ELAP Workshop: Beliefs and Ideology on Endangered Languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 18:21:54 UTC 2009

 Forwarded From: <LPREN at googlegroups.com>

ELAP Workshop: Beliefs and Ideology on Endangered Languages

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February, 2009

Convenors: Peter K. Austin, Julia Sallabank, Endangered Languages Academic

Programme, Department of Linguistics, SOAS


Day 1: Birkbeck, rooms 152 and 153, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E


Day 2: SOAS, room G50, Thornhaugh St, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG



The goal of the workshop is to highlight and discuss theoretical and

practical issues in the area of beliefs and ideology on endangered

languages, and especially views that have implications for language support

and revitalisation. Language ideologies have been described as

'socioculturally motivated ideas, perceptions and expectations of language,

manifested in all sorts of language use' Blommaert (1999:1). Blommaert goes

on to suggest that 'there is now a widespread recognition of language

ideologies as a crucial topic of debate … when it comes to assessing the

motives and causes for certain types of language change'. The study of

language ideologies and beliefs may therefore provide insights into the

reasons for language shift and/or revival, and may help to determine the

success or otherwise of language revitalisation projects.

Among the issues to be considered could be:

1. Are endangered languages fundamentally different from other languages

when it comes to beliefs and ideology?

2. What, if any, are the consequences for language support and

revitalisation of the beliefs held by speakers of endangered languages?

3. To what extent can beliefs and ideologies be influenced by campaigning

and language planning?

4. What beliefs and ideologies do linguists have about endangered languages?

Are these in conflict with those of communities?

5. Fishman speaks of the need for "establishing ideological clarity" before

any revitalisation project can begin. How is this best achieved?

Case studies will presented on the role of beliefs and ideology in

endangered languages research, especially in the context of revitalisation

and language support.

Workshop Programme

The first day of the workshop will consist of four plenary talks followed by

discussion, and the second day will be devoted to case studies of particular

situations where ideological issues have surfaced in endangered languages


Keynote speakers:

Bernard Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University: "Language beliefs and the management

of endangered languages"

Lenore Grenoble, University of Chicago: "Conflicting ideologies and beliefs

in the field"

Jane Freeland, University of Southampton: "Considering popular language

ideology in revitalizing the language of the Mayangna of Nicaragua's

Caribbean Coast"

Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, University of Limerick: "Shared language management

goals, differing beliefs and unexpected outcomes"

Booking information


To attend the workshop, you need to submit a booking form by Monday 16

February 2009. The form can be downloaded from



Early bird (by 6 February)£12.50

After 6 February £17.50


Early bird (by 6 February)£7.50

After 6 February £12.50

Registration will include a reading pack, and tea and coffee on both days.

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