LING 6390 Sec 001: Linguistics Seminar:  Sustainability and Language Endangerment

Spring 2010 Syllabus



Colleen Fitzgerald


Hammond Hall 403



Office Hours:

Wednesdays 11:00 am – 12:00 pm and by appointment



Web page: )

Course web page: )

Class Time/Day

Wednesdays from 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm

Class location

University Hall 13


Permission of the instructor

Requirements met:

-This seminar fulfills the seminar requirement for the phd program, or serves as an elective for MA degrees. 

-This seminar can be applied to the requirements of a doctoral  specialization in language documentation.

Course Blog )


Please note three dates and trips are confirmed. Students are expected to participate in two trips.


Course Description: Current estimates are that more than half of the world's languages will become extinct during our lifetime. This course looks language endangerment, what it means for a language to become endangered, with a focus on the indigenous languages of North America. The course will also study language revitalization, examining cases where communities are seeking to maintain the number of speakers, or revive the language. This seminar looks the implications of language endangerment, and language revitalization, which is when communities seek to maintain the number of speakers, or revive the language.  The students will be required to participate in at least two trips to work on language and linguistics projects in Oklahoma or other Native American contexts, in order to put their theoretical content into practice. Following best practices in engagement scholarship, students will engage in reflective activities before, during, and after these trips, both individually and as a class.



Textbooks (required)

Harrison, K. David. 2007.  When Languages Die:  The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge.  Oxford University Press: New York.

Hinton, Leanne. 2002.  How to Keep Your Language Alive:  A Commonsense Approach to One-on-One Language Learning.  Berkeley:  Heyday Books.

Hinton, Leanne and Kenneth Hale, eds.  2001. The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice.  San Diego:  Academic Press.

Grenoble, Lenore A.  and Lindsay J. Whaley. Saving Languages: An Introduction to language revitalization. 2006. New York: Cambridge University Press. 


Additional articles (required-JSTOR and other journal links should be freely available if downloaded from a campus connection)

Czaykowska-Higgins, Ewa.  2009.  "Research Models, Community Engagement, and Linguistic Fieldwork: Reflections on Working within Canadian Indigenous Communities." Language Documentation & Conservation 3:1, 15-50.  (

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2009.  "Language and Community:  Using Service-Learning to Reconfigure the Multicultural Classroom" Language and Education 23:3, 217-231. (

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2010. Developing a Service-Learning Curriculum for Linguistics. Language and Linguistics Compass.  (

Hale, Kenneth L., Colette Craig, Nora England, Laverne Masayesva Jeanne, Michael Krauss, Lucille Watahomigie, and Akira Yamamoto.  1992.  Endangered Languages. Language 68.1-42. (

Ladefoged, Peter. 1992. Another view of endangered languages. Language 68(4): 809–811. (

Littlebear, Richard.  2007 (revised edition).  Preface.  In Stabilizing Indigenous Languages. Center for Excellence in Education Monograph Series.  Gina Cantoni, ed.  Flagstaff:  Northern Arizona University (

Munier, Nolberto.  2006.  Introduction to Sustainability: Road to a Better Future.  Chapter 1 – Basic Information on Sustainable Issues.  Pp. 1-42. Dordrecht, The Netherlands:  Springer.

Reflection Toolkit by Northwest Services Academy. (1 November 2006) <>

Rice, Keren.  2006. Ethical issues in linguistic fieldwork: An overview. Journal of Academic Ethics 4.123-155. (

Austin, Peter, ed.  2009.  Language Documentation and Description Volume 6.

  London: The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project.  (select papers, depending on availability)


Readings added as of 2/25/10:

Nathan, David.  2006.  Sustainable Data from Digital Fieldwork: "From creation to archive and back, Sustainable Data from Digital Fieldwork. Proceedings of the conference held at the University of Sydney, 4-6 December 2006. (

Nathan, David. (Digital archives: essential elements in the workflow for endangered languages documentation.  SOAS e-prints.  (

Albarillo, Emily E. and Nick Thieberger.  2009.  Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawai‘i’s Digital Ethnographic Archive.  Language Documentation & Conservation.  Vol. 3, No.1 (June 2009), pp. 1-14 (

Warner, Natasha, Quirina Luna, Lynnika Butler, and Heather van Volkinburg. In press 2009.  Revitalization in a scattered language community: Problems and methods from the

perspective of Mutsun language revitalization.   International Journal of the Sociology of Language.  (

de Graaf, Tjeerd.  2009. The Use of Historical Documents and Sound Recordings for the Study and Safeguarding of Endangered Languages.  FEL XIII Conference Proceedings.  Editors: Hakim Elnazarov and Nicholas Ostler  (get from CF)

Mifflin, Jeffrey.  2009.  "Closing the Circle": Native American Writings in Colonial New England, a Documentary Nexus between Acculturation and Cultural Preservation.  American Archivist, Volume 72, Number 2 / Fall/Winter 2009, pp. 344-382  (

Leonard, Wesley.  2008. When is an "Extinct Language" Not Extinct?  Miami, a formerly sleeping language.  pp. 23- 33/34. In Sustaining Linguistic Diversity: Endangered and Miami Languages and Language Varieties, Kendall A. King, Natalie Schilling-Estes, Lyn Fogle, Jia Jackie Lou, and Barbara Soukup (eds.).  Georgetown University Press


Readings for Tohono O'odham Unit.

Fitzgerald, Colleen. Forthcoming in 2010. "Language Documentation in the Tohono O'odham Community," in Language Documentation:  Theory, Practice and Values edited by L. Furbee and L. Grenoble. John Benjamins. (

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2007.  "Developing Language Partnerships with the Tohono O’odham Nation."  FEL Proceedings XI. (Kuala Lumpur, 2007) Working Together for Endangered Languages: Research Challenges and Social Impacts. Maya Khemlani David, Nicholas Ostler, and Caesar Dealwis, eds.  Pp. 39-46.  Bath, England: The Foundation for Endangered Languages.


Readings for Grant Writing Unit.

Zepeda, Ofelia and Susan Penfield.  2008.  "Grant Writing for Indigenous Languages."  Arizona Board of Regents. (


Sample DEL narratives:

* Arapesh  (

* Wichi  (

* Archiving  (

* Alutiiq (

Handout on Tips for OSU students on writing a grant proposal. Beth Hume and Mary Beckman.


Guidelines for Writing Grant Proposals.  Ann Peters and Lise Menn.


Grant Writing for Language Activists and Linguists.  Handouts from the UC Santa Barbara InField Workshop in 2008 by Margaret Florey, Spike Gildea, Knut Olawsky, Susan Penfield.


Additional successful grant proposal examples for reading:

External agencies:

Fitzgerald, Colleen. 2008.  NSF/NEH Documenting Endangered Languages, "Tohono O'odham Morphology" ($50,400; declined due to accepting chair position at UT Arlington)

2001 Phillips Fund for Native American Studies, American Philosophical Society ($1740)

Internal (university funding):

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2009-10. I Engage Grant for LING 6390 Sustainability and Language Endangerment (funded by the Graduate School, The University of Texas at Arlington; $1,500)

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2007-09. Arts and Humanities Competition (Texas Tech University, $7500)

Fitzgerald, Colleen.  2004-05. Research Enhancement Fund, College of Arts and Sciences (Texas Tech University, $3084)


Student Learning Objectives:

A student who successfully completes LING 6390 should be able to:              


Funding Requirements  The travel activities in this course have received generous funding from the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Arlington under the auspices of their intellectual engagement seed grants program, I Engage, as well as a commitment from the Department of Linguistics & TESOL.  The I Engage funding requires the following (direct wording from the call for proposals

*Submit copies of materials developed through this project, including syllabi, handouts, professional presentations and published articles to the Office of Graduate Studies.

*Encourage students who participated in the I Engage-funded project to submit an abstract for a presentation or poster related to the I Engage experience to the ACES selection committee.


Please note that the ACES deadline is 2/18/10 at 5 pm (  More information on ACES is online at ( and that there is a theme on sustainability this year. ACES presentations would be on 3/25/2010, so student projects would need to plan accordingly to be ready for presentation prior to that date.


Engagement Activities: Students are required to participate in two engagement trips scheduled during the semester.  We have funding to cover student travel costs.  The activities and details for each trip will vary considerably, based on what each language project has outlined as its needs.  The weblinks for each trip include details on dates, locations, and activities. 


Organization of the Seminar:  The seminar is front-loaded with a considerable amount of reading, and students should complete each set of assigned reading prior to that class date, as seminar discussions will depend on all students having done the reading.  We have at least one guest lecturer coming in, although the date will be finalized soon. It is possible we may end up with at least one other guest in our seminar, leading our discussion that day on their work and projects (and possibly giving us reading to consider in advance of their visit).  In the last third or so of the seminar, I've left the topics open at this point.  This would allow us to decide (after you are all more familiar with the topic) what other readings we may wish to consider, or whether we wish to use the time for collaborative activity, such as perhaps grant proposal writing for one of our project partners, doing training and working on data for a project, perhaps writing up a collaborative paper for submission, or some other activity/readings/discussion that you decide would be valuable for us to pursue.  The capstone of the seminar will be the final projects and presentations. 


Possible ideas for final projects:  Outline a proposed course of action for a community documentation or revitalization project, work with one of the sites to outline a future project (including writing a grant proposal to fund such activity), or develop an application that could be valuable to one of our Oklahoma partners that uses technology in a documentation/revitalization context. Students can also generate ideas.  Students will be required to give a professional in-class presentation of their final project, as well as to turn in an accompanying paper ranging from 10-20 pages as agreed upon topic approval/in writing.  Students are encouraged to take this as an opportunity to think outside the box, to build upon the engagement trips, to work with the instructor on her existing revitalization/documentation projects or otherwise use this as an opportunity to develop something other than a traditional research paper.


Reflective Writing:  I hope to have an IRB protocol set up, so that the reflective writings can be anonymously deployed for publication/conference.  I encourage you to consider the option that we do a paper collaboratively coming from this class' activities, using your writings and outlining our engagement activities.  This option is possible and viable even if a subset of students wish to participate.


The model for this would be a paper like:

Charity, Anne H., Jeree Harris, Joe Hayes, Katie Ikeler, & Andrew Squires. 2008. (Service-learning as an introduction to sociolinguistics and linguistic equality. American Speech 83.237-251. (


Course Requirements:

Note: all assignments must be 1 inch margin all around, 12 point Times Roman, double-spacing with data allowed to be single-spaced, following LSA/Language style guidelines, submitted as a PDF.

1.  Guided Reflection (20%) – reflection on engagement project activities before, during, and after each activitiy;  reflective discussion in class as a group; critique and debriefing at semester's end.  Each trip-directed reflection session should be done by student at appropriate intervals (prior to departure, at some point during the trip, and within 48 hours of trip return), so as to maximize reflective experiences and contemplation.

2.  Final Project (40%):  See above description/ideas.  Presentation and final paper/project materials due 5/5/2010. Topics and projects require approval by the instructor no later than March 21, 2010.

3.  Engagement Participation (20%): Students must attend and participate in the entire schedule for at least two trips to Oklahoma to work with various tribal and educational partners.  We anticipate covering travel costs for students.  There will be several sets of dates to choose from, including at least one trip during a part of spring break week. Failure to participate fully in both projects will have a severe impact on the grade because all components of the class are designed around these activities. Failure to do two trips will result in a reduction of a letter grade for the final grade, reduced one letter grade for each trip missed.

4. Class Readings and Discussion (20%): This class will be primarily conducted with discussion of the readings.  The discussion leader will rotate by readings among the students and instructor.  Regardless of whether a student leads the discussion or not, all students are expected to attend class having completed the reading and being ready for seminar-level discussions.


Attendance Policy

Missing one class is equivalent to missing a full week of class.  Students can expect that missing more than one class will result in a lowering of their final grade by at least one letter.


Grading Policy:

In a service-learning course, my policy is to give full credit for reflective assignments and service components if students fully participate, meet all obligations, and turn in writing complete by the assigned deadline.  Therefore, a student who meets those expectations can expect to earn full credit on requirements 1 and 3 from above (reflection and engagement activities).


The grades for the final project (and the scale for the final grade) are determined as follows:



90-92 %


80-82 %                 






59 or lower


93-96 %


83-86 %   








97-100 %   











Course Schedule:










Engagement Scholarship and Teaching, Empowerment model of research, Language Endangerment

Hale et al 1992, Ladefoged 1992, Rice 2006, Czaykowska-Higgins 2009, Fitzgerald 2009, Forthcoming 2010







Language endangerment and death

Harrison 2007 Ch 1-2







Language endangerment – conclude Harrison book

Harrison 2007 Ch 3-7







Language Revitalization as Sustainability of Endangered Lges.




Intro to Sustainability

Littlebear, Munier readings



Reversing shift – language revitalization

Hinton & Hale 2001 Ch 1-2 (pp. 3 -35)

Grenoble & Whaley 2007 Ch 1







Isues and models of revitalization

Grenoble & Whaley 2007 Ch 2-4 (pp. 21-94)




Hinton & Hale Part IV (pp. 101-176)







Media and Technology

Hinton & Hale Part VII (pp. 265-343)



Tentative session in Linguistics Lab for last hour of class – tech session

( S10_6390tech_ppt.pdf)



Chickasaw Nation Trip (Needs final confirmation)








Archives and waking sleeping languages

Hinton & Hale Part IX (pp. 413-432)

TBA additional reading







Guest lecture – Dr. Mary Linn, University of Oklahoma/Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History








Spring Break – no class (trip options)




Comanche Nation College trip












Teaching Methodology

Hinton & Hale Part V (pp. 179-235)




Hinton 2002 (entire book)











Language Policy & planning

Grenoble & Whaley Ch 7 (pp. 160-204)




Hinton & Hale Parts II-III (pp. 39-97)



Last day to drop classes









Hinton & Hale Part VIII (pp. 349-410)











Orthography and Literacy

Grenoble & Whaley Ch 5-6 (pp. 102-158)

Hinton & Hale Part VI (pp. 239-262)


4/15 – 4/18

Trip: Dr. Yamamoto's Language Revitalization Workshop and OWNAL conference








Student choice: CF on Tohono O'odham projects








Student choice: CF on Grant-Writing








Presentations of Final Projects by Students

Turn in final project/paper



Breath of Life at U of Oklahoma




Additional Course Policies

Final Review Week:  A period of five class days prior to the first day of final examinations in the long sessions shall be designated as Final Review Week. The purpose of this week is to allow students sufficient time to prepare for final examinations. During this week, there shall be no scheduled activities such as required field trips or performances; and no instructor shall assign any themes, research problems or exercises of similar scope that have a completion date during or following this week unless specified in the course syllabus. During Final Review Week, an instructor shall not give any examinations constituting 10% or more of the final grade, except makeup tests and laboratory examinations. In addition, no instructor shall give any portion of the final examination during Final Review Week.


Americans With Disabilities Act: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation (Public Law 93112, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended). With the passage of new federal legislation entitled the "Americans With Disabilities Act" (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens.


All members of the UTA faculty are required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. As a student, your responsibility rests with informing the instructor at the beginning of the semester (you must inform me in writing (e-mail is fine) no later than Tuesday, January 30, 2010) and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels; for more information, contact UTA's Office of Students with Disabilities (located in the Lower Level of University Center).


According to Department of Linguistics and TESOL policy, "unofficial" or "informal" requests for accommodations (i.e., those not recorded by the Office of Students with Disabilities) cannot be honored.


Academic Dishonesty: At The University of Texas at Arlington, academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. Students involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from UTA.


According the UT System Regents' Rules and Regulations, "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts" (Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22).


While the Department of Linguistics and TESOL hopes to foster a sense of community in which students can enhance their educational experience by conferring with each other about the lectures, readings, and assignments, all work submitted must be the product of each student's own effort. Students are expected to know and honor the standards of academic integrity followed by American universities; ignorance of these standards is not an excuse for committing an act of academic dishonesty (including plagiarism). If you have questions, please speak with your instructor, your academic advisor, or the department chair.


Please be advised that departmental policy requires instructors to file formal charges with the Office of Student Conduct, following procedures laid out for faculty there (, as well as notify the department chair of the filing of the charges.


Student Support Services Available: The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. These programs include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for information and referrals.


Enrolling in / Withdrawing from this Course: Students are responsible for making all decisions regarding their enrollment status in UTA courses. Should you decide to withdraw from this course, you must either (1) drop via the internet through the MyMav system or (2) complete an official "add/drop" and file it in the Linguistics and TESOL department office. Any student who stops attending class and/or fails to complete assigned work will not be "automatically" dropped; in such cases, unless you officially withdraw, you will receive a grade of F. (Note: Students enrolled in graduate courses may not "replace" a grade; all grades are permanent.)


A student dropping his/her last (only) course cannot withdraw as above. Rather, s/he must go in person to the UTA Registrar's Office (Davis Hall, First Floor) and complete a request to resign from the university.


Auditors: The Department of Linguistics and TESOL has a "no audit" policy. Students attending LING classes must be officially enrolled in those courses. Exception: Students who have already fulfilled a degree requirements and would like to sit in on a comparable course to prepare for their comprehensive / diagnostic examination may do so (with the permission of the professor).