CFP: FEL XV Quito Ecudador, 7-10 September 2011: Endangered Languages, their Voices and Images
nicholas.ostler at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 13 18:06:39 UTC 2011
Language endangerment is now accepted as an important issue of our
times, but it is sometimes
misrepresented as a problem just for the speaker communities, and not
for the wider societies which
surround and often penetrate them. In this conference, we want to
focus on the impacts that minority
languages make on those outside, whether deliberately - through
raising their voices - or implicitly,
through the images that they give out to outsiders. What messages do
endangered languages send to
the wider world? These voices and images may play vital roles in the
formation of language attitudes.
We are therefore asking questions of these kinds:
How have endangered language communities presented themselves, their
languages and their
cultures? The audience could be outsiders, but it could also be young,
or returning, members of their
What policies have outsiders used to characterize these communities,
across a whole spectrum of
possibilities? These will include attempts to vilify, stigmatize or
even annihilate them, to seek to
assimilate or recruit them, to accept them passively, or even to see
some special value in them?
What uses have endangered language communities made of others'
methods to protect themselves,
or to enhance their standing?
How have endangered language speakers maintained or transformed, or
been alienated from, their
traditions or identity?
What alliances have endangered language communities forged for
How have attitudes to majority languages been affected by greater
interest in minority languages?
How have the techniques derived from majority-language culture, e.g.
for teaching, or for
documentation, been used for endangered languages?
How have mass media (as radio, television), and modern networked
media (as mobile phones, the
internet) affected the image of endangered languages, or given them
new voices? Linguistic and
sociolinguistic analysis of endangered languages
These are just some of the questions to be discussed in this
conference, which aims to learn lessons
about the place of minority languages within larger communities. We
aim to create awareness about the
current situation of endangered languages among the speakers and
non-speakers of such languages.
Our goal is to promote linguistic maintenance within a wide variety of
social contexts. There will be a
place to discuss relevant experience of the documentation of
endangered languages as well as of
Ecuador is well known for its geographical, cultural and linguistic
diversity. Besides Spanish, it hosts
thirteen indigenous languages, all endangered. Quichua has around 1
million speakers in Ecuador, of 8
million along the Andes. The indigenous languages are found on the
coast, in the highlands (Sierra) and
on the Amazon - representing many of South America's linguistic families.
1. 13 March, 2011: Abstract submission deadline.
Abstracts (up to 500 words) to be sent in English or Spanish (or
Quichua or Shuar), as a Word document
(.doc or .rtf formats). (Please include up to 5 key words or phrases.)
Add author names, affiliation,
postal address and telephone (of leading author).
2. 10 April, 2011 : Notification of acceptance/rejection of paper.
3. 1 August, 2011: In case of acceptance, the full paper (in Word) will be due.
Note: It is a condition of speaking at the conference that authors
submit a hard copy of their paper by
this deadline. (In Word and as a PDF; further details on the format of
text will be specified to the
authors.) In the course of the following month, PowerPoint
presentations (if any) should be submitted,
together with a scanned picture of author.
4. September 7-9, 2011: Conference
5. September 10, 2011: Excursion to Otavalo (www.otavalo.gov.ec/,
trip will include a visit to the indigenous market, lakes, a sacred
waterfall, a condor park, and perhaps a
visit to local musicians.
(Later excursions may be planned: Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas (at
least one more day), and if there
is interest, Galápagos Islands or the Selva (jungle).
All abstracts and papers should be sent as attachments to both:
endangeredlanguages2011 at gmail.com (Conference Chair) and
nicholas at ostler.net (Foundation Chair)
Postal Addresses and Telephones (if necessary):
Dr Marleen Haboud,
Facultad de Comunicación, Lingüística y Literatura, Pontificia
Universidad Católica de Ecuador, Quito,
+ 593 2 2991700
Dr Nicholas Ostler,
Foundation for Endangered Languages, 172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath, England BA1 7AA
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