Saturday, 28 May 2011

Don't listen to us, go and do chores

A dance for the winds

Australian Geographic reports on a new work by dancer/choreographer Elma Kris.

What is interesting for this blog is that she mentions the nature of language use in her childhood home life:

When she was growing up her mother didn't speak much "language" as she calls Kalaw Lagaw Ya, the language of the western and central Torres Strait Islands, but would converse in Creole, a form of English. "The only time you got to see them talk language was when there was an event on the island or people coming to a celebration. My mother would always say to me, 'don't listen to us - go and do chores'."

This highlights one of the causes of language death. The reluctance to use a language around one's children, favouring a different language perceived to be more "useful" in some way. Whether it be more widely spoken or prestigious.

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