[lg policy] Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 28 20:46:15 UTC 2010

Forwarded From:  ENDANGERED-LANGUAGES-L at listserv.linguistlist.org

Language Endangerment: Documentation, Pedagogy, and Revitalization

University of Cambridge, Friday, 25 March 2011

Location: CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, 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 conference:

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 Münster, 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 speakers.

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 Guideline

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 cam.ac.uk) and Dr Sarah Ogilvie (svo21 at cam.ac.uk).


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.

Sent on behalf of Mari Jones, with apologies for cross-postings.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com


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