UCSB Conference to Explore American Indigenous Languages

The 12th Annual Workshop on American Indigenous Languages (WAIL) will take place at UC Santa Barbara on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9. The workshop serves as a forum for discussing theoretical, descriptive, and practical linguistic studies on indigenous languages of the Americas. It is sponsored by the linguistics department at UCSB and presented by the Native American Indian Languages study group, which has been meeting regularly in Santa Barbara since 1990 to discuss issues relating to Native American language and culture.

The workshop, which begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 8, is free and open to the public. All events will be held in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Resource Building.

Among the conference participants is Aaron Fox, associate professor of music at Columbia University, who will give the keynote address. He will discuss the repatriation of musical recordings to Barrow, Alaska, in a talk titled "Bringing the Songs Back Home: Repatriation as Reanimation," at 2 p.m. on Friday. Fox is the author of "Real Country: Music and Language in Working Class Culture" (Duke University Press, 2004).

Another event of particular interest on Friday is a series of short films screening at 8 p.m. The films include documentaries about Mohawk ironworkers in New York and the prevalence of Mohawk as a common language on high-rise construction sites; residential schools and their impact on Native American languages; and the Oneida radio station in Ontario, Canada, whose programming consists entirely of Oneida music and language.

The workshop also will feature presentations by linguistics scholars who are affiliated with tribes or Indian nations. Among them are Megan Lukaniec, a Huron Wendat member and graduate student at Université Laval in Montreal, where she is completing a multiyear project aimed at reviving the Huron Wendat language; Johnny P. Flynn, a member of the Potawatomi tribe, and a professor of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IPUPI) and director of the IPUPI's Native

American Studies Alliance; and Cliff and Karyl Eaglefeathers of Empire State College, who are recipients of a National Science Foundation grant to document Northern Cheyenne sacred language.

Proceedings from the workshop will be published by the UCSB Department of Linguistics as part of its "Santa Barbara Working Papers in Linguistics" series.

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Workshop on American Indigenous Languages

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