Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
From the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop; the Alabama group, with UT Arlington Linguistics &Student Lori McLain Pierce

Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington


Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop

We have just concluded the 2014 Oklahoma Breath of Life, Silent No More Workshop at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma. Follow our OKBOL past, present and future activities on our Facebook page!

The Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop is a biennial workshop for indigenous communities in Oklahoma with few or no remaining first language, fluent speakers. The first OKBOL took place in 2010. Since 2012, the workshops have been co-directed by Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald of UT Arlington and Dr. Mary Linn of the University of Oklahoma. BOL workshops, first started in 1996 in California, are designed to help members of Native American tribes whose traditional languages have no fluent mother-tongues speakers left to revive their languages. The 2010 Oklahoma BOL workshop had participants from the Natchez, Osage, and Otoe-Missouria tribes, and included topics such as language use in the home and community, learning grammar, and extracting language materials from archives.

The 2012 and 2014 workshops in Oklahoma were sponsored by an NSF grant received by Dr. Mary Linn (U Oklahoma) and Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald (UT Arlington) These workshops had even more tribes and languages represented than the first OKBOL in 2010. Dr. Fitzgerald and a team of UT Arlington graduate students in linguistics havelead the databasing portion of the workshop, which instructs tribal members on inputting their language data into FLEx. FLEx linguistic software facilitate the creation and use of lexicons and textual corpora. Database shells for more than 24 language communities of Oklahoma have been created at UT Arlington in preparation for the workshop and our other outreach activities in Native Oklahoma. All three workshops had opportunities for students to participate in and support the activities of OKBOL in various ways.