School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Language maintenance: Why bother?
    Thieberger, N (Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 1990-01-01)
    What do we mean by 'language maintenance'? It is an enterprise that, understandably, has the support of most linguists, but for what reasons, and to what possible outcome? There are at least seven arguments used in defence of the effort placed on 'maintaining' Australian Aboriginal languages, and these are discussed and evaluated in this paper. While each has merit, it is ultimately by appeal to morality and social justice that we find justification for Aboriginal language maintenance.
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    Language programmes: for tradition or today
    Thieberger, N (Perth:Institute of Applied Aboriginal Studies, 1988)
    This paper argues that language programmes should not necessarily require relearning of languages that are no longer spoken. Just because a programme does not aim at fluency in a language does not mean there is no role for a linguist. The challenge is to assess the reasons for initiating language work, and to design programmes and materials so that they address the current needs of Aboriginal people.