambiguity.“The underlying concept of the writing system was to use something that would require minimum stretch for kids who were just learning to read. We had a linguist come in and pretty heavy-handedly insist on a direct IPA [International Phonetic Alphabet] system,” he said. But it would have meant that the kids would be learning that the letter E sounds like “eel��� at public school but “hey” at Yuchi House. “For the sake of young learners, we needed to minimize the shift from their already nascent expectations, [so] we went with one symbol/one sound.”He also wanted it to be easily typed, which is how the (@) symbol found its way into the Yuchi alphabet. Written Yuchi uses capital and lowercase letters to differentiate between long and short vowels, respectively, but there was still an odd sound out. In IPA, the A sound in words like “bat” or “cap” is represented by a grapheme called “ash” (æ). Æ is an official letter in a few North Germanic languages, and was used in most English-speaking countries until the 19th century, but fell out of favor when it was omitted from the first typewriter keyboards for space.Students read a prayer in Yuchi. Courtesy of the Euchee/Yuchi Language ProjectNeeding a symbol to represent the æ sound, Grounds looked at his keyboard and realized the answer was literally under his nose. It even kept with his desire to keep the letters intuitive. What better letter to signify the A sound in “at” than the symbol that means “at”?“It turned out to be very functional,” said Grounds. “Now kids are texting each other in the language.”The result of these efforts may seem modest, Grounds concedes, with the number of fluent Yuchi speakers up to just 16, but the real successes are less quantitative. In addition to daily after-school classes for children in grammar school, the ELP has started working with toddlers to create a new generation that speaks Yuchi before learning English. Grounds’ own grandson is the first child raised speaking only Yuchi in nearly 70 years.“The cultural health of our community is measured by the status of our language. It really matters in terms of our young people growing up as confident, healthy, self-fulfilled people who are able to succeed in life. It matters that they be grounded in their culture and their traditions, and nothing does that like knowing the language and being able to speak to the elders,” Grounds said.“We literally think of it as keeping the world spinning.”last_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Project & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Phillipa Soo’s Next Eliza Hamilton ProjectHamilton’s Phillipa Soo is non-stop! The 2016 Tony nominee and future Amélie, who as we all know by now originated the role of Eliza in the Tony-winning tuner, will contribute a foreword to a new children’s picture book biography about her. “I have lived and breathed Eliza’s story for the past two years,” said Soo in a statement. “I could not be more thrilled to be included in her narrative for young readers.” Margaret McNamara’s Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton will be published in 2017 by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.Juliet Stevenson & Lia Williams Switch It UpTwo queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution. Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) and Tony nominee Lia Williams (Skylight) will trade the central roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin, in Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart at London’s prestigious Almeida Theatre. Adapted and directed by Robert Icke, the production is scheduled to play a limited engagement December 2 through January 21, 2017. Opening night is set for December 9.Emma Watson’s Cursed Child VisitEmma Watson went to see the West End’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, starring Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, and what she had to say about it was everything. “Some things about the play were, I think, possibly even more beautiful than the films,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)! The cast and crew welcomed me like I was family and Noma was everything I could ever hope she would be.” The play is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre, with the opening gala scheduled for July 30. If you fear you won’t be seeing the show anytime soon, the official script will be published on July 31. #KeepTheSecrets View Comments Phillipa Soo(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Phillipa Soo Star Fileslast_img read more

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Indonesia seeks to attract firms departing China

first_img“I gave the task force three tasks, namely detecting firms planning to relocate, analyzing the ease [of doing business] offered by other countries and, importantly, making a decision in a negotiation,” Bahlil stated in a press release on June 19.The establishment of the task force was part of the government’s efforts to minimize the economic impact of COVID-19 on foreign direct investment, which fell 9.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 98 trillion (US$6.9 billion) in the first quarter of 2020.The coronavirus outbreak, which was first detected in China, has strained Indonesia’s foreign direct investment as projects have been delayed as a result of social restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. The pandemic has also disrupted global supply chains and has made some companies question their heavy reliance on China.Bahlil, who formerly led the Association of Young Indonesian Entrepreneurs (HIPMI), declined to provide details of the businesses planning to relocate to the country, saying that he was “waiting for the President himself to announce them”.BKPM data shows that Japanese firms invested $604 million in the first three months of this year, making it the fourth-largest country of origin for foreign direct investment in the period. South Korean firms were the eighth largest, investing $130.4 million, followed by the United States with $114.1 million.Topics : The government has established a special task force to attract businesses leaving China and facilitate their relocation to Indonesia.American, Japanese and South Korean companies are reportedly in discussions with the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) over their potential relocation to the Batang and Brebes industrial districts in Central Java, which are currently under development.According to BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia, the agency has completed 60 percent of the relocation process for some firms.last_img read more

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