Brown Bag Series #12
Date: December 3, 2015
Marleen Haboud（Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador）Sociolinguistic Studies and Community Practices Towards Language Survival and Cultural Recognition in Multilingual Ecuador
According to UNESCO, it is estimated that, if nothing is done, half of 6000 plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century. With the disappearance of unwritten and undocumented languages, humanity would lose not only a cultural wealth but also important ancestral knowledge embedded, in particular, in indigenous languages (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/endangered-languages/).
Ecuador, one of the smallest countries of South America (272,045 sq. km.), is known by its geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity. In addition to Spanish, 13 indigenous languages are still spoken, although some are highly endangered. These indigenous languages are found in Ecuador’s three natural regions: the coast, the Sierra highlands and the Amazon basin as well as in the Galapagos Islands. Based on recent sociolinguistic studies and three ongoing interdisciplinary projects, which try to actively document the languages, this talk provides a general overview of Ecuadorian indigenous language use patterns in public and private contexts and describes current efforts towards maintenance.
Marleen Haboud , Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Oregon (1996), is a professor of linguistics, sociolinguistics, bilingualism, intercultural education and research at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. She has been a visiting professor to several European and North-American universities. In 2006, she received the Fulbright Visiting Scholar grant.
During the last five years she has developed interdisciplinary community based projects regarding sociolinguistic and geolinguistic studies of Ecuadorian indigenous languages. Her most recent nationwide research project, Oralidad Modernidad (www.oralidadmodernidad.com), analyses the impact of language contact on Ecuadorian indigenous languages maintenance and shift. She has published extensively on issues regarding linguistic vitality, educational policies and practices in the Andes.
Some of her recent publications are Voces e Imágenes que Unen, 2015 (co-edited with Mayfe Ortega);
Voces e Imágenes: Lenguas Indígenas del Ecuador, 2014 (co-edited with Jesús Toapanta);
Voices and Images of Endangered Languages 2011 and 2013 (co-edited with Nicholas Ostler).
She has several publications with Routledge, UNESCO and UNICEF regarding Indigenous Languages, Language rights, Linguistic vitality and educational issues.