ANTH 120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Ethnologue, Jessie Little Doe Baird, Massachusett Language
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Anth. 120 Week Twelve Lecture Notes
● Language Endangerment and Vitality
○ For native americans there has been an incredible amount of language loss since
colonization with only a few remaining with viable speaking populations
○ EGIDS: Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale which measures
the vitality of a given language uses color gradients and dots.
○ Film tells the story of Jessie Little Doe Baird who is a Wampanoag linguist and
was working on the linguistic revival of the Wampanoag language, and the
Wampanoag are the ones referred to in the classic story of Thanksgiving
● What circumstances led to reduction speakers of Wampanoag at different periods of
● How are the Wampanoag bringing their language back home?
● What people have been important in the success of the language revitalization program?
○ Language been considered dead for a while, was mostly wiped out by disease
and war and such as a result of contact with Europeans
○ Had a written language which there are many records of and many hand written
documents some of which are petitions to various government bodies.
■ One doc used a Wampanoag Bible which obviously dates after the
appearance of white settlers
○ Began teaching themselves and each other the language with the written records
and English translations
○ Can tell from language some stuff about what prior knowledge they had such as
that the earth was round and moving around the sun not the sun moving
○ Have to find some words that aren’t found in the the texts available, must use
several (to say the least) different sources, even extant languages today that are
related to Wampanoag to reconstruct words rather than just finding them