You say Tlingit, I say Hlingit
February 8, 2012 12:36 PM Subscribe
posted by msalt (97 comments total)
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After years of work, New Zealand scholar Sally-Ann Lambert just released volume 2 of her 9-volume linguistics series. “Hlingit Word Encyclopedia: The Origin of Copper”
is a 630-page encyclopedia of the SE Alaskan native language Tlingit. She traveled to Sitka for a mid-January book release and found one little problem: none of the Tlingit native speakers or scholars there recognized the language in it.
Lambert published the encyclopedia through her imprint WE International
, "the innovator in indigenous language resources." Their web page says:
For the Hlingit language learner, the book offers a much easier way to learn the grammar. Observe the grammar in the story, see the breakdown of complex word parts made clear and sensible according to a native perspective. I am an outsider, but I have the wisdom to know this. Partly because I’m coming at it from a more ancient viewpoint than anyone else. That’s my mode of operation.
Lambert told KCAW radio: “I think often I’m led spiritually, and I don’t make my decisions with the full knowledge of the situation. ... To some degree I think I was trying to bring my mother and father back together through my Celtic heritage. My father had a little French, and my mother had a little Scottish. And I thought that when they lost their culture, they lost their reason for being together. And I think that deep in my heart I was looking for that family togetherness, and I wanted to find that through language.”