Letisia Marquez | June 27, 2014
Citlali Arvizu, a descendant of Southern California’s Gabrielino-Tongva Indians, didn’t grow up speaking the Tongva language, but she’s hoping her children do.
“It’s a dream that one day we will have speakers, that we can really do a full blessing,” said Arvizu, 35, of Anaheim.
Arvizu’s hope that an extinct language may someday live again lies in an unusualFacebook page. The Tongva Language page is maintained by Pamela Munro, a UCLA emeritus professor of linguistics, who posts words, phrases and songs in Tongva.
Native Tongva speakers once numbered thousands and inhabited areas throughout Southern California. But the language hasn’t been in use for about 50 years although there are words in our vocabulary derived from Tongva such as Pacoima, Cahuenga and Topanga.