Tuesday, February 21, 2017

IMLD 2017 & the Linguapax Prize

The theme of this year's International Mother Language Day (IMLD) celebration is again related to the importance of languages in education: "Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education." (See also the posting on this blog about IMLD 2016.)

Held annually on February 21, this is the 18th IMLD observance. IMLD is coordinated on the international level by UNESCO, but countries, communities, and associations organize local observances around the world. There have also been initiatives online, such as the Rising Voices "Mother Language Meme Challenge."

In a letter marking IMLD 2017, the African Academy of Languages is requesting information about local observances and initiatives in Africa after they are held.

Linguapax Prize

The Linguapax Institute announces the winner of the Linguapax Prize annually on IMLD. This year's award went to Dr. Matthias Brenzinger, who is described on the Linguapax site as:
A linguist of German origin, expert in African languages, pioneer in the study of endangered languages and linguistic revitalisation who stands out both for his theoretical contributions and his commitment to the field. He is an activist and promotes the training of linguists among the speakers of endangered languages. ...
Dr. Brenzinger is currently a professor at the University of Capetown, and has there founded the Centre for African Linguistic Diversity (CALDi) and The African Language Archive (TALA). The African languages he has worked on include (certainly an incomplete list): Borana, Khwe, Nǀuu, and non-Bantu click languages in general. For more information see his bio on LinguistList and his article "African language studies on the African continent."

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