The first “Linguistic elicitation for language revitalization”, co-taught by Meghan Clayards and Jessica Coon in the condensed May summer term, together with course advisors James Crippen, Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Tahohtháratye Brant (UofT), and Ryan DeCaire (UofT), held final presentations at the Thomson Island Cultural Camp in Akwesasne last Thursday.
The course was developed in partnership with the grass-roots organization Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ (“We are becoming fluent”) and with the support of McGill’s Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative (ISCEI). It paired Linguistics grad students (Laurestine Bradford, Terrance Gatchalian, Jacob Hoover, Katya Morgunova, Willie Myers, David Shanks, Irene Smith, and Connie Ting) with advanced second-language speakers of Kanien’kéha from communities in Quebec and Ontario (Wenhni’tí:io Gareau, Alyssa General, Kahawíhson Horne, Teyútkw^ Jimerson, Otsì:tsia Sunday, Karonhiióstha Skye, and Wentanoron Jacco) for five weeks of intensive Kanienkéha linguistics and linguistic elicitation work with L1 speaker, Elder Wá:ri McDonald.
The goal was to provide L2 learners with linguistic tools and concepts to continue their paths toward fluency, and to provide linguistics grad students experience in collaborative language work. The partners developed final projects which they presented on June 2nd, on topics ranging from benefactives and semi-reflexives, to question intonation, to alternations between glottal stop and down-stress––all with implications for language-learning and teaching. Stay tuned for developments from these projects!