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FORUM POLICY and rules

PostPosted: December 16th, 2008, 7:09 am
by admin
Lakota Language Forum – POLICY

The acceptance of the following guidelines is considered as a pre-condition of membership in this forum.

1) Learning the Lakota language is the sole and only topic of this forum.
• The focus of this forum is on the study and learning of the Lakota language. Topics written in English that discuss Lakota culture, history or other non-language based topics are not an effective strategy for learning the Language. Therefore such topics are only allowed within texts written in Lakota. The Lakota Language Forum (LLF) does not allow discussions of political issues or injustices, historical or present. Such topics can be a major distraction from language learning and be a cause of tensions among forum members.
• In addition, the discussions in this forum should refrain from topics specifically about Lakota ceremonies and spirituality unless this is within the context of a Lakota text or language topic.
• Moreover, an internet forum is not a place to discuss dream interpretations and visions or to issue traditional personal names and their Lakota translations so please do not request these.

2) Lakota language literacy
LLF promotes literacy in the Lakota language. Research studies have proven that reading and writing have a very positive impact on a person's progress in learning a language. For people who have the opportunity to be in touch with native Lakota speakers, reading and writing creates an important reinforcement of what they have learned through speaking. Reading also helps those who are not in touch with fluent speakers to learn the language from other forum members. The LLF will also promote Lakota literature throughout the site and its links as well.

3) Standardization and consistency in writing
LLF uses and promotes the Standard Lakota Orthography (SLO) adopted by most native teachers and schools in Lakota country. This writing system is defined and used in the New Lakota Dictionary.
• Acceptance of the orthography (withing the forum) is a basic requirement of membership, and forum members are expected to support the standard to the best of their abilities and do nothing to undermine it.
• As the LLF is a learning forum it is expected that spelling errors (and grammatical mistakes) will be made. Please be patient with and encouraging to language learners. It is, however, a good strategy in learning a language to try and improve one's writing by reviewing one's own previous posts and correcting the spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
• Native speakers are given the privilege of typing Lakota in any writing system that they have been used to, but native teachers trained throughout the Lakota Language Summer Institute at Sitting Bull College are expected to use the SLO.
• A virtual keyboard integral to the forum functions is available for convenient and easy typing in the Standard Lakota Orthography.
• Note that standardizing the orthography and spelling does NOT mean suppressing community sub dialects. We continue to support and promote the richness of Lakota with all its local variations. Standardization of spelling simply means that each sound of the language is always spelled in the same way. This enables clarity in written communication.

4) New Lakota Dictionary
• Forum members are expected to use the New Lakota Dictionary (NLD) as the main reference source and as the basis of their posts and questions. Please try to find answers to your questions in the New Lakota Dictionary before you post them to the forum. This will help keep the forum free from recurring and elementary questions. Unless you have access to NLD, this Forum will not meet your needs.

5) Friendship and sharing among all who want to learn the language.
• This forum is a place where the speakers and learners of the language can share their experience. The LLF encourages members to discuss language related topics, engage in various learning activities and develop a community of people who care about the language. The best way to preserve a language is to learn and use the language. This forum is designed to foster better learning of Lakota and thus help preserve it.
• The larger the community of people who use a language, the better are the chances that the language survives in the quickly globalizing world. Therefore, the LLF believes that everybody who wants to make an effort to learn the Lakota language makes a contribution to its preservation, regardless of the person's nationality.
• Members of the forum are expected to be polite to each other and do their best to avoid confrontational or unfriendly tones. Members should realize that a written message is not the same type of communication as talking to each other in person. In written communication, the language has to be even more polite because of the lack of voice tone, body language and facial expression, all of which help maintain a friendly atmosphere when people communicate in person.
• Members of the forum are expected to do their best to maintain a friendly, positive and constructive atmosphere in the forum.
• Anyone who is rude or disrespectful to another member, makes derogatory remarks referring to race, nationality, religion or language, seeks to ridicule others or uses obscene language or swear words will be unsubscribed.
• We reserve the right to withhold access to the forum from any member without specifying the reason.
• We politely ask the forum members to introduce themselves in the "Introduce yourself" section and sign posts with their real names rather than nicknames or pseudonyms. Anonymity is often a factor in creating tension.
• Any signs of direct or indirect aggressiveness towards other members will not be tolerated. This may include passive-aggressiveness, intimidation, manipulation or any other direct or indirect means of predatory behavior that distracts members from the language learning process. This includes conduct in the public forums, its private messaging system, and any LLF-sponsored group Skype sessions.

6) No matter how fluent, we are all learners, no one is a supreme authority
• If you are not a fluent native speaker, do not claim to be one.
• If you are an advanced second language learner of Lakota, please be encouraging to the beginners and humble about your knowledge. There is always something new to learn in every stage of learning a language.
• If you are a native speaker, the LLF is very honored by your participation and contribution. Please remember, however, that there are local variants, pronunciation variants as well as historical forms of words, which means that no single native speaker can be familiar with all the words in the language no matter how fluent he or she is. This holds true for native speakers of any language. There is always something new to learn about the grammar and structure of language. We are all here to learn from one another. If you know a word or a local variant that is not in the dictionary, please add it to the shared database.
• Everyone is welcome to contribute relevant material but no one is to pose as THE spokesperson for the Lakota and the authority on all things Lakota.
• If you are a linguist please bear in mind that this forum is designed primarily for language learners without formal linguistic education so please do not post on highly technical or theoretical topics. You are welcome to use the forum's resources, such as the dictionary and texts, but please do not try to elicit data for linguistic research from the forum members, whether they are native speakers or second language learners. The forum cannot substitute fieldwork and other traditional research methods.

7) Commitment
• This forum welcomes serious students of Lakota language at all levels of proficiency, but hopes to have members who are seriously committed to advancing in learning the language. If you only want to learn a few words in order to impress someone or to name your boat or pet, this is not the forum for you. We are interested in members who strive to eventually use the language at an advanced level and communicate in it (even if it is only in written form). If you are a beginner and committed to learning, we are willing to help and we do have a section for beginners.

8) Additional remarks

• Stick to the subject of a given topic.
• If you wish to have personal conversations that have no relevance to others, use private messages or exchange e-mails.
• Please do not post long vocabulary lists (over 30 word items).
• The languages of the public section of the forum are Lakȟóta and English. If you want to exchange chat or information with people in other languages, please use private messages or exchange e-mail.
• Your first posts will be moderated and may not appear in the forum immediately. Please don't be offended if there is a delay, the moderators are not always able to be at their computers.
• Please read the LLF Policy document carefully and abide by the rules.
• Please, study the Settings section carefully so that you can view the fonts and use the keyboard.
• If you want to post a question, make sure to first try and find the answer in the New Lakota Dictionary or in the Forum archive (use the search function).
• Please do not advertise other Lakota language learning sites or post links to Lakota related sites without permission from the moderators.
• Please do not discuss or post links to commercial sites for the purposes of self-promotion, nor ask for Lakota translations for commercial or personal products.

9) Copyright
• Most materials on this web-site, textual, visual or audio, are protected by the copyright law and belong either to the individual members who created them, to the LLC or to other entities and they are used here solely for educational purposes. As such, they are not to be used on other web-sites or published in any format or media without written permission from the owner.

10) Policy can change
• We reserve the right to modify the policy at any time and in any way we see fit. Any changes to the policy would be properly announced in the forum.

Re: FORUM POLICY and rules

PostPosted: October 13th, 2009, 4:38 am
by admin
Minor additions and modifications of wording were made to the following sections of the policy:

Paragraph 3, bullet 2
• Acceptance of the standard orthography is a basic requirement of membership, and forum members are expected to support the standard to the best of their abilities and do nothing to undermine it.

Paragraph 5, bullet 4
• Anyone who is rude or disrespectful to another member, makes derogatory remarks referring to race, nationality, religion or language, seeks to ridicule others or uses obscene language or swear words will be unsubscribed.

Paragraph 8, bullet 3
• The languages of the public section of the forum are Lakȟóta and English. If you want to exchange chat or information in other languages, please use private messages or exchange e-mail addresses.

Please read these changes and abide by the Policy.