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HEY EVERYONE

WATCH THIS GREAT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CHEROKEE

LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION IS SUPER COOL

IT’S ONLY AN HOUR IT’S COMPLETELY FREE IT WON AN EMMY YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT

Official description:

First Language - The Race to Save Cherokee chronicles the efforts of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to preserve and revitalize the Cherokee Language. The native languages of North American indigenous peoples are a vessel of subtle knowledge, folkways, and psychology at the heart of Native identity. Most indigenous languages of North America are critically endangered and many are already extinct. Cherokee is an Iroquoian language with an estimated 12,000 speakers living mainly in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

First Language is a production of the The Language and Life Project at NC State University, produced by Danica Cullinan, Neal Hutcheson, and Walt Wolfram. The film is made available in celebration of Native American Heritage month and will remain online for high-definition, ad-free viewing. The Language and Life Project is a non-profit, public education initiative founded by Walt Wolfram in the 1990s, with an ongoing mission to celebrate and promote an understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity.

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Yes, my Senior Research Project is 100% finalized: I am for certain doing the wug test. I’m surveying preschoolers, 1st graders, and 3rd graders. I’ve expanded Mrs. Berko’s (Dr. Gleason’s) original test by starting with the fake words “wug” “zib” etc. and after completing that, returning to a list of comparable real words “dog” “bake” etc. Hopefully I will be able to conclude whether young children more easily learn the morphological rule (“correct” answers favor neither or, less likely, favor the fake words) or if they begin by memorizing even completely regular inflections and then later develop the morphological rules (this would take a strong, confident favor of the real words at a young age but evening out by the older ages). My reasoning behind this is that children might have heard “two dogs” many times in their life, but their minds might not realize that this sound /z/ is an inflection for plurals ending in voiced plosives, etc. I added 3rd graders to Berko’s original test subjects because testing a change in trends with age will likely require more command of the language than a 1st grader would likely have. Of course, I am going to follow her guide by getting correct answers for these tests by surveying educated adults.

I *think* I’m well-versed enough in phonetics and morphology to get a basic project correct. I might be pestering people with questions, though. Unless by some godsend I find a linguistics researcher in the area, I’m going to rely HEAVILY on online sources and my child surveys.

I am so excited to begin this project!