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The Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat)

The Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat) project is a joint undertaking by The LINGUIST List and the University of Hawai'i Mănoa, with support from the NSF (BCS-1057725). ELCat is a three-year project, begun in the fall of 2011; the findings of the first phase are now available at the Endangered Languages Project website. The primary goal of ELCat is to produce a comprehensive, reliable, up-to-date source of information about the world's endangered languages. To that end, the ELCat project is committed to the following objectives:

Phase I of the project involved gathering data on languages' speaker numbers, vitality status, locations, and use contexts; phase II expands the Catalogue to include a measure of how much documentation exists for each language. The data in ELCat is gathered by a team of linguists and linguistics graduate students; it is then reviewed by the ELCat Regional Directors, a global panel of experts in the languages of particular areas. The ELCat Regional Directors are:

The ELCat team at The LINGUIST List is responsible for gathering data on the languages of Africa and Australia, and for designing and building the ELCat database. The University of Hawai'i team gathers data on the languages of the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. The current ELCat team at LINGUIST List is:

Past ELCat team members at LINGUIST List include:

This is just the beginning.The ELCat research is not yet complete, and we will continue to improve the catalogue through 2014, when the project ends. As a community-driven resource, ELCat welcomes feedback from its user community, including scholars, speaker communities, and the public. We strongly encourage users to contact us with comments, questions, or suggestions regarding the catalogue; this input will be of great value to the ELCat team as we move forward with the project.

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