LING 3017 - Revivalistics, Cross-fertilization & Wellbeing

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

The course explores Revivalistics, a new trans-disciplinary field of enquiry surrounding language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration. It studies comparatively and systematically the universal constraints and global mechanisms on the one hand, and local peculiarities and idiosyncrasies on the other hand, apparent in revival attempts across various sociological backgrounds, all over the world. A branch of both linguistics and applied linguistics, Revival Linguistics combines scientific studies of native language acquisition and foreign language learning: Language reclamation is the most extreme case of second language learning. Linguicide (language killing) and glottophagy (language eating) have made Australia an Unlucky Country. With globalization, homogenization and coca-colonization there are more and more groups around the world added to the forlorn club of the lost-heritage peoples. Language revival is becoming increasingly relevant as people seek to recover their cultural autonomy, empower their spiritual and intellectual sovereignty, and improve their well-being. The course analyses the ethical, aesthetic and utilitarian benefits of language revival, e.g. historical justice, diversity and employability respectively. Revival Linguistics complements the established field of documentary linguistics, which records endangered languages before they fall asleep. It revises the fields of grammaticography (writing grammars) and lexicography (writing dictionaries): Grammars and dictionaries ought to be written for language reclamation, i.e. in a user-friendly way, for communities, not only for linguists, as well as employing a user-friendly spelling. For linguists, the first stage of any language revival must involve a long period of observation and careful listening while learning, mapping and characterizing the specific needs, desires and potentials of an indigenous or minority or culturally endangered community. Only then can one inspire and assist. That said, there are linguistic constraints applicable to all revival attempts. Mastering them would help revivalists and First Nations leaders to work more efficiently.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 3017
    Course Revivalistics, Cross-fertilization & Wellbeing
    Coordinating Unit European Languages, and Linguistics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible LING 2050
    Assessment Mid-point assignment (1000 word) 20%, Tutorial oral presentation 25%, Post-presentation paper (3500 word) 45%, Attendance & contribution 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mrs Susie Greenwood

    COURSE COORDINATOR, LECTURER andd TUTOR: Dr. Ian Green & Ms. Susie Greenwood

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After successfully undertaking the course, students will

    1. think critically and analyse perspicaciously language revival.
    2. be aware of the importance of language for well-being, cultural autonomy and intellectual and spiritual sovereignty.
    3. be able to participate in revival efforts in Indigenous, minority and other endangered-heritage communities all over the globe.
    4. be aware of issues of traditional cultural expressions and Intellectual Property of owners and custodians of the language.
    5. possess linguistic analytical skills to interpret and assess historical source material.
    6. draw comparisons between a range of language reclamation movements such as Hebrew, Barngarla and Hawaiian, and identify common features and points of difference.
    7. write a coherent and logically-argued essay involving language reclamation, morphology, syntax, writing system, phonology and semantics, drawing on a range of perspectives and source material in answer to a question posed.
    8. investigate the ways in which the Barngarla language is being revived, including creative, technological and talknological innovations.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2, 3, 4, 5

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Recommended Resources
    1. Boroditsky, Lera and Alice Gaby 2010, ‘Remembrances of Times East: Absolute Spatial Representations of Time in an Australian Aboriginal Community’. Psychological Science. vol. 21 no. 11, pp.1635-1639
    2. Dorian, Nancy C. 1994. ‘Purism vs. Compromise in Language Revitalization and Language Revival’, Language in Society 23: 479-494.
    3. Evans, Nicholas 2010. Dying Words. Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us. Malden – Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
    4. Fishman, Joshua A. 1991. Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages. Clevedon (UK): Multilingual Matters.
    5. Fishman, Joshua A. (ed.) 2001. Can Threatened Languages Be Saved? Reversing Language Shift, Revisited: A 21st Century Perspective. Clevedon (UK): Multilingual Matters.
    6. Hallett, Darcy; Michael J. Chandler and Christopher E. Lalonde 2007. ‘Aboriginal Language Knowledge and Youth Suicide’, Cognitive Development 22: 392-399.
    7. Keysar, Boaz, Sayuri L. Hayakawa and Sun Gyu An 2012. ‘The Foreign-Language Effect: Thinking in a Foreign Tongue Reduces Decision Biases’. Psychological Science. Vol. 23 no. 6 pp. 661-668.
    8. King, Jeanette, Ray Harlow, Catherine Watson, Peter Keegan and Margaret Maclagan 2009. ‘Changing Pronunciation of the Māori Language Implications for Revitalization’, pp. 85-96 of Jon Reyhner and Louise Lockard (editors), Indigenous Language Revitalization: Encouragement, Guidance & Lessons Learned. Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University.
    9. Kovács, Ágnes Melinda and Jacques Mehler 2009. ‘Cognitive gains in 7-month-old bilingual infants’, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), April 13, 2009.
    10. López-García, Angel 2005. The Grammar of Genes. How the Genetic Code Resembles the Linguistic Code. Peter Lang.
    11. Phillipson, Robert (ed.) 2000. Rights to Language. Equity, Power and Education. Mahwah, NJ – London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    12. Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove and Tobert Phillipson (eds) 1995. Linguistic Human Rights. Overcoming Linguistic Discrimination. Berlin – New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
    13. Trask, R. L. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold.

    Online Learning
    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad and Robert Amery 2015. Lang101x: Language Revival: Securing the Future of Endangered Languages, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). AdelaideX.

    Revivalistics items:

    BBC 2019:

    Why revive languages? Babbel (2018):

    An 8-minute clip of Stephen Fry interviewing Professor Zuckermann on the Hebrew Revival:

    BBC World Service:

    A 5-minute clip on the revival of the Barngarla Aboriginal language (Port Augusta):

    Barngarla people rediscover their language:

    An article by Anna Goldsworthy on the Barngarla language reclamation (The Monthly, September 2014):

    Port Lincoln Times, March 2018:

    Al Jazeera, 2018:


    An interview with Stolen Generation Barngarla man Howard Richards and his wife Isabel:

    A blog on Revivalistics, language reclamation and wellbeing:

    Scotty Morrison Interviewing Professor Zuckermann on Te Reo Maori:

    Lingua Franca, ABC Radio National,20 October 2012:

    Language More Important than Land:

    Stop, Revive and Survive, The Australian:

    Sleeping Languages May Be Lost Forever:

    Compensation for Lost Languages:

    Aboriginal Languages Deserve Revival:

    Australia’s Unspeakable Aboriginal Tragedy:

    Language Revival: Sleeping Beauties Awake:

    Language revival expert calls for native tongue title:

    Additional course-related material will be posted on MyUni (under Course Content / Course Material), including Lecture Content, Announcements and other resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered through a two-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial each week. Lectures will provide much of the content, but will also provide opportunity for discussion of issues from time to time. Tutorials will be more focussed on practical engagement with language data, problem-solving and discussion. Formative work will be undertaken in tutorials to prepare students for the completion of summative assessment tasks.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2-hour lecture per week (x12) 24 hours
    1x 1-hour tutorial per week (x10) 10 hours
    1 x 5 hours Practicals/Reading per week (x12) 60 hours
    1 x 5 hours Assignment Preparation per week (x12) 60 hours

    Total 154 hours

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week, Lecture, Content, Associated Readings, Assignments

    Week 1
    Introduction: Revivalistics as a New Trans-Disciplinary Field of Enquiry – Revival Linguistics and Beyond
    Fishman 1991, 2001

    Week 2
    Revivalomics: Language Revival and the Human Genome: What are the similar processes in Genomics and Revivalistics? Is there a link between language and DNA?
    López-García 2005

    Week 3
    Language Revival and Historical Linguistics: The Stammbaum (Family Tree) Model vs the Congruence Principle: Tree of Life or Network of Life? Cross-Fertilization, Natural Selection and Genetic Mix & Match in Language Revival All Over the Globe
    Trask 1996, Chapter 7

    Week 4
    Language Revival and Mental Health and Wellbeing
    Hallett et al. 2007, Zuckermann and Walsh 2014
    Tutorial Oral Presentation
    1000-Word Mid-Point Assignment

    Week 5
    Ethical Justifications for Language Revival Zuckermann
    MOOC I
    Tutorial Oral Presentation
    1000-Word Mid-Point Assignment

    Week 6
    Aesthetic and Utilitarian Justifications for Language Revival
    Boroditsky and Gaby 2010, Kovács and Mehler 2009, Keysar et al. 2012
    1000-Word Mid-Point Assignment

    Week 7
    Universal Constraints vs Cultural Idiosyncrasies in Language Revival
    Evans 2010
    Tutorial Oral Presentation

    Week 8
    Reclaiming Sounds and Grammar
    King et al. 2009
    Tutorial Oral Presentation

    Week 9
    Reclaiming Vocabulary: Normativism vs Realism (Debate)
    Dorian 1994
    Tutorial Oral Presentation

    Week 10
    The Case of the Barngarla Aboriginal Language
    Zuckermann MOOC
    Tutorial Oral Presentation

    Week 11
    Revival and the Law: Native Tongue Title: Linguistic Human Rights
    Zuckermann et al. 2015, Skutnabb-Kangas and Phillipson 1995, Phillipson 2000
    Tutorial Oral Presentation

    Week 12
    Practical and Theoretical Implications
    Tutorial Oral Presentation
    Post-Presentational Paper
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    (1) 1000-word Mid-Point Assignment, 20%, 134568, MID SEMESTER BREAK
    (2) Tutorial Oral Presentation, 25%, 36

    (3) 3500-word post-presentational paper, 45%, 2176

    (4) Attendance & Contribution (Positive Participation), 10%, 12345678

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance of tutorials is compulsory. Students will be expected to complete additional exercises and small-scale investigations between tutorials. Application to these tasks will contribute to the 10% awarded to attendance and contribution (positive participation).

    Assessment Detail
    Due: Mid-Semester Break
    Students should submit a 1000-word practical providing Revived Barngarla neologisms for the following 10 terms, with explanations and justifications. (The Professor will provide you with a Barngarla dictionary.)

    1. Teacher
    2. Meaning
    3. Mobile Phone
    4. Chair
    5. USB
    6. Pencil
    7. Mathematics
    8. Desk
    9. Book
    10. Internet

    Presentation Date: various, from Week 3 onwards
    Students are required to give an oral presentation (with handouts), EITHER (1) making an in-depth analysis of any topic related to language reclamation or revival linguistics (The topic can be chosen from the list of topics below), OR (2) conducting a critical review of a book/article on language revival (The article/book can be selected from the List of Learning Resources). The Professor will be happy to provide you with assistance in selecting the topic. Please feel free to raise any question about the presentation in the tutorials. Please note: Students are expected to contribute feedback on other students’ presentations.

    List of Topics
    Language and Wellbeing
    Language Revival and Mental Health
    Language Revival and the Human Genome
    What are the similar processes in Genomics and Revivalistics?
    Is there a link between language and DNA?
    Revival Linguistics and Historical Linguistics
    The Stammbaum (Family Tree) Model vs the Congruence Principle
    Tree of Life or Network of Life?
    Cross-Fertilization in Language Revival
    Natural Selection in Language Revival
    Genetic Mix & Match in Language Revival
    Ethical Reasons for Language Revival
    Aesthetic Motivations for Language Revival
    Economic Justifications for Language Revival
    Cognitive Benefits of Language Revival
    Universal Constraints vs Cultural Idiosyncrasies in Language Revival
    Reclaiming Sounds
    Reclaiming Morphology
    Reclaiming Syntax
    Reclaiming Vocabulary
    Normativism vs Realism
    Language Revival and the New Media
    Technology/Talknology in the Service of Language Reclamation
    Native Tongue Title
    Linguistic Human Rights
    OR Any other topic or article or book related to language revival. The topic can be selected from the ones covered in class. The article/book can be selected from the List of Learning Resources. The Professor will be happy to provide you with assistance in selecting the topic. Please feel free to raise any question about the assignment in the tutorials.

    Word Count; 3,500 words
    Students should submit a 3,500-word post-presentation paper – further analysing the topic chosen for the tutorial oral presentation, incorporating the feedback received on the presentation.
    1. All assignments are to be handed in, with a signed cover sheet attached, to the School Office, Napier Building Level 7. (Linguistics cover sheets (purple) are available outside the School Office)
    2. Ensure that the Course Title, Assignment Title & Topic appear on the cover sheet.
    3. All assignments are to be submitted in hard copy
    4. All assignments must be in grammatical English.
    5. Always keep a copy of your work. (Just occasionally things do go astray!)
    6. Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or similar proof/documentation.
    7. Extensions (normally up to one week) may be negotiated through the Course Coordinator, but this MUST be organised prior to the due date.
    8. Assignments submitted during the teaching semester may be collected within approximately two weeks of the submission date.
    9. Students who wish to have their final assignment returned must submit a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope to the School Office. The course name and lecturer’s name should also be listed on the envelope. If no envelope accompanies the final essay, it will not be returned and it will be graded only. No comments will be provided.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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