Time: Thursday, September 21 2017, 3-5 pm (15:00-17:00)
Room: C307, Södra huset, Frescati

Chairperson: Henrik Liljegren

Abstract

The three seminar speakers work with a regional language resource centre, based in Islamabad, called Forum for Language Initiatives (FLI). The organization was founded in Peshawar in 2003 to provide the 25-30 local language communities in the mountainous north of Pakistan with support in their own efforts to maintain and promote the use of their mother tongues. In this presentation they will give plenty of examples of activities carried in the language communities (such as research, orthography development, literature production, the setting up pilot literacy projects, the establishment of community schools, awareness-raising efforts, media campaigns, etc.), and show how these have contributed to maintaining and increasing the level of vitality in some of these Pakistani language communities. They will also share some of the challenges encountered when working with minor languages in a context where official support and recognition are minimal and there is much pressure to abandon one’s language in favour of state-sponsored or more influential languages. One of the key lessoned learned is the importance of multi-community activism, i.e. regional collaboration in training teachers, activists and local researchers, raising awareness about language issues in media, and in influencing language policies, on national and provincial levels.

Speaker presentations

Fakhruddin Akhunzada is Executive Director of FLI. He is a speaker of Khowar, an Indo-Aryan language spoken by a few hundred thousand in Chitral Valley. His research interests are mainly in the area of cultural anthropology and sociology, and his studies are focused on the customs and traditions of the linguistically and culturally diverse Chitral district.

Naseem Haider is a Senior Literacy Officer at FLI. He is a speaker of Palula, an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 10,000 people in the southern part of Chitral Valley. Apart from his role at FLI, he is coordinating a mother-tongue based educational programme in the Palula community. Naseem Haider has been engaged in language documentation (collaborating with Henrik Liljegren in various projects), orthography, literature and curriculum development in Palula.

Muhammad Zaman Sagar is a Senior Advocacy Officer at FLI. He is a speaker of Gawri (aka Kalam Kohistani), an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 100,000 people in Swat Kohistan. Apart from his role at FLI, he is coordinating a mother-tongue based educational programme in the Gawri community. Sagar has been engaged in language documentation (collaborating with the Dutch linguist Joan Baart in various projects), historical research, orthography, literature and curriculum development in Gawri.

References

  • Akhunzada, Fakhruddin, and Maarit Liljegren. Kalkatak : A Crossroads of Cultures in Chitral. FLI Language and Culture Series 4. Islamabad: Forum for Language Initiatives, 2009.
  • Baart, Joan L. G., Esther L. Baart-Bremer, and Muhammad Zaman Sagar. Report on Local Names and Uses of Plants in Kalam Kohistan. FLI Language and Culture Series 1. Peshawar: Frontier Language Institute & Kalam Cultural Society, 2006.
  • Baart, Joan L. G., and Muhammad Zaman Sagar. Kalam Kohistani Texts. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies and Summer Institute of Linguistics, 2004.
  • Haider, Naseem, ed. Palula shiluka [Palula stories]. Peshawar: Anjuman-e-taraqqi-e-Palula and Frontier Language Insititute, 2006.
  • Haider, Naseem, ed. Palula matali [Palula proverbs]. Maqami Zaban-o-Adab kaa Ishaati Silsila 1. Islamabad: Forum for Language Initiatives, 2012.
  • Liljegren, Henrik, and Fakhruddin Akhunzada. “Linguistic Diversity, Vitality and Maintenance: A Case Study on the Language Situation in Northern Pakistan.” Multiethnica - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, in press.
  • Liljegren, Henrik, and Naseem Haider. “Palula.” Journal of the International Phonetic Association 39, no. 03 (November 2009): 381–86. doi:10.1017/S0025100309990193.
  • Liljegren, Henrik, and Naseem Haider. Palula vocabulary. FLI Language and Culture Series 7. Islamabad: Forum for Language Initiatives, 2011.
  • Liljegren, Henrik, and Naseem Haider. “Facts, Feelings and Temperature Expressions in the Hindukush.” In The Linguistics of Temperature, edited by Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 440–70. Typological Studies in Language 107. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015.
  • Liljegren, Henrik, and Naseem Haider. Palula texts. FLI Language and Culture Series 8. Islamabad: Forum for Language Initiatives, 2015.
  • Rehman, Khawaja A., and Muhammad Zaman Sagar. “The Effectiveness of English Language Learning in Multilingual Schools in Pakistan.” In Language and Social Cohesion in the Developing World, 116–27. Colombo: British Council & Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), 2015.
  • Sagar, Muhammad Zaman. Kaalaam Koohistaan Riwaayati Taarix [Traditional History of Kalam Kohistan]. FLI Language and Culture Series 3. Peshawar: Frontier Language Institute & Kalam Cultural Society, 2007.

Welcome!

Henrik Liljegren and Richard Kowalik