Desktop version

Home arrow Education arrow Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand: History, Pedagogy, and Liberation

Source

Linguafaction

As experienced recently in the series of extreme earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, liquefaction happens during earthquakes when the ground shaking that occurs during the earthquake causes soils to liquefy. It is dangerous, ugly, and rank (to the nose), and occurs in seriously high-magnitude earthquakes. There are four main hazards from earthquakes: shaking, faulting, killer tidal waves, and ground failure (Alden, 2012). While all the hazards result from seismic movement, liquefaction is ground failure. It occurs in ground that has been seismi- cally compromised and therefore is unsustainable for people to live on. It is full of contaminated water and ooze that, when it cements, is a health hazard. Linguafaction in this sense is akin to liquefaction. It occurs when Papatuanuku (our mother-land) co-modified through territorialization, through striation, is no longer able to sustain her indigenous populations, their ways of life, and their languages. This causes failures for indigenous peoples to thrive in their own homelands, their knowledge and value systems once solid now liquefied and their languages overcome by killer languages. Language shift through territorialization, like the land shift, creates the “linguafaction.” It is precarious, traumatic, and discordant (to the ear). As in the earthquake zones where liquefaction makes the ground unsafe, in colonized zones linguafaction makes striated spaces unsafe. Smooth spaces where indigenous languages, cultures, and peoples thrived for millennia rapidly shift and disappear with colonization. The tangata whenua (people of the land) suffer from introduced disease, culture shock, language loss, and temporal disorientation, and many die. Striated spaces are hazardous spaces for land, languages, and the people who use them. As Papatuanuku (mother-lands) are emasculated and territorialized, so too are the mother-tongues foremost mapped onto those lands (the terralingua). Language/s shift (from the terralingua of natural “smooth” environments to colonial language/s of unnatural territorialized space) is the fate of all indigenous languages living with linguafaction. Indigenous language/s undergo shift (from language of the land to foreign language) equivalent to the rate of shift of land from indigenous people/s to the colonizers. Territorialization disconnects indigenous languages from the landscape. It is the language/land disconnect that makes territorialized space unsafe for indigenous people and their languages that is termed here linguafaction. As I discussed earlier, as the native birds were fated to disappear at a rate corresponding to the destruction of the forest so too are indigenous languages fated to disappear at a rate corresponding to the territorialization of their lands.

 
Source
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics