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"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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Book Information


Title: Lesser-Known Languages of South Asia
Subtitle: Status and Policies, Case Studies and Applications of Information Technology
Edited By: Anju Saxena
Lars Borin
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-3110189763-1&l=D
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 175

The increasing globalization and centralization in the world is threatening
the existence of a large number of smaller languages. In South Asia some
locally dominant languages (e.g., Hindi, Urdu, Nepali) are gaining ground
beside English at the expense of the lesser-known languages. Despite a long
history of stable multilingualism, language death is not uncommon in the
South Asian context. We do not know how the language situation in South
Asia will be affected by modern information and communication technologies:
Will cultural and linguistic diversity be strengthened or weakened as they
become increasingly prevalent in all walks of life?

This volume brings together areas of research that so far do not interact
to any significant extent: traditional South Asian descriptive linguistics
and sociolinguistics, documentary linguistics, issues of intellectual and
cultural property and fieldwork ethics, and language technology.
Researchers working in the areas of documentary linguistics and language
technology have become aware of each other in the last few years, and of
how work in the other area could be potentially useful in furthering their
own aims. Similarly, the insights of documentary linguistics are making
their way into descriptive linguistics and sociolinguistics. However, the
potential for synergy among these areas of research is almost limitless.

This volume provides the reader, not so much with a do-it-yourself recipe
for applying modern technology to the problem of language shift in South
Asia today, but rather with some basic knowledge about the problems
involved and some directions from which solutions could be forthcoming, a
toolbox rather than a blueprint, for helping to shape the linguistic future
of South Asia.


Anju Saxena

Language situation and language policies in South Asia

Status of lesser-known languages in India
Udaya Narayana Singh

Minority language policies and politics in Nepal
Mark Turin

Language policy, multilingualism and language vitality in Pakistan
Tariq Rahman

Lesser-known language communities of South Asia: Linguistic and
sociolinguistic case studies

Vanishing voices: A typological sketch of Great Andamanese
Anvita Abbi

Lisu orthographies and email
David Bradley

Shina in contemporary Pakistan
Razwal Kohistani and Ruth Laila Schmidt

The rise of ethnic consciousness and the politicization of language in
west-central Nepal
Michael Noonan

Why Ladakhi must not be written – Being part of the great tradition:
Another kind of global thinking
Bettina Zeisler

Information and communication technologies and languages of South Asia

The impact of technology on language diversity and multilingualism
E. Annamalai

The impact of technological advances on Tamil language use and planning
Vasu Renganathan and Harold F. Schiffman

Corpus-building for South Asian languages
Andrew Hardie, Paul Baker, Tony McEnery and B. D. Jayaram

Digitized resources for languages of Nepal
Boyd Michailovsky

Multimedia: A community-oriented information and communication technology
David Nathan and Éva Á. Csató

Language survival kits
Jens Allwood

Grammatically based language technology for minority languages
Trond Trosterud

Supporting lesser-known languages: The promise of language technology
Lars Borin

Worrying about ethics and wondering about “informed consent”: Fieldwork
from an Americanist perspective
Colette Grinevald

Subject index, Language index

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110189763
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 386
Prices: Europe EURO 98.00
U.S. $ 132.30