Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages

Julia Sallabank julia at TORTEVAL.CO.UK
Wed Jul 28 13:10:24 UTC 2010

Language Endangerment: Documentation, Pedagogy, and Revitalization

University of Cambridge, Friday, 25 March 2011

Location: CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge


Call for Papers Deadline: abstracts due 26 November, 2010.
On-line Registration opens 1 January 2011. 


Dr Mari Jones
&ved=0CDQQ9QEwBg>  (Department of French/Peterhouse, University of
Dr Sarah Ogilvie (Department of Linguistics/Lucy Cavendish College,
University of Cambridge) 


The First Cambridge International Conference on Language Endangerment will
focus on language documentation, pedagogy, and revitalization.

The following speakers have agreed to give plenary sessions at the

 <> Professor Peter Austin (SOAS,
University of London, UK) 

Language Revitalization and Pedagogy: a case from eastern Australia


 <> Professor David K. Harrison
(Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, Oregon, USA) Language
Extinction: Local and Global Perspectives


.html> Professor Dr Nikolaus Himmelmann (University of M√ľnster, Germany) On
Language Documentation


Call for Papers

This conference will bring together academics, students, and members of
indigenous communities from around the world to discuss current theories,
methodologies, and practices of language documentation, pedagogy,

Most of the world's languages have diminishing numbers of speakers and are
on the brink of falling silent. Currently around the globe, scholars are
collaborating with members of indigenous communities to document and
describe these endangered languages and cultures. Mindful that their work
will be used by future speech communities to learn, teach, and revitalize
their languages, scholars face new challenges in the way they gather
materials and in the way they present their findings. This conference will
discuss current efforts to record, collect, and archive endangered languages
in writing, sound, and video that will support future language learners and

Documentation is of critical and immediate importance, and is often
considered one of the main tasks of the field linguist. Future
revitalization efforts may succeed or fail on the basis of the quality and
range of material gathered, and yet the process may be rapid and dependent
on conscious decisions by linguists and language workers who may be
analyzing the form of a language for the first time, and codifying it in
dictionaries and grammars. Written documentation of course not only aids the
process of standardization but also serves important needs and functions
within a community in support of language maintenance such as providing the
basis for pedagogical materials in schools and helping to create a
community's sense of identity.  However, indigenous communities and scholars
of endangered languages are beginning to realise that the rapid and often
artificial nature of this process can have negative effects - politically,
linguistically, and culturally - which feed into issues relating to
education and, ultimately, language revitalization.

In addition to the opportunity of sharing experiences with a network of
linguists, it is hoped that participants will leave the conference with a
new understanding of the topic, innovative ideas for documentation and
pedagogy within their own linguistic contexts, and a renewed vigour to
implement what they have learnt in their own language situations.

Submission Guideline

We welcome abstracts (200 words maximum) for papers (20 minute paper + 10
minute discussion) that include, among other topics, discussion of
interdisciplinary approaches and innovative techniques for collecting raw
material, presenting metadata, and archiving language materials; teaching
endangered languages to both children and adults; and revitalizing language
use in homes, schools, and communities. 

Abstracts are due by 26 November 2010, and should be sent to:

Dr Mari Jones ( <mailto:mcj11 at> mcj11 at and Dr Sarah
Ogilvie ( <mailto:svo21 at> svo21 at



The conveners are grateful for the support of  The Centre for Research in
the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of


Sent on behalf of Mari Jones, with apologies for cross-postings.

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