Publication of a historical printed dictionary of the language of the crows to ensure the continuity of the indigenous language
— Dr. Timothy McCleary
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA, USA, June 2, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Years of concerted community effort culminated in the historic release of a Crow language print dictionary on June 3, 2022. This print dictionary is considered the most complete Apsáalooke (Crow language) dictionary that exists. Its publication is a monumental step forward in the global preservation of the Crow language.
The publication of the dictionary is the result of the efforts of hundreds of Indigenous elders, speakers, knowledge keepers and linguists who have collaborated to document, compile and record over 11,000 Crow words. Its development began with Father Randolph Graczyk, who created an initial database of approximately 5,500 Crow language words. Father Graczyk shared the database he had worked to develop, and it became the foundation upon which the Crow Elders and lecturers relied.
Rapid Word Collection (RWC) events, held with support from The Language Conservancy, grew the initial database to its current word count. “The RWC method involved over sixty lecturers participating in two-week sessions between two sites: St. Charles Academy in Pryor and Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency,” said body member Dr Janine Pease. professor at Little Big Horn College and president of the Crow Language Consortium, explains. These speakers were asked to list as many words as possible from categories defined by a support team of linguists.
“The dictionary is a key element in stabilizing the Crow language and giving the infrastructure and resources the language needs for long-term survival and vitality,” says Dr. Pease.
Accessible Crow language resources for future generations are fundamental to ensuring the sustainability of the language. The importance of a printed dictionary of this magnitude, which truly encompasses the breadth of the Crow language, cannot be overstated. It represents hope for the continuation of Apsáalooke. “Contemporary Crows continue to retain their language despite the economic and cultural oppression they have faced for two hundred years,” writes Dr. Timothy McCleary, co-editor of the Crow Dictionary.
The printed dictionary is the latest resource for language learners in a larger network of CLC documents available. Previously, CLC released an online dictionary, textbooks, picture books and a media player app, adding to the total number of language learning resources available.
The launch event will take place at the Little Big Horn College Wellness Center on June 3, 2022 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event, open to all members of the tribe, will be a celebration honoring all who contributed to this historic language project, and everyone will receive a free copy of the dictionary. The press is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.
The Crow Language Consortium is a collective of Crow schools, universities and educators working to preserve Apsáalooke to ensure its continued existence for future generations.
For more information, please contact:
Crows Tongue Consortium
Public Relations Coordinator
Crows Tongue Consortium