Marie Wilcox - An Octogenarian Linguist

February 24, 2016

Marie Wilcox was born on #Thanksgiving in 1933. She is a Native American woman and the last native speaker of Wukchumni.

 

I came across this fascinating elderly woman through a mini-documentary shared on YouTube (you really should click on the link below), and as I believe that our world is as rich as the number of #languages spoken every day, the work this lady is doing deserves our support and her community should be very #proud of her!

 

Although she has never been a computer person, she decided to type a Wukchumni dictionary when she realised that her native language was in danger of extinction. Over seven years she sat down night after night on the computer working slowly but surely on the dictionary.

 

"I'm uncertain about my language, and who wants to keep it alive… just a few. No one seems to want to learn.  It's sad - it just seems weird that I am the last one... I don't know.  It'll just be gone one of these days, maybe, I don't know.  It might go on and on." says Marie thinking out loud.

 

Today, she is making an audio dictionary with the aid of her great-grandson to complement the written one. The dictionary and the audio dictionary are #priceless tools for young tribal members (and language lovers in general) who want to learn a language that before European contact was proudly spoken by more than 50,000 people.

 

Which new language will you learn today?

 

YouTube Link - https://youtu.be/iRDmRXCizEM

 

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