Scholarly Contribution to Database/Website

Reviving the spirit of vernacular languages in Solomon Islands

Debra McDougall

Published : 2019


‘Understanding our languages: Solomon Islands’, held in the capital Honiara on 19-23 August 2019, gathered some 100 people speaking 44 Solomon Islands languages. We called it a ‘workshop’ and the Christian God was invoked only in opening prayers, songs, and the blessing of meals. Yet, to me, it felt more like one of the religious gatherings I’ve spent years researching than any ordinary workshop. Participants spoke of joy, sorrow, and hope, saying their ‘eyes were opened’ and ‘hearts pierced’ by a renewed sense of the value of language.