Native Tongue Title
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Native Tongue Title

Native Tongue Title is a revivalistic term that refers to compensation for linguicide (language killing). Native Tongue Title is the enactment of a statute-based,[1] ex gratia financial compensation scheme - to cover efforts to resuscitate a heritage tongue that was killed (for example, due to colonization), or to empower an endangered one.[2]


The term was coined by linguist and revivalist Ghil'ad Zuckermann.[1][3][4] He modelled it on the pre-existent Australian term Native Title, which refers to the common law doctrine according to which the land rights of Indigenous peoples persist after the assumption of sovereignty under settler colonialism.[5]:240–265

Native Tongue Title vs Native Title

Zuckermann argues that despite Native Title, and although some Australian states have enacted ex gratia compensation schemes for the victims of the Stolen Generations policies, the victims of linguicide are overlooked. He proposes that existing competitive grant schemes by the Australian Government to support Australian Aboriginal languages should be complemented with compensation schemes, which are based on a claim of right rather than on competition.[5]:259

Nonetheless, anthropologist Timothy Haines argues that "Zuckermann's remarkable achievement" of reclaiming the Barngarla language "arguably assisted in the process of the recognition of the Barngarla people's native title. Indeed, the Federal Court judge presiding over the Barngarla's native title hearing, Justice John Mansfield noted that the Barngarla's active pursuit of language revival -- empowered by Zuckermann's renewed "revivalist" efforts -- was a clear indication of their continued connection with their land and culture. This was despite the separation that many had endured as "Stolen Generation" children of the 1960s and 70s, when they were forcibly removed by the State to homes in Adelaide, far distant from their native Eyre Peninsula in South Australia's west."[6]


  1. ^ a b Dr Anna Goldsworthy on the Barngarla language reclamation, The Monthly, September 2014
  2. ^ Why we should revive dead languages, by Ghil'ad Zuckermann, OUPBlog, June 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Indigenous meanings of Australian town names, Sophie Verass, NITV, August 11, 2016.
  4. ^ One Israeli's Mission to Revive Aboriginal Language Down Under, Haaretz, March 20, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (2020). Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199812790. ISBN 9780199812776
  6. ^ "Book Review, The Australian Journal of Anthropology / Timothy Haines". 2020-07-11. doi:10.1111/taja.12354. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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