A correspondent has just sent me details of a new play on endangered languages. In fact, two. It's like London buses. None come for ages, and then two come along at once.
Kamarra Bell Wykes has written Mother's Tongue, being staged this month by the Yirra Yakin Aboriginal Corporation in Perth, Australia. And Julia Cho has written The Language Archive, currently being staged in New York. You can see the post, from Peter Austin, here.
It's great to hear of these initiatives. I last posted on this subject on 8 January 2007, when I continued to bemoan the lack of arts projects presenting the theme of endangered languages and language death. My own play, Living On, was on its own then. Happily, no longer.
And another correspondent has added a fresh dimension to the famous story about the parrots speaking an extinct language, the inspiration behind Rachel Berwick's living sculpture that I mentioned in the 2007 post. You'll find that here.
And while on the subject of language diversity, another two-bus situation. Bilingualism, this time. Despite bilingualism being the normal human condition, a huge mythology has grown up around it, with monolingual communities being a bit scared of it and certainly not understanding it. Earlier this year, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira wrote a lovely little book, aimed at the general public, about the myths and realities of being bilingual, called Multilinguals are...? (Battlebridge Publications). And now she has started a blog on bilingualism. So has François Grosjean, whose fine book Bilingual: Life and Reality (Harvard University Press) also came out earlier this year. His blog is here. It seems to me that we are seeing a new climate slowly being formed.