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LINGUIST List 21.3096

Wed Jul 28 2010

Confs: Lang Documentation, Anthro Ling/UK

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Mari Jones, 1st Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages

Message 1: 1st Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages
Date: 26-Jul-2010
From: Mari Jones <mcj11cam.ac.uk>
Subject: 1st Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages
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1st Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages

Date: 25-Mar-2011 - 25-Mar-2011
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Contact: Mari Jones
Contact Email: mcj11cam.ac.uk
Meeting URL: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/1332/

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation

Meeting Description:

Endangered Languages: Documentation, Pedagogy and Revitalization.

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, and
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.

The following speakers have agreed to give plenary sessions at the conference:

Professor Peter Austin (SOAS, University of London, UK)
Professor David K. Harrison (Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages,
Oregon, USA)
Professor Dr Nikolaus Himmelmann (University of M√ľnster, Germany).
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