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Academic paper on language colonization turns out to have stolen its language

By on January 14, 2022 0

RetractionWatch reports that an article recently published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies was retracted for plagiarism. It looks dry and bland on the surface, until you dig deeper: the paper, titled “Reconceptualizing a Quandamooka Storyweave of Language Recovery“, was written by a group of indigenous language scholars led by Sandra Delaney. But it turns out that this little examination of appropriation and stolen land… was actually based on language that was stolen and appropriated from at least eight other academic sources. Whoops.

This article has undergone a double-blind review and received approving reviews. However, when publishing online, the editors were contacted by authors whose work had been copied:

Chew KA (2016) Chikashshanompa’ Ilanompohqli Biyyi’ka’chi [We Will Always Speak the Chickasaw Language]: Considering the Vitality and Effectiveness of Chickasaw Tongue Recovery, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona, USA.

Leonard WY (2017) Producing a reappropriation of language by decolonizing “language”. Language documentation and description 14:15–36.

Leonard WY (2018) Reflections on (de)colonialism in linguistic documentation. In: McDonnell B, Berez-Kroeker AL and Holton G (eds) Reflections on linguistic documentation 20 years after Himmelmann 1998. Special Publication on Language Documentation and Preservation 15. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, pp. 55–65.

Upon further investigation, further instances of plagiarism were detected, including copies of the following:

Brown HJ, McPherson G, Peterson R, Newman V and Cranmer B (2012) Our Land, Our Language: Connecting Dispossession and Health Equity in an Indigenous Context. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 44(2): 44–63.

Sium A and Ritskes E (2013) Speaking Truth to Power: Indigenous Storytelling as an Act of Living Resistance. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society 2(1): I–X.

Thompson J (2012) Hedekeyeh Hots’ih K!hidi – Our Ancestors Are Within Us: Strengthening Our Voices Through Language Revitalization from a Tahltan Worldview. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Victoria, Canada.

Twance M (2019) Learning from land and water: Exploring mazinaaabikiniganan as indigenous epistemology. Environmental Education Research 25(9): 1319-1333.

Young AE (2015) Indigenous Elder Pedagogy for Land-Based Health Education Programs: Geezhee-kan’dug Cedar Pathways. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Truly amazing work by everyone involved.

RETRACT NOTICE: Reconceptualizing a Tongue Recovery Quandamooka Storyweave

Picture: Michael Coghlan/Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)