Language Variation & Change workshop

October 12, 2019 | 3:30PM
third floor of Ida Noyes (1212 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637)

Please join us for the first meeting of the Language Variation & Change workshop of the 2019-20 academic year. We ask you to note the exceptional time and location: Saturday, October 12 at 3:30pm, on the third floor of Ida Noyes (1212 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637).


Professor Cruz's lecture is the last event in a wonderful weekend of programming observing the United Nations' proclamation of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Please feel free to join us on Friday from 9:30am onwards for a celebration of indigenous language, food, dance, poetry, and activism. You can access the full schedule of events here:


Native & Non-Native Indigenous Languages in Chicago: Plenary 

Hilaria Cruz, University of Louisville


A language with printed books and materials is empowered with an additional dimension in which the language can exist, be promoted, and shared beyond the oral language. Printed materials for early reading enhances self-esteem, promotes intellectual growth, builds one's reading level, and elevates the status of the language in the eye of dominant language speakers. In my talk, I will share my experiences working with university students to create and publish children’s books in indigenous languages, with no translation into a dominant language. Books have been published in the Chatino language spoken in Mexico, Ojibwe spoken in the Great Lakes, and Hupa spoken in California. In addition to adding in a rapid manner much-needed materials for reading in endangered languages, these books also open opportunities for community dialogue about language loss. Likewise, it offers non-speakers of the endangered language first-hand experience and appreciation of endangered languages.