Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages (reminder)

Damien Hall djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Wed Nov 3 18:08:18 UTC 2010

Forwarded on behalf of Mari Jones.  Apologies for cross-postings!

Damien Hall

From: "Dr. M.C. Jones" <mcj11 at>
Subject: Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages
To: ucam-celc at
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Dear All,

This is a reminder that the call for papers for the First Cambridge  
Conference on Language Endangerment will close on November 26th. We  
are also attaching a poster - please feel free to distribute it to  
your colleagues, students, or further afield.

Best wishes,
Mari Jones and Sarah Ogilvie


Language Endangerment: Documentation, Pedagogy, and Revitalization

Friday, 25 March 2011
Location: University of Cambridge

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


Dr Mari Jones (Department of French/Peterhouse, University of Cambridge)
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  

Professor Dr Nikolaus Himmelmann (University of M?nster, 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, revitalization.

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 Guidelines

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 (mcj11 at and Dr Sarah Ogilvie (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 Cambridge.

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