"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
Across Southeast Asia, especially since many nations gained political independence in the post second world war period, the languages of, generally speaking, the dominant ethnic groups have tended to become superordinate in many respects (as media of State education, broadcasting, the law, among the others). This is the case of Malay and Indonesian, Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese among the others. This panel examines the effects of the rise of superordinate languages on minority endangered languages such as language loss, borrowings as a result of external influence, bilingualism, language policy and its links with social position. Discussions will deal with any subfield of linguistics and different approaches and persuasions on the minority languages of South East Asia that are facing decline at an unprecedented speed and in particular will report on what is being done in terms of documentation and conservation.