Fwd: Conf. on Undescribed & Endangered Languages, 29 Sep. 05

d_z_o dzo at BISHARAT.NET
Sun Jul 10 09:52:41 UTC 2005

FYI. (BTW, I still can't post directly to ILAT due to an unresolved 
misunderstanding between my host and the Arizona.edu server, but will 
reforward items that others haven't caught to ILAT from MINEL, a list 
with a different though overlapping purpose than that of ILAT)... DZO

--- In MINEL at yahoogroups.com, "d_z_o" <dzo at bisharat.net> wrote:
FYI (fwd from the Linguist list)... DZO

Date: 11-Jun-2005
From: Amedeo De Dominicis <dedomini at unitus.it>
Subject: Conference on Undescribed & Endangered Languages

Conference on Undescribed & Endangered Languages

Date: 29-Sep-2005 - 29-Sep-2005
Location: Viterbo, Lazio, Italy
Contact: Amedeo De Dominicis
Contact Email: dedomini at unitus.it
Meeting URL: http://www.obiettivouomoambiente.com/

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Meeting Description:

At present, most human languages are spoken by exceedingly few 
people. And that majority, the majority of languages, is about to 

Ethnologue, the most authoritative source on the languages of the 
world, lists just over 6,500 living languages. Population figures are 
available for just over 6,000 of them (or 92%). Of these 6,000, 52% 
are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people; 28% by fewer than 1,000; and 
83% are restricted to single countries, and so are particularly 
exposed to the policies of a single government. On the other hand, 10 
major languages, each spoken by more than 109 million people, are the 
mother tongues of almost half (49%) of the world's population.

This loss of linguistic diversity is weakening the unique 
ethnoscientific knowledge hidden in such languages.

>From the scientific point of view, the loss of a knowledge system 
also implies another kind of loss. Linguistics, anthropology, 
prehistory and psychology lose another precious source of data, 
another diverse and unique way the human mind can use to express 
itself through a language structure and vocabulary. Particularly, 
linguistic theories miss a crucial part of their objects because the 
value of endangered or undescribed languages often lies in the 
complexity that characterises them and and through which they 
challenge linguistic theories.

That is the reason why in the title of this conference we put 
together 'undescribed and endangered languages': both cases induce a 
loss in linguistic knowledge and in the complexity of linguistic 

10:00-10:30 Welcoming Remarks

10:30-11:15 Suzanne Romaine (Merton College, University of Oxford): 
Planning for survival- some responses to language endangerment.

11:15-12:00 Ian Maddieson (University of California, Berkeley): 
Endangered Languages, Endangered Sounds.

12:00-12:45 Peter Ladefoged (University of California, Los Angeles): 
Archiving the sounds of an endangered language.

12:45-13:30 Maurizio Gnerre (Istituto Universitario Orientale, 
Napoli): Fading out voices, prosodies and rhythms: a neglected aspect 
of language endangerment.

13:30-15:30 Lunch Break

15:30-16:15 Roberto Ajello (Universita' di Pisa): The importance of 
having a description of the endangered languages: the case of Gizey 

16:15-17:00 Antonino Melis (Universite' de N'Djamena, Tchad): Ham: 
une langue et une culture en danger de disparition au Tchad.

17:00-17:45 Amedeo De Dominicis (Universita' della Tuscia, Viterbo): 
Tonal patterns of Gizey (Cameroon): first description and language 

Languages of the conference: English and French.

--- End forwarded message ---

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