The Loss from the Fire.

I had heard about the recent fire at Brazil’s National Museum, but hadn’t realized its linguistic consequences; Diogo Almeida writes on Facebook:

Translating the news from Cinda Gonda, a Brazilian colleague, just breaks my heart even more:

“Folks, there’s nothing left from the Linguistics division. We lost all the indigenous languages collection: the recordings since 1958, the chants in all the languages for which there are no native speakers alive anymore, the Curt Niemuendaju archives: papers, photos, negatives, the original ethnic-historic-linguistic map localizing all the ethnic groups in Brazil, the only record that we had from 1945. The ethnological and archeological references of all ethnic groups in Brazil since the 16th century… An irreparable loss of our historic memory. It just hurts so much to see all in ashes.”

(Yes, of course that’s not the most tragic loss; I think we can take that as given.) Thanks, Trevor!


  1. I can’t read things like this anymore.

  2. Would you be interested in coming to see the play about Samuel Pepys at the Old Vic next week? it’s based in part on the annotators and you’rd mentioned by handle. Let me know- I’m one of the actresses playing the annotators reimagined as a vlog in the play.

  3. If I were in London I’d definitely try to see it — I’m quite chuffed to be mentioned! Alas, I’m in western Massachusetts and never go anywhere. Can you e-mail me the part of the script in which I’m mentioned?

  4. A lighter note.

  5. January First-of-May says

    Incidentally, does anyone have any idea about why my comments kept disappearing today? And for that matter, can they still be retrieved?

    (I ended up sending this one from my phone.)

  6. For some reason Akismet thought they were spam. I have rescued them. Glad you mentioned it!

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