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Simon Ortiz's Men on the Moon (Campbell & Rodarte)

Native Languages

It might go without saying that language is an essential component of culture as it is a principle way in which we pass along ideas, experience, identity, and meaning. Here are some things to explore in your research regarding Native American languages: How have Native American languages fared over the course of time? How have some been preserved and how have others been lost or destroyed? Are there ways in which your own heritage has been passed along through language specifically that you can identify? Do we see distinctive uses of language in Simon Ortiz’s writing--i.e., specific references, styles, and meanings--that seem to relate to or reflect his Native American heritage and identity? Ultimately, when a language dies, what is lost?