Language, Blacks and Gypsies

Languages without a written tradition and their role in education

Edited by Thomas Acton and Morgan Dalphinis

Language, Blacks and Gypsies: Languages Without a Written Tradition and Their Role in Education

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ISBN: 978-1-861770-18-9
Categories: Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, Social Policy
Published: March 2000
234 x 156 x 17 mm
264 pages
Publisher: Whiting & Birch Ltd
This book results from a collaboration between activists and academics. The editors believe that if grammar is to become politically important, then educated people must receive some grounding in a scientifically based descriptive linguistics before they are exposed to the prejudices of traditional prescriptive linguistics.

Issues covered include:
  • the use of language as a form of ethnic defence
  • the implications of the emergence of literary forms of languages without a written tradition
  • the social position of speakers of these languages
  • educational strategies for supporting students from these communities
  • and multilingual education and its political implications.
Some case studies of educational initiatives are included.

The book will interest those involved in work with minority communities using languages without a written tradition including teachers, community development and support workers and members of these communities concerned to identify strategies to achieve greater recognition of the intrinsic worth of these language traditions.
Section I: Languages of the Oppressed
Standardization and Ethnic Defence in Emergent and Non-Literate Societies: The Gypsy and Caribbean Cases
Ian Hancock
Towards a Typology of Unwritten Languages
Donald Kenrick

Section II: The Emergence of Literary Languages
Historical, Nationalistic, and Linguistic Considerations in the Formation of Literary Languages: Past and Current Problems in the Balkan States
Victor A Friedman
On the Writing of Normative Grammars for Caribbean Creole Languages: The Case of Guyanese Creole
Hubert Devonish
The Development of Literary Dialects of Romanes, and the Prospects for an International Standard Dialect
Thomas Acton, Vangelis Marselos and Laszlo Szego
The Development of Literary Cypriot Greek: Has it any Educational Relevance?
Maria Roussou
The United Bible Societies Romani Scriptures Programme
Paul Ellingworth

Section III: Language in Society
Language Variation in Barbados
Ivy Devonish
Phonological Relationships within Caribbean English
What is “Mother Tongue”? Some problems posed by London Jamaican
Mark Sebba
Jamaica Speech: A Language or a Variety of Language (Dialect)?
Dimela Miller
The Status and Prospects for Romanes in Germany
Marion Papenbrok and Herbert Heuss Shelta/Gammon in Dublin Alice Binchy

Section IV: Education and Language: Strategies
Languages without a Written Tradition and the Mother Tongue Movement: The Bengali/Sylheti and Demotic/Cypriot/Greek Debates
Hasina Nowaz and Maria Roussou
The Status of Kachchi in India and Britain: Implications for Language Teaching
Safder Alladina
Communication, Sociology, Language and Writing: The Tutor’s Role in the Experience of the Caribbean Communications Project
H.Dale, E.Whittingham, Y.Collymore, P.Knight and J.Burke
Communication without Writing: Pictorial Art and the Education of Gypsy Children
Eva Pongracz and Elemer Varnagy
Adult Literacy and Oral History
Jane Mace

Section V: Education and Language: Practice and Politics
Using Creole to Teach Reading in Carriacou
Ron Kephart
The Use of Romanes in an Italian School
Jane Dick Zatta
Adult Literacy Work with Sinti Gypsies in Bremen, West Germany
Ulrich Müller and György Szabo
Bilingual Education among the Inga (Quechuan) People of SW Colombia
Stephen H.Levinsohn
The Development of Multi-Lingual Education Policy in Sierra Leone
Freddie Jones
British Youth Caribbean Creole: The Politics of Resistance
G. L. Brandt
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