Kalaallisut, language of Greenland A lecture by Lenore Grenoble
Sorosoro has filmed in many sun-kissed countries – Africa (Gabon, Senegal), Latin America (Guatemala, French Guiana), Oceania (New Caledonia) – but has yet to reach the lands of ice and extreme cold.
We’re getting there one step at the time, at this point from our very office, thanks to a captivating lecture on Greenland and the Kalaallisut language delivered by University of Chicago linguist and Arctic languages specialist Lenore Grenoble.
Outlining the history of the country and its population of 57,000, Lenore Grenoble describes the situation of the country’s native language, Kalaallisut, of the Eskimo-Aleut or Inuit-Aleut language family.
Colonized by Denmark in the 18th century, Greenland today has increased autonomy: following the self-government referendum in 2008, the Danish parliament granted the country further autonomy on May 19 2009. 32 areas of responsibility were then returned to Greenland, including justice and the police force.
Kalaallisut nowadays is an official language and a significant part of the everyday life of Greenlanders, especially in education. What’s more, Kalaallisut appears to be the only non-endangered Arctic language.
Hear Lenore Grenoble on the subject with her brilliant enthusiasm and limpidity, in the illustrated conference below:
Linguist: Lenore Grenoble Image & sound: Christian Dury and Didier Leblanc, Institut des Sciences de l’Homme (Lyon, France) Editing: Caroline Laurent Photos credits: Lenore Grenoble, Carl Christian Olsen (Puju), Alexander Reich, Judith Maréchal, UPI – Uummannaq Polar Institute.
This video is based on a lecture given by Lenore Grenoble at the Lyon 2 University-based DDL – Language Dynamics – laboratory on November 25, 2009, comparing the situations of languages in Greenland and Siberia.