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Taking to the airwaves: a strategy for language revival

CollectionsAustralian Linguistic Society Conference (2011)
Title: Taking to the airwaves: a strategy for language revival
Author(s): Amery, Rob
Keywords: Kaurna;language revival;radio;media;codeswitching
Publisher: Australian Linguistic Society
Citation: Amery, R. (2012). Taking to the airwaves: A strategy for language revival. In M. Ponsonnet, L. Dao & M. Bowler (Eds), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, 2-4 December 2011 (pp. 5-26)
The re-introduction of an Indigenous language into an English-speaking community presents an enormous challenge. School programs, workshops and songwriting projects have typically been the starting point for language reclamation with small numbers of participants involved. Increasingly, reclaimed languages are being used in public to give speeches of “Welcome to Country” or by choirs in the singing of songs. At the same time, reclaimed languages are appearing in signage and works of art. However, the opportunity to hear reclaimed languages spoken is rare. Radio and associated podcasts and downloads offer a means of reaching a wider audience. This paper will discuss a project to develop and broadcast two-hour-long radio programs in and about the Kaurna language, the original language of the Adelaide Plains, which is being reclaimed on the basis of 19th century written records (see Amery, 2000). Strategies have been developed to engage with an English speaking audience in a way that makes the Kaurna language interesting and accessible. This may serve as a model for other languages in similar situations to follow.
ISBN: 978-0-9802815-4-5


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