rivqa

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Letters give life to Aboriginal Kaurna language | The Australian

FOR the first time since the 1860s, the Kaurna language of the Adelaide plains is being spoken fluently by three young Aboriginal men.

The result is the culmination of more than 20 years of painstaking research into the dormant ­language, which has allowed a new generation of Aboriginal men to revive the tongue of their ancestors.

Jack Buckskin is one of the three men in Adelaide now fluent in Kaurna, which had been considered a “dead language” since its last known speaker, Ivarityi, died in 1929.

Mr Buckskin has worked with linguists from the University of Adelaide on the Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi project to learn the language and to develop teaching resources.

“It was only since the late 1980s and early 90s that our elders started to learn language and now it has started to filter down through the future generations,” Mr Buckskin said.

“We knew words as we were growing up as kids, but we didn’t know how it all flowed together without any English, and we didn’t know which language we were speaking.”

He began to learn the Kaurna language as a young adult.

Mr Buckskin is now teaching his young children Maleaha and Vincent to speak the language. They will be the first people to claim Kaurna as their mother tongue in more than 150 years.

The language revival began in 1989 as part of an event tied to the Adelaide Festival that translated songs into local indigenous languages.

Linguist Rob Amery from the University of Adelaide then began to collect source material in order to document the language as interest in its revival grew.

The most important source was an illustrated manuscript of about 3000 words made by two German missionaries, Christian Gottlob Teichelmann and Clamor Wilhelm Schurmann, who came to Adelaide in the 1830s and 1840s.

Other documents included translations of six German hymns and the Ten Commandments, some of which had been preserved in South Africa.

These were used to reconstruct the lost grammar of ­Kaurna.

Just five documents written by Kaurna people in their own language in the 19th century have survived to help with the task, including letters written by Kaurna schoolchildren in 1843 to the Leipzig Mission in Germany.

“It is quite remarkable when we look back,” Dr Amery says.

“The language has far exceeded my expectations. I never thought it would come as far as it has. It is much more than a linguistic exercise; it is about language and culture and land and identity.”

(Source: linguisten, via black-australia)

Filed under linguistics kaurna Aboriginal Australia

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The point of any art is to make you feel some irreducible, numinous, complicated emotion. The characters in a story are inconsequential, literally (Romeo and Juliet never lived, never died, and are less worthy of our sympathy and care than the bacterial culture in my yogurt this morning, because at least that was a real, living thing). Insofar as imaginary people matter, it’s because their made-up, not-real adventures make you feel those complicated and interesting emotions. But it’s a very roundabout way of getting people to feel stuff. Novels do it by tricking your limbic system into mistaking the adventures of not-real people for things happening to real people.

Games and comics do it differently — there’s some of that “caring about not-real people” stuff, but there’s also a lot more of the “here’s a visual image that, because of its own formal characteristics, its colors and composition, makes you feel a thing just by looking at it.” The relationship between words about made-up people and pictures is like the relationship between talk-therapy and SSRIs — the former is supposed to get your brain to generate interesting psychological effects, the latter just imposes the effects right on your brain by altering its chemical makeup.

Games have other mechanics, of course, that are inaccessible to comics. They make you physically engage with the art, using your body (or at least your fingers) to make the art-thing happen. I think that recruiting more senses and modes probably makes the effect more immediate and possibly more profound, inasmuch as there are more mechanisms at play with which to evoke that inchoate and irreducible etcetera. There’s just stuff that you probably can’t feel (or not as readily) by reading about stuff, that’s accessible when you’re moving your body. Psychologically, of course, but physiologically too: things that happen to your brain and your thought processes when you are directing movement, as opposed to when you’re imagining it.

Games also engage a different kind of puzzle-solving mental apparatus; Raph Koster calls games something like, “NP-hard problems that can only be solved through the iterative application of heuristics.” Which is fancy math talk, but it means that games are interesting in part because they present puzzles whose ideal solutions are indeterminate — for example, there are more possible games of chess than there are hydrogen atoms in the universe, so you can’t “solve” chess the way you can tic-tac-toe, by mapping out every possible chess game and ensuring that you always play towards a non-losing outcome.

Because you can’t solve these puzzles with pure logic, you have to apply heuristics — rules of thumb — that you develop through a combination of intuition and reasoned thinking, and that you refine by trying them and varying them, more or less systematically, in order to improve your performance in the game. This variation and retrying is what Koster means by “iteration.”

This has a lot in common with “reality.” There’s no optimal way to be alive and human in the world, no Plato’s Republic course of “right action” that will reliably produce a happy outcome for you. All you can do is try your best, developing theories of how to conduct your life and refining them as time goes by.

Games, then, are microcosmic versions of life. It’s not surprising that they engage our attention and our fascination, because the reason our ancestors survived to have the children that we became is that they were reasonably good at this process. When processes like this emerge, they give us both satisfaction from mastery, and an almost irresistible urge to play on. They’re rehearsal for the only “life skill” that matters — figuring out how to come up with rules of thumb for hard problems, and how to refine them or discard them if they don’t work.

Cory Doctorow talks up ‘In Real Life’ and Wang, feels down over gamergate

(via mostlysignssomeportents)

143,558 notes

tamorapierce:

webbgirl34:

thebigsisteryouneveraskedfor:

Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.
She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.
She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.
After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.

I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.

This woman is the stuff of which heroes were made—her, and the women who went to her.

tamorapierce:

webbgirl34:

thebigsisteryouneveraskedfor:

Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.

She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.

She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.

After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.

I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.

This woman is the stuff of which heroes were made—her, and the women who went to her.

(via the-metres-gained)

Filed under tw Holocaust Abortion Women in history

10,456 notes

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo
The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.
Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?
(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?

(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

Filed under Science

264 notes

Of female body parts and cleansing and trash talk

tamorapierce:

So I skip out of Gawker and Defamer because I’m bent out of shape with the language: douchebag, pussy, whore. I have news for all those academics who argue that “douchebag” is a perfectly acceptable word to call white people in exchange for all the ugly words white people call PoC. It is not. It…

Last time this concept rolled around, ‘asshole’ was the suggested term, which is vastly better imo

Filed under Social justice Language warning maybe