[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Prehistory of language revitalization?

Ylikoski Jussi jussi.ylikoski at uit.no
Tue Nov 18 16:49:46 UTC 2014

Dear colleagues,

According to the received view, the history of modern language revitalization seems to begin from the Hebrew and Gaelic revivals in the 19th century. The motives and impact factors of people such as Pa?ini, Gutenberg and Herder aside, and disregarding the rise of European nation states and their national languages, I would be interested to know whether there have been less known - and presumably less successful - early ("pre-Hebraic" and "pre-Gaelic") collective efforts that could be characterized as language revitalization in a sense of consciously and systematically trying to halt or reverse the decline of a language or to revive an extinct one. Anywhere in the world?

Needless to say, I would be grateful for any references to published work on this issue.

Best regards,


PS. I sent the above message originally to Endangered Languages List where Dave Sayers kindly referred to an analogous discussion on the prehistory of language policy on this list in July 2013 (http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lgpolicy-list/2013-July/015678.html). (For today's discussion, see http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/endangered-languages-l/2014-November/thread.html.)
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