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

RetractionWatch reports that a recent published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies was retracted over questions of plagiarism. That sounds dry and bland on the surface, until you dig in: the paper, titled "Reconceptualising a Quandamooka Storyweave of language reclamation," was written by a group of indigenous language scholars led by Sandra Delaney. But it turns out, 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. Oops.

This article went through double blind review and received approving reviews. However, upon publication 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[We Will Always Speak the Chickasaw Language]: Considering the Vitality and Efficacy of Chickasaw Language Reclamation, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Arizona, USA.

Leonard WY (2017) Producing language reclamation by decolonising 'language'. Language Documentation and Description 14: 15–36.

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

After further investigation, further instances of plagiarism were detected, including copying from 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. Decolonisation: Indigeneity, Education & Society 2(1): I–X.

Thompson J (2012) Hedekeyeh Hots'ih K!hidi – Our Ancestors Are in Us: Strengthening Our Voices through Language Revitalisation from a Tahltan Worldview. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Victoria, Canada.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 Elders Pedagogy for Land-based Health Education Programs: Gee- zhee-kan'dug Cedar Pathways. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Truly incredible work by all involved.

RETRACTION NOTICE: Reconceptualising a Quandamooka Storyweave of language reclamation

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