NuqneH! Gi nathlam hí! Ni parolu pri lingvo!

By: Jingshu Helen Yao, Master of Museum Studies student / Summer Intern at the CLM

If you couldn’t read the title, don’t worry. It says “Hello” in Klingon, “Welcome” in Sindarin, and “Let’s talk about language” in Esperanto. These expressions may seem to be totally unrelated, but they are all from constructed languages.

Have you ever considered how effective communication could be if everyone could speak the same language? Did you ever wonder what it might take to create a language? Even though most natural languages developed without intentional efforts to shape and engineer them, languages have also been constructed over the years for various purposes.

Most natural languages evolved slowly along with human society, but new methods of communication sometimes occur more spontaneously. For example, language contact can lead to the creation of pidgins and creoles, and deaf children can create hand signs to communicate with family members. Although these are not classified as constructed languages, they are driven by our desire to communicate more effectively.

People holding hands forming a circle that surrounds the globe. The background is the Esperanto flag, a green star on a white circle in the corner of a green background.
Artwork showing Esperanto as a language that unifies the world. Source.

Auxiliary languages such as Esperanto are the most common type of constructed languages. They are called ‘auxiliary’ languages because they are created to be a lingua franca, a common third language to be used by two or more different language groups. They are designed to be easy to learn, thus enabling communication across linguistics groups irrespective of the speakers’ native languages. To date, Esperanto is the most popular auxiliary language with about 2 million speakers around the world.

Two rows of shelves of various consumer goods, such as Esperanto cigarettes, a Movado watch, and Mirinda pop cans.
Esperanto language and symbols appear on a variety of product packaging. Exhibit at the Esperanto Museum and Collection of Planned Languages in Vienna, Austria.
(Photo: Jocelyn Kent)

Languages are also created for research purposes, and these are referred to as engineered languages. They can be used by linguists to test hypotheses about different language features. For example, Kēlen is a language proposed by linguist Sylvia Sotomayor to test the possibility of a language with no verbs, which would contradict the theory that verbs are a universal feature of natural human languages. In addition, philosophers have tried to create languages that can better serve the purposes of certain philosophical and logical discussions. Toki Pona is an engineered language created by Canadian linguist and translator Sonja Lang. Toki Pona was designed based on the philosophical principle of minimalism and was meant to encourage positive thinking. While Toki Pona may not be used by a large number of speakers, the therapeutic value is what makes this constructed language unique in its own way. Languages can also be created for spiritual or religious purposes.

Toki Pona hieroglyphs that say “ma Kanata li suli.” which translates to “Canada is large.” Source.

I find artistic and fictional languages the most interesting of all, and they are probably the most well-known constructed language to the general public. J. R. R. Tolkien is known for the Elvish languages he created in ‘Lord of the Rings’, although creating languages for his fictional world was not his only accomplishment with constructed languages. Tolkien had a passion for glossopoeia, the creation of constructed languages for artistic purposes, from a very young age. He published the essay ‘A Secret Vice’ about his experience with constructed languages, where he pointed out that mythology is an important part of artistic languages. Therefore, the languages Tolkien created were closely based on the stories of his fantasy world.

Gold ring with glowing Elvish writing held by fingers.
Tolkien’s constructed Elvish language appears on the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. Source.

Very few fictional languages were as systematic as Tolkien’s creations. Many fictional languages started with very basic concepts and were added onto through the years, sometimes by the creators, sometimes by fans. Languages such as Klingon and Valyrian have various online databases and tutorials built by enthusiasts. They are even available on language learning apps such as Duolinguo.

Cover of The Klingon Dictionary.
Klingon-English dictionary for the Klingon language used in the Star Trek films and television series. Source.

Regardless of the various purposes of creation, constructed languages shared a common creation process. They often take inspiration from existing human languages. The creators of auxiliary languages tend to focus on features such as the most commonly used sounds among languages in order to make the constructed languages more accessible to a large population. Tolkien based many of his created languages on Welsh, Finnish, Latin, and Ancient Greek.

With the advance of technology, constructed languages continue to evolve and play their parts in shaping our linguistics landscape. Conlangers, people who are involved in constructing languages, are now commissioned to create fictional and artistic languages for popular media such as video games and TV shows. Many Canadians are active in creating or speaking constructed languages. This article about a conlanger in Halifax explores the use of coded language in the history of LGBTQ communities. In 2022, the World Esperanto Congress will take place in Montreal, with the topic “Language, Life and Land”. Esperanto speakers around the world will gather together and discuss indigenous languages of Canada using Esperanto.

From fictional world to philosophical discussions, from linguistics theories to international auxiliary languages, whichever form they take, whatever their functions are, constructed languages will never cease to amaze us.

References:

http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/elvish/phrases.html

https://omniglot.com/language/phrases/klingon.php

A Language Museum Beyond Western View: Museum of World Languages at Shanghai International Studies University

By: Jingshu Helen Yao, Master of Museum Studies student / Summer Intern at the CLM

I felt lucky to be able to visit the Museum of World Languages at Shanghai International Studies University.

The exhibition covered a wide range of topics related to linguistics, including linguistic theories, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, orthography, and translation. The topics are organized under three main themes, 说 “speak”, 记 “write”, and 译 “translate”. The characters for each of these words share the same thematic particle “言”, which is used in the construction of all Chinese characters that relate to language. Not only does the museum have exhibits on spoken and written languages, topics such as sign languages, braille, and constructed languages are also included. I was amazed by artifacts such as an English language textbook written in braille and Esperanto typewriters.

Translation exhibit: “How Do We Communicate Across Language Barriers?” (Photo: Jingshu Helen Yao).

Some of the memorable moments during my visit were the interactive elements at the exhibition. The interactions were facilitated by clickable screens, audio and video recordings, and even AI. There are booths where visitors can listen to various recordings in different languages and have the opportunity to repeat language samples and have their pronunciations assessed by the system.

Interactive audio booths. (Photo: Jingshu Helen Yao)

I found the projection of an animated map that tracks the trade of tea across land and ocean very interesting. This is an interesting example of language change, since the means of transportation determined the variation in the name “cha” and “te”. Most places where tea was introduced through sea adapted the variant “te”, whereas the places that received it through land transportation used “cha”. I was approached by a droid moving on wheels in one of the rooms. It sported a clickable screen where visitors could select to learn more about the museum and its exhibits as well as some fun facts about languages around the world. Although I had a wonderful guide showing me around, I could imagine how helpful this piece of technology would be if the museum had a lot of visitors and the guides and volunteers were very busy.

Words Worlds sign outside museum. (Photo: Jingshu Helen Yao)

The museum’s theme “Words Worlds” focuses on language diversity and international communication. Being the first museum in China that focuses on the topic of language around the world, the museum is actively seeking opportunities for research, education and collaboration.

The museum opened in 2019, but shortly after that the pandemic hit and the campus was closed to visitors. I was able to get in touch with the museum staff members and apply for a visit. I was very impressed by the wide range of contents and the original designs. You can access the museum’s official video here:

This visit made me realize the limitation of online research. Before visiting the museum, I had not imagined its scope and design through the information available online. I am also aware that if I wasn’t able to read Chinese characters, or was not currently living in China, I wouldn’t have been able to visit the Museum of World Languages in person. Though the internet is supposed to make international communication and collaboration much more convenient, I know that there are many missed opportunities due to language barriers. For a language museum, this challenge is also a mission. Even though the individual languages are different, the goals of language museums are held in common. I hope more connections with language museums can be made once we are free to travel again.

Why do I have an Accent and Should I be Ashamed of It?

By: Jingshu Helen Yao, Master of Museum Studies student / Summer Intern at the CLM

I have an accent and I’ve never liked it. I sometimes say “sank” instead of “thank” and “worm” instead of “warm”. If you say “had” and “head” without any context I won’t be able to tell the difference. Pronunciations are the coordination of our brain and muscles. Sometimes even if my brain knows what to do, my tongue and my facial muscles are just not used to moving that way. It is valid to feel pressure when speaking with an accent, since it is the first thing others notice when you start to talk; accents can be connected with negative impressions like “broken English”, or even “uneducated”. My language insecurity is one of the reasons that led me to linguistics in the hope that I could “fix” my English, but the study of language science took me on a very different journey.

Pitch, Spectrograms and Formants

Before diving into the details of speech sounds and their features, let’s get the terminologies out of the way. As the physicists suggest, sounds are waves. The way in which our mouths create such waves is similar to how musical instruments do. Our teeth, the roof of our mouth, and our tongues, are like keys or strings that determine the speech sound we produce. Their position and placement will change the sound produced by our vocal fold vibration, which becomes the dynamic speech we eventually hear.

Researchers in different academic fields have tried to visualize sounds in order to better study them. Sounds can be characterized by features such as pitch (frequency) and loudness (intensity/amplitude). A sound with a constant pitch (simple periodic sound) can be represented by a simple waveform as follows.

Sin curve showing periodic oscillation every 17 seconds.
Simple waveform (Image from ResearchGate)

However, human speech is very complex. It consists of waves at different frequency levels that add on to each other and can be difficult to visualize. Spectrograms are employed by acoustic phoneticians to analyze human speech.  A spectrum is a display that shows the intensity of each level of frequency and allows us to study the features more closely. Formants are dark lines that are formed in the areas with a high intensity, which can be seen most clearly in vowel sounds. Formants are represented with a red line in the following image.

Spectrogram of 1.475873 seconds of speech showing area of highest intensity in the centre of the speech
Insert formants. (Image from EdHUK)

For the purpose of this article, we will only be looking at the first and second formants of vowels. They indicate the height and frontness of our tongue position when we produce the sound.

Phonetic Differences Between Languages

Every language has a phonetic inventory, which consists of all sounds (phonemes) that are possible in the language. For example, the “th” sound in English is rather rare in other languages and makes it difficult for a second language speaker to master. Not being able to produce the exact phonemes is the top reason for having an accent.

While I am fully aware that I sound different from a standard Canadian English speaker, I was curious to find out what my vowels look like. Thus, I did a small test using Paart, a program developed by phonetic scientists from the University of Amsterdam, Paul Boersma and David Weenink, to create spectrograms from audio recordings.

I was relatively young when I learned English and lived in an English-speaking environment for several years. Therefore, I can sometimes distinguish and produce the sounds that are not in my first language: a notable pair is “a” as in “bad” and “e” as in “bed”. When I pay a lot of attention to my speech and consciously remind myself to differentiate the phonemes, I can distinguish the pronunciation of “a” and “e” in careful speech. However, in a natural conversation setting where I am simply trying to get my meaning across, my pronunciation of the two sounds tends to be very similar.

With Paart, I recorded three audios: in two of them, I carefully pronounced “bed” and “bad” respectively, and in the third audio, I put both words in one sentence “My bed is bad so it hurts my back.” Then I analyzed all the audios and noted down the values of the first and second formant of each vowel.

            Helen’s careful speech:

                        Bed: F1: 530 F2: 2041

                        Bad: F1: 751 F2: 1890

            Helen’s natural conversation:

                        Bed: F1: 589 F2: 1833

                        Bad: F1: 586 F2: 1756

            Standard Canadian English:

                        Bed: F1: 600 F2: 2930

                        Bad: F1: 860 F2: 1550

In addition, I noted the standard Canadian English value (according to research data from the University of Manitoba) as a reference. A higher number in F1 corresponds with a lower tongue position, while a higher number in F2 corresponds with the tongue further forward. The data show that when Canadian English speakers produce the ‘e’ sound in ‘bed’, the tongue is high in the mouth and forward; for the ‘a’ in bad, the tongue is pulled back and lower.

It is easy to tell from the data that both of my productions, in careful speech and in natural conversation, deviate from the standard Canadian pronunciations.  This suggests that I will always sound a little different no matter how hard I try. However, in careful speech, there is indeed a distinct difference between my ‘e’ and ‘a’ sounds, whereas in my natural speech, ‘e’ and ‘a’ are almost identical, especially with respect to the value of the first formant.

Accents are not avoidable when it comes to producing sounds that are not originally in our first language. Language learning is closely related to one’s age because the ability to produce new sounds decreases as one grows older. Having an accent doesn’t imply deficiency or unskillfulness but simply the fact that one’s muscles are not used to moving in a certain way. Speakers can be trained to change their pronunciation in careful speech, but accents are unlikely to be removed completely.

I started learning linguistics because I wanted to improve my English. However, instead of “fixing” my accent, I learned to consider it from a different point of view. In my studies I learned about the wide variety of sounds that are used in the languages around the world. Each individual language normally has an inventory of between 20-37 different sounds (UCLA database). Instead of struggling over the sounds that I am not capable of producing, I have learned to appreciate how diverse human languages are and how unique each language can be.

Click this link to the International Phonetic Alphabet to see and hear the different sounds in languages around the world.

International Phonetic Alphabet

Mom, Talk to Me in My Mother Tongue: Socioeconomic Status and Heritage Language Maintenance of East and South Asian Canadian Community

By: Jingshu Helen Yao, BA, University of Toronto Scarborough

Over the past few decades Canada has fostered multiculturalism. However since the official language of the country is English and French, it is up to the individuals from different ethnicity backgrounds to decide whether and how to pass down their heritage language. Since languages connect closely with one’s culture and identity, the choice might be hard to make. Curious about the factors that influence heritage language learning, I conducted a study to analyze the connection between parental support for heritage language maintenance and the parents’ socioeconomic status.

Sociolinguists consider socioeconomic status an important factor in determining an individual’s language skills. Previous research suggests that the parents’ educational level and income is correlated with the children’s language development. Parents with higher education and more prestigious jobs might have better language skills themselves, more access to resources that facilitate language learning, and possibly more time to spend with the children. Consequently, the children would have more diverse vocabularies and learn to read and write earlier.

I collected the data for my study through an online survey. The participants were 80 East and South Asian immigrant parents from Toronto, the majority of whom had lived in Canada for more than 10 years. Their children were either born in Canada or had arrived prior to the age of seven. The survey gathered background information about the participants, including their heritage language use in daily life, their motivation to pass down their heritage language to the next generation, and whether they had registered their children in heritage language maintenance programs.

Mother and Child. (Photo: lain910)

One of the most important steps in this research was to determine the parents’ socioeconomic status. While income can be an indication of socioeconomic status, out of the consideration for the participant’s privacy, I did not ask for the families’ annual income in the survey. I am also aware that there might be a mismatch between income and job prestige. Therefore, I designed several questions to gather information about the parents’ educational background and occupations. Taking all the factors into consideration, I divided the participants into high socioeconomic status and low socioeconomic status groups. For example, parents who have a bachelor’s degree and work in business administration were considered to have higher socioeconomic status than parents who work in the same discipline but have a high school degree. In order to make the analysis easier to process, I ensured that both groups had a similar number of participants.

There were seven questions to determine the parents’ attitudes toward heritage language maintenance and the action they took to facilitate the children’s learning. I asked about the parents’ frequency of using heritage language with their children, whether they think learning heritage language has negative influences on the children’s English, whether they consider English more important than heritage language, and whether they sent their children to a heritage language program. All the parents responded that they are willing to have their children speak their heritage language but some of the low socioeconomic status parents worried that teaching the heritage language might confuse their children in an English speaking environment.

 I also asked the participants to choose from four possible motivations for teaching their children their heritage language. The four motivations are: “enable the children to communicate with the family members”, “benefit their career development”, “help them better understand their culture heritage”, and “build their culture identity”. The choice of motivation reflects what the parents expect their children to gain from heritage language learning: basic communication needs, long term benefits, or more abstract concepts and knowledge.

After analyzing the data, I drew the conclusion that parents from both socioeconomic  groups are supportive of their children’s heritage language learning but were motivated by different reasons. Parents with higher  socioeconomic status tended to emphasize the importance of the cultural value of education and literacy. Graph 1a shows that more of the high socioeconomic status parents (H) reported that they had registered their children for a heritage language maintenance program (HLM), compared to the low socioeconomic status parents (L). The biggest difference (20%) was between parents with and without a university degree; those with a Bachelor’s degree were much more likely to register their children in a heritage language program than those with a high school education (graph 1b). This suggests that the educational level of the former generation highly influences the education of their children.

On the other hand, the efforts made by low socioeconomic status parents are mainly seen in heritage language use in daily life rather than through formal educational  programs. Graph 2a shows that more than 85% of low socioeconomic status parents chose “enable my children to communicate with family and community members’ (Family) as the most important factor that motivated them to teach their children heritage language; 20% fewer of  the high socioeconomic status parents chose that same motivation. Some low socioeconomic status parents noted in the survey that they themselves don’t speak English very well so they have to teach their children heritage language in order to communicate with them. In addition, low socioeconomic status families are more likely to live in cultural enclaves where the children could practice their heritage language outside of their own homes. Therefore, heritage language learning for low socioeconomic status families develops out of daily communication needs and the children tend to have more opportunities to use the language in real life. This is also reflected by the frequency of the usage of heritage language at home. Many more low socioeconomic status parents reported that they always communicate with their child in their heritage language than the high socioeconomic status parents (graph 2b).

High socioeconomic status families tend to live in more culturally diverse neighbourhoods, and so do not use their heritage language as frequently.   Fewer than half of the high socioeconomic status parents reported that they always communicate with their children using their heritage language (graph 2b). These parents also chose “help building their culture identity” (Identity) as the top motivation for heritage language maintenance (graph 2a). The number of parents who chose “benefit their career development” and “help them better understand their cultural heritage” are also higher in the high socioeconomic status group (graph 2a). These would be reasons to send their children to heritage language programs, where not only language skills but also history and cultural heritage lessons are taught.

In conclusion, children from low socioeconomic status families are more likely to have good oral communication skills, because of daily use of their heritage language. Children from high socioeconomic status families, while more likely to be registered in heritage language programs, would be less skilled in communication and comprehension. On the other hand, they would have more formal instruction in their heritage culture and history. In future research, I am interested in investigating the motivations for heritage language maintenance from the children’s perspective.

Aside from these findings, the data also demonstrated some interesting phenomena that can be further explored in future research.

Ethnicity difference was not one of the factors that I initially planned to look into. However, as shown in graph (3), the number of East Asian parents (EA) who replied ‘Yes I have’ to the question of whether they had registered their children for heritage language programs was 20% higher than that of South Asian parents (SA). My current hypothesis is that the number of accessible resources (language schools and cultural institutions) are different for East and South Asian communities. However, an actual conclusion requires further data collecting and analysis.

Child reading. (Photo: Sofía López Olalde)

On the Front Lines of Indigenous Language Preservation: The Cree Literacy Program in Wemindji

By: Jordan Fleguel, School of Journalism, Ryerson University

Wemindji is a Cree community in Northern Quebec, about 1,300 kilometres north of Montreal. Most of its almost 2,000 residents speak English, and many speak Cree. There are those, however, who can speak Cree, but who don’t read or write in Cree very well. There are those who can speak some Cree, but who often have no reason to speak it instead of English, and there are those who can’t fluently speak Cree at all.

Theresa Georgekish is the Cree literacy coordinator for Wemindji. Her job is to raise awareness around the preservation of the Cree language in the community.

Teresa Georgekish,
Cree Literacy Coordinator for Wemindji

Through literacy classes and events, Georgekish says she hopes to keep the Cree language alive amongst people of all ages.

“It’s more than just the language that’s at stake, it’s our culture and our connection with the land. It’s all connected, and we stand to lose everything,” Georgekish said. “I try to work hard to raise awareness about that.”

The Cree literacy program was made possible with funding from the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund. It was created in part because the Cree language was in decline in Wemindji, with growing numbers of young people not learning the language.

Georgekish said that there had been a sense among some parents in Wemindji that being literate in French and English would be more beneficial for their children than being literate in Cree.

“Some [parents] said they didn’t want their kids learning in Cree, they wanted them learning in English so they’d be prepared for high school and jobs and university,” said Georgekish.

Georgekish said that despite these attitudes, progress is being made, and there are people of all ages that attend the Cree classes organized by the literacy program.

“There are younger people that want to learn the language, many of them are going into education and it’s required that they know some Cree,” said Georgekish. “There are older people who come to the classes, mostly first-generation that went to residential schools, because they weren’t allowed to speak their language. They can speak it now but they’re not as good at reading or writing Cree.”

One of the many devastating effects that residential schools had on Indigenous communities is that those who attended were forbidden to speak their language, and many lost it over time, meaning they couldn’t teach it to their own children, or properly communicate with those from their communities if they returned home.

Georgekish said that the transmission of knowledge from elders to younger generations – one of the most important aspects of Cree culture – has always been done in Cree, and losing the Cree language would mean the loss of centuries of cultural wisdom.

“If we lose our language, we lose sight of who we are,” said Georgekish. “It’s through transmission from elders that our culture is still alive, and right now we’re not doing our part of listening to the elders. We’re more focused on technology, and that’s okay, but it has to go hand in hand.”

Dr. Elaine Gold, director of the Canadian Language Museum, and her team help to raise awareness and conduct research on the subject of language preservation with touring exhibits, each dedicated to a language spoken in Canada, including one dedicated to Cree.

She says that by touring these exhibits across the country, more people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, will gain a deeper understanding of the many different languages spoken by Indigenous groups across Canada, and will come to realize that many of them are in danger of disappearing.

“Most people in Ontario have no idea that there are over 60 Indigenous languages spoken in Canada,” Gold said. “There’s so much we can learn from Indigenous language and culture.”

Gold said that although the museum raises awareness and conducts research on all languages spoken in Canada, she feels a special responsibility when it comes to Indigenous languages because unlike English or French, they’re only spoken here.

Before taking on the role of literacy coordinator, Georgekish was a teacher for many years. She says one way to preserve the Cree language is to make sure it’s taught in schools when children are young.

“If I had my way, we’d teach up to Grade 3 all in Cree,” she said, adding that in her experience, those kids who excelled at Cree at an early age also excelled at English. “When a kid is strong in one language, they’re strong in another language.”

Georgekish says that it’s crucial for the young people of Wemindji to learn Cree if the language is to survive. “If young people don’t learn the language, there won’t be a language.”

Pennsylvania German and the Old Order Mennonites in southern Ontario

The history and current status of affairs

Woolwich county in the Waterloo-Kitchener area, approximately 100 km west of Toronto, is home to a dense population of German speakers and has been so for a very long time. Up to this day, German is still the most common immigrant language in the area (Statistics Canada 2016). The region is not only very German, but also contains a huge variety of Mennonite and Amish communities (Fretz 1989: 45). The Old Order Mennonites, with whom I have worked, are Anabaptists of Swiss-German origin. Due to religious persecution, their ancestors left Europe for Pennsylvania where they were promised freedom of religion by the early 18th century (Frantz 2017: 131–2). After the American War of Independence, some left Pennsylvania with the majority settling in Waterloo county, where they still reside today (Burridge 1998: 72). The Old Orders have maintained Pennsylvania German (also called Pennsylvania Dutch) as a first language, and still use it at home, in the community, and in church, while their second language English is restricted to more formal contexts, including school and doing business with the outside world. For the Old Orders, Pennsylvania German symbolises group identity. Maintaining the language does not only mean preserving their traditions and marking group membership but also represents resistance towards and separation from the secular world (cf. Johnson-Weiner 1998). Consequently, language is a very important tool for the conservative Mennonites, while the more liberal communities, having abandoned Pennsylvania German first in church and then in all other contexts, have all shifted to English within the last fifty or so years. When asked whether Pennsylvania German might be lost in the future, locals – that is both non-Mennonites and the more liberal Mennonites – count on the Old Orders, also known as the horse and buggy people, to hold on to it.

Horse pulling a Mennonite buggy.
View from inside a Mennonite horse and buggy. (Photo: Miriam Neuhausen)

Linguistic research

Within the framework of Sali Tagliamonte’s research project ‘Dialects of Ontario’ at the University of Toronto (see http://ontariodialects.chass.utoronto.ca), I spent five months with the community and recorded conversations with Pennsylvania German-speaking Mennonites. Thereby, I spoke to members belonging to both the aforementioned conservative horse and buggy people (who do not drive cars) and the more liberal churches (who drive cars and use modern technology).

My research focuses on language change and variation. To me, Pennsylvania German is highly fascinating because it has survived for such a long time in this area. In the community, the two languages – Pennsylvania German and English – strongly influence each other. Pennsylvania German resembles the Palatine dialect in southwestern Germany (Seifert 1947: 291) mixed with Canadian English, while the Old Olders’ English is sprinkled with German words, grammar, and intonation. For example, you might hear ‘tsh’ for ‘dj’ as this first sound in words like German and likewise ‘z’ for ‘s’ in words like song. In addition to that, most speakers say words like about the American way instead of the Canadian way (which sounds more like a boat). This feature is exactly what I am examining more closely: whether the Old Orders say about the American or the Canadian way.

“My mom war Deutsch like.”

(My mom was German like.)

Language change

The language change from about to a boat began in Ontario around the 1880s (Chambers 2006: 107), roughly 100 years after the first Mennonites arrived in Canada (Epp 2002: 17). Nowadays, the majority of people in Canada use the new pronunciation a boat. The traditionally isolated Old Order Mennonite community has largely resisted the language change owing to their deliberate separation from the secular world – and are thus about users. Now that at least some of the members are in increased contact with the outside world, some speakers have adapted to the change in pronunciation and use both the new and the old pronunciation. For my research, I look at when they use which vowel and what they say while doing so. My findings show that specific words tend to be pronounced a boat, while the majority of words can be variably pronounced either way. This could mean that the new vowel is associated with specific words, and other words might potentially gradually follow in the future. By contrast, other words show mixed pronunciations, which may indicate that some speakers are using the different vowels for performative functions. For example, when they take specific stances, they might use the a boat pronunciation to show belonging to the Canadian speech community; alternatively, they may use the about pronunciation to mark distinctiveness and show Mennoniteness. Whether speakers do this or not seems to depend on the degree of their exposure to the outside world. What I find most interesting about the linguistic situation here is that even though the community deliberately isolates themselves from the outside world, new linguistic forms seem to gradually arrive in the community, apparently due to the growing exposure to the outside world. It is super interesting to see who adopts these and why and when. These preliminary findings are super exciting and need to be investigated further!

I absolutely loved working with the community – everybody was so open and welcoming. I am so grateful for having been introduced to such wonderful people and their lifestyle. I have learned so much about a minority language that is kept alive in an increasingly globalised English-speaking world and a culture that conforms to norms and values that are so different from what I knew before. Last but not least, I learned how wonderful life without technology can be in times of globalisation, and I learned so, so much about myself.

Mach’s gut!

Miriam Neuhausen

Contact: german.in.ontario@gmail.com

“Do you think Pennsylvania German will die out soon?”

“I don’t think so, net so lang es noch zu Hause ist.”

(I don’t think so, not as long as it is still at home.)

References:

Burridge, Kate. 1998. Throw the Baby from the Window a Cookie. English and Pennsylvania German in Contact. In Anna Siewierska & Jae Jung Song (eds.), Case, Typology and Grammar, 71–93. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Chambers, Jack K. 2006. Canadian Raising Retrospect and Prospect. The Canadian Journal of Linguistics 51(2/3). 105–118. https://doi.org/10.1353/cjl.2008.0009 (27 May, 2019).

Epp, Marlene. 2002. Mennonites in Ontario. An Introduction. 2nd edn. Waterloo, ON: The Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario.

Fretz, Joseph Winfried. 1989. The Waterloo Mennonites. A Community in Paradox. Waterloo, ON: Wilfried Laurier University.

Johnson-Weiner, Karen M. 1998. Community Identity and Language Change in North American Anabaptist Communities. Journal of Sociolinguistics 2(3). 375–394. https://www.academia.edu/737070/Group_identity_and_language_maintenance_The_survival_of_Pennsylvania_German_in_Old_Order_communities (16 December, 2019).

Seifert, Lester W. J. 1947. The Diminutives of Pennsylvania German. Monatshefte 39(5). 285 293. https://www.jstor.org/stable/30160202 (16 December, 2019).

Statistics Canada. 2019. Proportion of Mother Tongue Responses for Various Regions in Canada, 2016 Census. https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/dv-vd/lang/index-eng.cfm (05 December, 2019).

Kashubian Language in Canada

By: David Shulist

The Kashubian language was introduced to Canada in 1858 when Kashubs from Kashubia Europe immigrated to the Renfrew County in Ontario. Kashubia in Europe, their home and native land at the time was under Prussian German rule. They first settled on the Opeongo Colonization Road and later built the communities of Wilno, Barry’s Bay and Round Lake Centre. The Kashubs came to Canada for free land which was offered by the government at the time. This was before the Country of Canada was born.

The word “Kashub” defines the people, they are a Slavic people from a Slavic tribe called the Kashubs. The Kashubs are Slavic and they are European. The word “Kashubian” defines their national identity and their native language. The Kashub people speak Kashubian as their native language. The word “Kashubia” is the name of their native land or sometimes referred as their fatherland. In their native language, the word Kashub is “Kaszëbi” and the word Kashubian is “Kaszëbsczi” and the word Kashubia is “Kaszëbë”.

The Kashubian language is in the West Slavic Language Family along with the Czech, Slovak, Polish and Sorbian languages. The Kashubian language is still spoken in Canada’s First Kashubian communities around the villages of Wilno, Barry’s Bay and Round Lake Centre. The language is still spoken by fourth and fifth generation Kashubian Canadians. Here is a sample of some of the Kashubian language spoken in Canada’s Kashubian communities.

Kashubian language

Examples provided by David Shulist

If you are interested in learning more about the Kashubian language in Canada, please feel free to contact David Shulist at johnnykashub@kashub.com


The opinions expressed in posts published on the blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Canadian Language Museum.

Coming to la Tavola of Italian-Canadian Heritage

This week we’re speaking with Caroline di Cocco about her experiences working to preserve the history, language, and culture of one of Canada’s largest immigrant groups: the Italian-Canadians.

Italians make up a large part of the history of Canadian immigration. In the 2011 census 1.5 million Canadians (4.6% of our total population) stated they are at least partially of Italian heritage. The Italians who came, and come, to Canada with their language (or languages, but more on that later), become a part of Canada’s language landscape. It is the work of Caroline di Cocco, and others across Canada, to preserve their stories, experiences, and their language. Not just for their descendants, but for all Canadians.

IMG_0005 (2)

[My gramma and grampa, Rita and Cataldo, and my dad and his brother, Frank and John]

Michael Iannozzi : What led you to get involved in documenting the heritage of Italians in Canada?

Caroline Di Cocco : I began documenting the story of the Italian-Canadian Presence around the mid-1980’s. I tried to find some history about the Italian presence in the Sarnia area. The closest thing I was able to find in the written history of Sarnia was that there was a growth of the Italian population in Sarnia in the 1950’s due to the growth of the refineries. I was driven by this question: how did the Italian-Canadian presence change the community of Sarnia-Lambton, and how were the Italians changed by having created a new home and a new life in the area? I felt a profound sense that if we did not take on the responsibility to research and document stories of the Italian-Canadian presence, these stories would be lost for future generations.

MI : What has been the immigration history? When did the Italian-canadians come to Canada?

CDC : The Italian immigration history has many complexities that fill volumes of books. In this response I can only touch on a couple of aspects. These stories are built of struggle, sacrifice, survival, resourcefulness, hard work, adjustment, and success; and in the creation of an identity which is unique from that of Italians in Italy. This was created out of holding on to one’s identity and values while at the same time re-creating that identity in a Canadian context. The Italian immigration story of Sarnia Lambton is written in a book called “One by One… Passo dopo passo.” In the introduction, Dr. Gabriele Scardellato writes, “From the late 1870s to the early 1980’s a total of some 630,000 Italians had immigrated to Canada”. In our research of the area we found evidence of a Charles Ribighini in 1870 who came to work in the oil fields in the Petrolia area [This may be the first Italian to come to Canada, although no one can ever know for sure].

Numerous stories of this history and experience is dispersed across the country and in personal collections. These collected histories of Italian-Canadians are fragmented and many of the stories are hidden from the public. More research needs to be done because collections and personal histories are being lost or forgotten with each generation.

In order to have the Italian-Canadian stories preserved, made accessible, and to document the ones that have yet to be told, the Italian-Canadian Archives Project (ICAP) was founded.

MI : What is the Italian-Canadian Archive Project?

CDC : The Italian-Canadian Archives Project “ICAP” is a not-for-profit organization, incorporated to promote and organize a national strategy to gather, preserve and make accessible material about the Italian-Canadian experience across the country. To this end, ICAP has created a Canada-wide network of established and emerging researchers in the field of Italian-Canadian studies to collaborate, partner and connect with other individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions across Canada who are interested in the Italian-Canadian experience. Through this network, ICAP works to encourage and support activities to preserve and provide access to materials on the Italian-Canadian experience.

MI : Why is it important to preserve the Italian spoken by the immigrants to Canada and their descendants?

CDC : I believe that the identity of one’s heritage is directly tied to that specific language. By understanding and speaking the language of one’s heritage, you create a stronger connection to the culture and you are able to engage others with others within that community, which makes one feel more a part of that heritage.

MI : How does the archive use the materials it gathers to create this stronger connection?

CDC : ICAP does not collect materials directly, but facilitates the preservation of collections. It does this through its national network of experts who assist in identifying collections that are at risk, and help to direct these collections to archives such as the National Museum of History, or to local archives. All across Canada ICAP members assist in bringing together Italian-Canadian communities to engage in the conversation about their Italian-Canadian stories, and to encourage the local communities to collect, preserve, and make accessible their history. We encourage people that their stories are an important part of Canada’s History; assist them, with the help of experts, on how they can preserve their history; provide workshops; and to connect like-minded communities who are doing this kind of work. Finally, we provide support and advice to ensure that any materials are preserved in either a local, provincial, university or national archive.

By keeping these documents, stories and artifacts in archives, it ensures that they are professionally managed, catalogued, and over time, digitized and made accessible to all Canadians.

MI : Why is it important to record the voices and histories of the Italian immigrants and their families?

CDC : The voices and histories of the Italian immigrant tells of experiences of dramatic change in people’s lives and how their lives impacted communities into which the settled. These stories are about people who for the most part came from very humble origins. The stories are important in so many ways, and I believe we have a responsibility to make certain future generations can also hear them. If we do not document our history then who will? After all, it helps us to understand ourselves and how we fit into the fabric of Canada.

MI : How are culture and language tied together?

CDC : Culture and language are intrinsically tied to one another. Cultural identity is imbedded in language in so many ways. For example, take the Italian relationship to food. When a table is considered as its physical noun, it is gender neutral “il tavolo”. When a table has been set for dining for guests, or is prepared for the family to sit and eat, then it is no longer just a physical and objective object, and the feminine gender is used “la tavola”.

MI : What do the experiences of the Italian immigrants tell us about language and immigration more broadly?

CDC : The stories and experiences tell us that although people adapt, adjust, and rebuild a life in a new country, their identity is intrinsically connected to their language and place of origin. The shaping of their values and thinking is in large part connected to their roots. Their behaviour is in many ways shaped by the place of origin, and closely tied to their heritage. Basically I see that the day-to-day lives of the immigrants, although they are now for all intents and purposes Canadian, are full of habits and ways of life that are closely linked to their ethnic and historical heritage [For instance, my gramma still gets up and bakes fresh bread at 78 years of age almost daily. She has friends that have “secret” places where they harvest wild asparagus and mushrooms each year, and only pass on the location to their children. And the full moon of October is still used for when wine pressed in garages is bottled or racked].

MI : You published a book on the history of Italians in the town of Sarnia (which happens to also be my hometown). What has been the experience and history of the Italians of southwestern Ontario, and does it differ from the experiences of Italians elsewhere in Canada?

CDC : I find that there are many similarities but also significant differences. The stories have a similar theme no matter where the Italians settled, not just in Canada, but around the world. For the most part, the values of a strong work ethic, and close family units are a common theme anywhere you go.

My observations have been that in smaller towns and cities, Italians seem to have integrated more quickly within the Canadian community, although they continue to maintain a pride of their heritage. In smaller centers those of Italian origin identify themselves as either Italian-Canadians, or simply as Canadians with Italian background. In large centres, where the number of Italians is in the hundreds of thousands, such as Toronto, they have create “little Italys”, and seem to stay connected more to their place of origin. From my conversations with many groups and individuals, they seem to identify more with Italy.

When the conversation of Italian-Canadian history takes place, I have found that in small centres it is about the journey here to Canada, whereas in large cities it seems to be about what constitutes being Italian.

MI : Are there differences in the Italian spoken in Sarnia, vs Windsor, vs Toronto, vs elsewhere in Canada? Why would that be?

CDC : Because of “chain migration” [Which allows an immigrant, once given citizenship or permanent residence status, to sponsor or bring extended family to join them in their new country], people from the same town or same regions of Italy settled in the same places in Canada. Because most people who emigrated had very little education, they did not speak Italian, but their specific dialects, which often are very different languages. For instance if the group was from Sicily, they spoke Sicilian. For someone like me, who is from Central Italy, Sicilian is a foreign language.

There are many different dialects all coming from Italy. These dialects are all labelled Italian; however, they are distinct. Depending on where the specific clusters of Italian immigrants settled, you will see a common dialect. For example, the majority of Italians to settle in Sarnia come from southern Lazio, known as Ciociaria, so you have that dialect spoken. In Toronto the largest number of immigrants come from Calabria, with many from Sicily, some from Friuli, Abruzzo, Molise, whereas a much smaller number are from southern Lazio. Not only do you have different “Italian” spoken from city to city, but also great variation within the cities.

It is only over the last maybe 20 years, due to mass education, that most people speak “standard” Italian in Italy, and unfortunately the dialects are being lost.

MI : Do you feel that the experience of “being Italian” in Canada has changed over the past 50 years?

CDC : Yes I think it has changed from “Italian-ness” initially having a negative or pejorative connotation to being “in” today. The experience has changed because the Italians earned the respect of other Canadians along the way. As Canadians interacted with Italians they were less uncertain about them. This understanding has led to the appreciation of the Italian values of hard work, family, good food and so on, and of course this worked in reverse too as Italians more-and-more integrated into Canadian society.

Unfortunately, this acceptance has led to the perception that Italian is not needed, and a decreased interest in learning Italian. There are fewer and fewer Italian-Canadians today who speak Italian.

IMG_20151005_140722

[Making wine using an old-fashioned, hand-cranked, press]

There is a phrase, “Hyphenated Canadian”. It represents the idea that many Canadians don’t identify as simply Canadian. If you ask many Canadians, including many in my own family, they don’t say they are Canadian, rather they say they are “X-Canadian”. For example, they may consider themselves “Italian-Canadian”, or maybe even just “Italian”(the Canadian part being assumed).

Very few Canadians, if they are willing to go back a couple of generations, will find that their ancestors were living in Canada. We are a nation of nationalities. Canadians are First Nations, Inuit, and Metis, but Canadians are also Somali, Ukrainian, and Thai. These heritages shape us individually, and also as a nation. Italian isn’t something I may need to use on a daily basis, but it helps me feel more connected with my past.

I actually consider myself just simply “Canadian”, I don’t use a hyphen, but my family is made up of Italian and Dutch, and that is part of my reality as a Canadian. What it means to be Canadian is as diverse as the nationalities, peoples, and languages that make up our country, and that is one of my favourite things about being Canadian.

And because it would be irresponsible, and an abnegation of my duty to not provide you with Italian tasty recipes, here are some:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/food-trends/have-you-tried-zeppole-its-a-pastry-lovers-fever-dream/article4096172/

http://www.anitaliancanadianlife.ca/recipes/ciambelle-with-fennel/

 

Take care eh,

 

Michael Iannozzi

 

 

They will speak their language again and forever

This week we are looking at Mi’gmaq, a First Nations Language spoken in Eastern Canada.

More specifically, we are looking at efforts to revitalize the language, and a very promising and encouraging trend among minority and endangered languages : linguists and academics working with and among the community rather than deciding what is best for them.

To that end, this week I am speaking with Carol-Rose Little, linguistics Ph.D. student at Cornell University, and Madelaine Metallic, Mi’gmaq language teacher at Alaqsite’w Gitpu School in Listuguj, QC about efforts currently underway to protect, preserve, and promote the Mi’gmaq language.

Micmac_pater_noster

[The Mi’gmaq “hieroglyphics” described below.]

MI : So I suppose, to start, what is Mi’gmaq?

CRL : Mi’gmaq is an Eastern Algonquian language of eastern Canada.

MI : Where was it originally spoken?

CRL : Eastern/Atlantic Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador and Maine

MI : Where is it spoken today?

CRL : Eastern QC, Cape Breton, NB, NL

MI : How many speakers are there?

CRL : Numbers are hard to come by…Ethnologue says 8,000 but I would say it is definitely less than half that amount. It is hard to get this kind of survey data.

MI : What makes it unique?

CRL : Mi’gmaq is a polysynthetic language, which basically is to say that each word is composed of many parts. So in one word it is possible to say “I see you” nemul nem=see, -ul = first person acting on second person.

MI : What does it looks like, and what does it sound like?

CRL : Mi’gmaq has a number of different writing systems, there was even once a hieroglyphic system (*cover this* -MI), though that system has not been in use for many years. The orthographies used in communities today all use Latin-based characters [The Mi’gmaq language is written by all communities today using the same alphabet as English].

MI : Are there related languages spoken currently?

CRL : Many languages spoken today are related to Mi’gmaq (all Algonquian languages, e.g. Passamoquoddy-Maliseet, Ojibwe, Blackfoot, Cree).

MI : Now turning to you both, did you grow up with Mi’gmaq as one of your languages, or did you learn it later?

CRL : I began learning Mi’gmaq in the classroom in 2012 and am still learning today.

MM : I grew up with Mi’gmaq as one of my languages. My grandparents have been speaking to me in Mi’gmaq for as long as I can remember, and I have been speaking the language ever since.

MI : And your project “migmaq.org”, how has it been built?

CRL : migmaq.org is meant to be a place where members of the project can share updates and keep updated themselves of what is happening with the work being done by both the community and linguists. It also acts as a place where those interested in Mi’gmaq can go and find resources and references on Mi’gmaq, and how to learn it.

MI : What are the project’s goals?

CRL : The collaboration is a collective effort to bring Mi’gmaq speakers, teachers, and linguists together to develop a deeper understanding of the grammar of the language, create teaching materials, and facilitate the learning, speaking, and promotion of Mi’gmaq.

MI : What is the role of the linguist, and what is the role of the community and its elders in a project like this?

CRL : My role is to help in whatever way possible to build language-learning resources! I’ve helped document course curricula, organize language workshops, contribute to social media campaigns, and record and document the language. I also do fieldwork on Mi’gmaq. For instance, a paper I wrote on Negation will be published soon. This research also feeds into the grammar wiki [Found Here].

MI : What are some of the challenges in a project this big?

CRL : Not getting overloaded with resources! I think at one point we had so many different platforms (apps, social media, computer softwares, websites) to learn Mi’gmaq, we just had to stop and re-evaluate, then cut the programs that were not attracting traffic, and work more on the apps/sofwares/websites that were drawing users.

MI : What are the advantages of modern technology and the internet in revitalizing First Nations languages?

CRL : Accessibility, being able to share resources quickly, and having access to open-source programs that are very attractive to limited budgets.

MI : On the website I see that there is a decision to be active on social media, why is it important to have the community use social media? And how does this impact interactions with the outside communities?

CRL : Social media is a powerful marketing tool. For instance Savvy Simon’s #SpeakMikmaq movement has garnered a lot of support. Many people are posting instagram videos of them speaking Mi’gmaq, even if it is just a word.

MM : Also today, many people are actively involved with social media, so one way to promote the language and reach these people is to share the language through social media. Social media also allows communication between different Mi’gmaq communities, which allows for sharing of resources as Carol-Rose mentioned.

MI : What is a master-apprentice language program? And why do you think it is an important tool?

CRL : The goal of the master apprentice program is to pair a speaker (“master”) up with a learner (“apprentice”), and for the speaker to go about daily routines, but only in the language [In this case Mi’gmaq], forcing the apprentice to use and practice the language in everyday settings. This is an extremely important tool because not only are learners practicing the language, but they are practicing it in culturally and socially relevant contexts, thus learning terminology and phrases related to those activities.

MI : What do you think is the most important thing for the survival of Mi’gmaq in the future?

CRL : Getting young people to learn the language, and use it with each other. Being able to have entire friendships and relationships in the language.

MM : I agree with what Carol-Rose says, but I also think that it is most important for Mi’gmaq people to begin to take initiative in learning their language themselves, and to have the motivation on their own to learn it in order for our language to survive. At the moment we have plenty of resources, and fluent speakers (although, unfortunately, not for much longer) who are willing to help; now is the time where we need the people to be willing to actively use these resources.

MI : If someone wants to learn Mi’gmaq, what do you feel is the best approach, and how should someone get started?

CRL : The best approach is to learn a few basics phrases, and some verb conjugations and just go out and start speaking. Listening to music in Mi’gmaq and learning the lyrics helps with pronunciation (My favourite song). However, I am a linguist, and I’m sure teachers would have many things to add.

MM : I agree with Carol-Rose, a good start would be to learn some simple words and phrases and to practice those. Try to use the new words you’ve just learned as much as possible. In order to learn the language, one must try to immerse themselves in the language. I was also told it was important to begin thinking in the language as much as you can, even if you only have a small vocabulary. If you see a door, don’t identify it to yourself as a “door”, but as a “gaqan”. Also speakers (especially new ones) have to keep in mind that they are still learning, and that they should not be afraid to make mistakes, or to try even if they might not be sure they know. Speakers should realize that they are making an effort to learn, and they should take pride in that, and never feel too embarrassed or shy to keep learning.

MI : What has been your favourite part of being involved in the project?

CRL : I love working with speakers. Mi’gmaq is such a different language than any other I have studied. There is so much to discover and learn from all the structure. It’s such a fun language to talk in as well. I felt so happy after the first time I managed to hold a conversation for 30 minutes in Mi’gmaq. It’s so fun being able to talk to Mi’gmaq speakers in their native language and learn about their rich culture.

MM : I love being able to learn more about my language and to discuss the language with other speakers. I also love hearing the input of others, and working to find different solutions to try for a given issue, and get other people to begin to start speaking their language.

800px-Listuguj

[The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Territory is in the far east of Quebec]

A sincere thank you to Carol-Rose and Madelaine for taking part in the interview

This project is just one example of a growing number of instances where communities are working with academics to preserve and promote their language. Mi’gmaq is a great instance of work being done by people of all backgrounds, and all ages, to create digital resources, fieldwork research, immersive language-learning, and create teaching materials altogether. A large group of people is working very hard, and coordinating a great number of people, and their time, and the results are impressive.

The work that is being done on Mi’gmaq will hopefully be used as an example of how communities and outside experts in various fields can share and learn from, and with, each other. Academics should always ask, coordinate, and work with a community. The results of their combined efforts and various skillsets and knowledge result in a very promising future for both Mi’gmaq specifically, and language revitalization across Canada!

 

Take care eh,

 

Michael

 

 

A new year, thank you for the old one

Happy New Year to you all!

 

Just a brief post from me today. I just wanted to thank you all for supporting the museum over 2015. I joined the Canadian Language Museum in the late summer of 2014 as a volunteer. I have since then run the blog, twitter and Facebook accounts.

 

It has been, and continues to be, an enormous honour, and a terrific amount of fun. I am able to speak to fantastic professors, graduate students, and community members who do essential and amazing work. I am able to share the things that I love about language(s) with all of you, and I want to say that I am extraordinarily grateful and thankful to each of you for your support. So I want to thank you for being patient with me, and for supporting the blog, twitter, and Facebook, but also for supporting the Museum more broadly.

 

In particular I want to thank all of the wonderful people I’ve spoken with over the past year for the blog. You have all been incredibly patient and endlessly kind and helpful in sharing your work with me, and with the readers of our blog. I apologize for any delays in my replies in email, and I will do my best to keep up with all of the people I hope to speak with, and continue to work hard in 2016 to keep bringing new interviews, and new research to the blog.

 

I also want to sincerely thank Elaine Gold and Katharine Snider-McNair; the Museum’s chair and executive assistant. This may sound self-congratulatory, but I don’t actually see either one of them very often, and I don’t speak with them as often as I likely should. They/you have both been continually supportive and kind, so thank you for allowing me to keep doing this. I love every part of this.

 

I also want to thank Floriane Letourneux. She has been a fantastic, and fantastically understanding and patient, translator for our blog posts. Any faults with the French translation are always my own (especially today as she hasn’t seen this), but the amazing quality of the translations are entirely due to her. Thank you.

 

Finally, thank you from the core of my heart to my friends and family for always supporting me, and serving as test subjects for my ideas and initial drafts of blog posts. I try to write everything so that non-linguists can appreciate the amazing work the people I talk with and about are doing, and my friends and family are never anything less than entirely patient and kind with helping me.

 

In 2016, I’d really like to begin brief weekly profiles of graduate students, something I tried to start in September, but the start of the year was just too busy a time for many students and Universities. So, if you are a graduate student in Canada, or a Canadian graduate student elsewhere, or someone working on something Canadian-y and language-y, please get in touch at CanLangMuseum@gmail.com. I will be sending out an email to linguistic departments all over, but the document is attached below, and I would love to hear from you.

CLM – Graduate student profiles – Questions – The Document!

In general please feel free to contact me at any point with any advice, ideas, or otherwise. I am always happy to speak with anyone about the museum, and I don’t pretend to be an expert at any form of social media, so please get in touch if you have something you’d like to share—news, events, ideas etc.

 

Take care everyone, thank you, and have a good year eh,

 

Michael Iannozzi