It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...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.