Vital Voices: Endangered Languages and Multilingualism - new book

Nicholas Ostler nostler at
Sat Sep 1 18:16:31 UTC 2007

The Foundation for Endangered Languages held its tenth conference in 
Mysore, India in October 2006, in collaboration with the Central 
Institute for Indian Languages. It concerned the effects of 
multilingualism on smaller languages. A crucial question was how far 
poorly-conceived language planning policies may actually contribute to 
environmental imbalance and instability, dangers that are often very 
little understood. Endangered languages need support to develop in the 
face of new demands, including the increased bi- and multi-lingualism 
coming from globalization, urbanization and language contact.

The title 'Vital Voices' underlines our contention that the survival and 
development of endangered languages are necessary for humanity’s future, 
however endangered they may look amidst the statistics generated for 
policy in our globalized economy.

The proceedings of the conference are now available, in a joint edition 
with CIIL, entitled "Vital Voices: Endangered Languages and 
Multilingualism" and edited by R. Elangaiyan, R. McKenna Brown, Nicholas 
Ostler and Mahendra K. Verma.(ISBN 9780953824885)

It is an 196-page volume, and the contents look like this:

U.N. Singh	Foreword
R. Elangaiyan, McKenna Brown, Nicholas Ostler, M.K. Verma	Preface, 

Map of Language Locations by Page Number
Index of Authors
Note on Spelling of Clicks
Index of Languages and Families

Section 1	Keynote Address
Lachman Khubchandani	Languages Threatened in a Plural Framework – 
Dialectics of Speech Variation & Globalization

Section 2	Outlining the Danger
Basantarani Haobam	Multilingualism Endangered

Section 3	Extreme Endangerment
Hugo C. Cardoso	Challenges to Indo-Portuguese across India
Paul Monaghan	Wirangu and Gugada – The survival chances of two 
neighbouring Australian languages

Section 4	Effects of Contact
Umberto Ansaldo & Lisa Lim	Globalization as a means to empowerment for 
minority voices Malay in Sri Lanka
Chaithra Puttaswamy	Contact and Convergence in Malto
Elena Benedicto	Language loss to a non-existent enemy – The case of the 

Section 5	Roles of Religion & Documentation
Begoña Echeverria	Speaking in tongues, saving souls – Religion in the 
'resurrection' and death of endangered languages
David A. Hough	Beyond Linguistic documentation – Giving New Breath to 
Indigenous Voices
Abhishek Avtans & Anvita Abbi 	Language documentation in Andamans – 
Highs and Lows

Section 6	Literacy & Revitalization
Inam Ullah	Future of Torwali – Speaking migrants in the urban areas of 
Stephen Morey	Small languages in a polylingual situation – The case of 
Sipos, Maria	On the possibilities of revitalising the Synya dialect of 
Khanty language

Section 7	Majority-Minority relationship
R. Elangaiyan	Strategies proposed for arresting language endangerment in 
Ronald P. Schaefer and Francis O. Egbokhare	On Profiles of Use for 
Majority Languages in Southern Nigeria

Section 8	Development & Changes
Victoria June Stockton 	Carving Both Sides – Globalization in Education 
Reform and Language Politics
Maya Khemlani David	Language Maintenance or Language Shift? A 
sociolinguistic study of the Temuan in urban Kuala Lumpur
Kemmonye C. Monaka & Gregory. H. Kamwendo	Linguistic minorities and 
marginalization in Botswana

Section 9	Cooperation with Neighbour Languages
Khadim Hussain Bahria 	Language Shift in the Minority Swat Kohistani 
Community  – The Case of Ushojo
Hakim Elnazarov	Multilingualism in Pamir – Challenges of Preservation 
and Revitalization

Section 10	Emerging Complexity & Community Language Support
Yankee Modi	The complexity and emergence of Hindi as Lingua Franca in 
Arunachal Pradesh
Nina Dobrushina	Multilingualism in Archi – Communication, 
self-identification and social prestige
Kavita rastogi	Challenges and Responses to the Survival of a Tribal 
Language 'Raji'
Christine Schreyer	Re-orientations in Language Planning – A 
"language-as-cultural-resource" model from a Canadian First Nation

Udaya Narayana Singh	The Sense of Danger – Some Reflections on Language 


Copies are now available, at 20 pounds sterling ($40 US, 30 euro) apiece
(including surface postage and packing). For air-mail dispatch, please
add 7.50 pounds/$15.00/10 euro. Cheaper prices are available to FEL 
members. (Purchasers in South Asia should apply to CIIL: S.B. Biswas 
<biswas at>, specifying ISBN 81-7342-173-0.)

You can pay by
- a cheque (in pounds sterling) payable to "Foundation for Endangered
- a check (in US $) payable to "Nicholas Ostler".
- proof of having sent an equivalent sum in your own currency to the
society’s account, "Foundation for Endangered Languages", Account no:
50073456, The Cooperative Bank (Sort code: 08-90-02), 16 St.
Stephen's Street, Bristol BS1 1JR, England.
- or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, EuroCard), enclosing Card
number, Expiry date (month | year), Name (as on card), and Address
(as on card).

To expedite delivery, please send orders to the address below.

Christopher Moseley <chrismoseley50 at>
9 Westdene Crescent, Caversham Heights, Reading RG4 7HD, England

Nicholas Ostler

Chairman, Foundation for Endangered Languages
Registered Charity: England and Wales 1070616
172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath, BA1 7AA, England
nostler at

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