Honor to a tribal elder

« previous post | next post »

Sasha Aikhenvald on the Linguistic Typology mailing list, April 13:

Ernie Grant, a notable elder of the Jirrbal [earlier known as Dyirbal] tribe, will be honoured by an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from James Cook University on 17 April 2010.

Attached is the statement of his achievements leading to this award. [click here; then, to see the statement, double-click on the filename in the download box]

It is worth noting that Ernie is the son of Chloe Grant, Bob Dixon's first and great teacher of Dyirbal. He is one of the last remaining speakers of the language.

In the history of (native-speaker) language consultants (also known as informants), they have been treated as everything along the scale from experimental subjects to language teachers to research collaborators. In Grant's case, it was his mother who primarily served as a language consultant, while Grant himself grew to perform a wide range of significant services to his community — for which he's now being given this honor.

Comments are closed.