In the last three decades the field of endangered and minority languages
has evolved rapidly, moving from the initial dire warnings of linguists to
a swift increase in the number of organizations, funding programs, and
community-based efforts dedicated to documentation, maintenance, and
revitalization. Sustaining Linguistic Diversity brings together leading
researchers and practitioners to provide the most recent and innovative
theoretical and empirical work in defining, documenting, and developing the
world's smaller languages and language varieties.
The book begins by reconsidering the very definitions of 'endangered' and
'minority' by asking who makes such classifications, and what is at stake
in linguistic, political, and ideological terms. The contributors then
turn to the documentation and description of endangered languages and focus
on best practices, methods and goals in documentation, and on current field
reports from around the globe. The latter part of the analysis examines
contemporary practices in developing endangered languages and dialects, as
well as particular language revitalization efforts and outcomes.
Concluding with critical calls to consider the human lives at stake,
Sustaining Linguistic Diversity reminds scholars, researchers,
practitioners, and educators that linguistic diversity can only be
sustained in a world where diversity in all its forms is valued.