criteria for endangerment

Karl Teeter kvt at
Fri Dec 6 15:39:43 UTC 1996

Dear Nicholas, Roger, and colleagues:  Thank you, Nick, for your excellent
statement on sticking with the concept "endangerment" instead of playing
with criteria to call a language endangered.  To do so unwittingly
attaches a stigma to such languages, and this recalls to me exactly what I
had in mind a few years ago (AA 66.878-79) when I advocated getting rid of
the term "anthropological linguistics".  The term was used to designate
the study of languages without a written tradition, so selected such
languages out as somehow requiring a different sort of intellectual
approach.  Now that we are more aware than we used to be "in them days"
of such facts as that such languages represent over 99% of human
languages, the situation becomes clearer.  Long live
linguistic anthropology; die, "anthropological linguistics" (with
apologies to the editors of the excellent journal they inherited that
goes by that name)!  Yours, kvt

Endangered-Languages-L Forum: endangered-languages-l at
Web pages
Subscribe/unsubscribe and other commands: majordomo at

More information about the Endangered-languages-l mailing list