Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: Language Endangerment: Language Policy and Planning

      
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Start Date: 26-Jul-2013 - 26-Jul-2013
Contact: Mari Jones
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2163/
Meeting Description: Language policy is where linguistics meets politics. Linguistic legislation serves as a medium through which power is negotiated between different speech communities within a given society. Where linguistic varieties are endangered, language policy often takes the form of specific ideologies that underlie language planning strategies. As such, its goals may be specific and practical in nature, such as orthographic reform, or more emblematic, such as measures for the promotion and protection of vulnerable languages. However, language policy issues are imbued with a powerful symbolism that is often linked to questions of identity, with the suppression or failure to recognize and support a given variety representing a refusal to grant a ‘voice’ to the corresponding ethnocultural community. This conference will consider how and whether the interface between people, politics and language can affect the fortunes of the endangered linguistic varieties involved. Can policy really alter linguistic behaviour, or does it merely ratify changes already underway within the speech community? Do governments have a moral obligation to support endangered languages? Should linguists play a role in shaping language policy and, if so, what should that role be? When policy decisions are at odds with the will of the speech community, which will triumph?

Plenary Speaker: Lenore Grenoble (University of Chicago)
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.3576


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