Brook Lillehaugen deposited Why write in a language that (almost) no one can read? Twitter and the development of written literature on Humanities Commons 7 years ago
The development of written literature in languages which are not usually written by their speakers can be confounded by a circular problem. Potential writers are reluctant or unmotivated to write in a language that no one can read. But at the same time, why learn to read a language for which there is nothing available to read? The writers wait for the readership, while the readers wait for material. In this paper I argue that Twitter can be used effectively to support burgeoning writers of languages for which no current readership exists by partnering writers with volunteer readers who do not need to know the target language. I lay out a model for this type of work that is an effective way for outside linguists and their students to support indigenous language activists.