With ever-evolving slang, text message shorthand, and more Internet memes than we can handle, it’s a wonder the English language survives. But for some Native Americans languages, preservation is a far more pressing issue as entire dialects face obsolescence.
Poet and University of Arizona linguistics professor Ofelia Zepeda, a member of the Tohono O’odham nation, will discuss efforts to document, protect, and promote literacy in Native tongues at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, on Thursday, October 11, at 7 p.m. Titled “Legacies of the Tribal Languages of Arizona: Gifts or Responsibilities,” Zepeda’s lecture will touch on her own work documenting the Tohono O’odham language, including its first pedagogical grammar compendium, and how Native languages change over time.
Zepeda will sign books of her poetry following her talk in the museum’s Steele Auditorium.