Episode 4: Judie Maxwell, part 3, on Language Rights and Revitalization

In this episode, we finish the conversation with Judie Maxwell of Tulane University in New Orleans.

All it takes is one person to shift that perception, and you can change the trajectory. And it’s so much easier to do before you lose your last speaker.

Topics include:

  • how languages encode human knowledge and worldviews
  • the autonomy of a language community to choose if, when, and where to speak their language (or not)
  • heritage communities and heritage languages
  • the terms “extinct”, “dead”, “sleeping”, and “reclamation” when talking about endangered languages
  • language domains
  • community buy-in
  • the power of a single person to make a difference


  • Harrison, K. David. 2007. When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ladefoged, Peter. 1992. “Another View of Endangered Languages.” Language 68 (4): 809–11.
  • Dorian, Nancy C. 1993. “A Response to Ladefoged’s Other View of Endangered Languages.” Language 69 (3): 575–79.
  • Mufwene, Salikoko S. 2006. “Language Endangerment: An Embarrassment for Linguistics.” In CLS 42: The Panels: Proceedings from the Parasessions of the Forty-Second Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, edited by Jacqueline Bunting, Sapna Desai, Robert Peachey, Christopher Straughn, and Zuzana Tomková, 42:111–40. Chicago Linguistic Society.
  • Maxwell, Judith M. 2004. “Ownership of Indigenous Languages: A Case Study from Guatemala.” In Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights: Legal Obstacles and Innovative Solutions, edited by Mary Riley, 173–217. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.
  • Leanne Hinton bio page: https://lx.berkeley.edu/leanne-hinton
  • Wikipedia page for Breath of Life language restoration workshops: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breath_of_Life_(language_restoration_workshops)
  • Wesley Leonard bio page: https://profiles.ucr.edu/wesley.leonard
  • Daryl Baldwin bio page: http://www.miamioh.edu/myaamia-center/about/staff-faculty-affiliates/baldwin/index.html
  • Read more about Jessie Little Doe Baird: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/24

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