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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Journal Information

Title: Linguistic Typology
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Description: Editor: Frans Plank

IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.455

Following the founding of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT) in 1994, the launching of the journal LINGUISTIC TYPOLOGY under the auspices of ALT is another sign that typology is internationally consolidating its position.

"Linguistic Typology" distinguishes itself as a forum for the typological community, catering to its special professional needs. In particular, these concern the empirical dimensions of the typological enterprise and the ensuing demands to coordinate research and keep track of a profusion of data and results. Therefore "Linguistic Typology" specifically encourages informed dialogue and the proper recording of past and present achievements. Its content structure is diversified, comprising the following regular and occasional elements: - articles with peer commentary, complementary articles, other interactive formats - independent articles - the Implications Register, documenting the implications on record, with known counter- examples, and gradually building up networks of registered implications - Language Profiles and Family Portraits, from a typological viewpoint - basic topical bibliographies -the Present Perfect, featuring highlights from typology as done in the past but persisting into the present (hence this section's title) -reviews, multiple reviews, book notices, literature surveys

Linguistics is about languages, in the plural and with the universal quantifier understood. Typology is simultaneously about the diversity and uniformity of this universe. What typology thrives on is variation across languages; but what makes the typologist's day is co-variation, the discovery that logically independent variables have identical values in one language after another, or at any rate do not show all logically possible combinations of values. Hence typologists' preoccupation with implications, the relationship which holds when two variables are empirically interdependent.

Typological research has been conducted for more than two centuries but, in view of the daunting complexity of its aims, progress was bound to be neither rapid nor comprehensive. Often, too much was lacking for typology to come into its own: - reliable, in-depth, and accessible information about less well documented languages (and these number in the thousands) - technology to store, retrieve, and sort the Information collected - well-chosen representative samples - sound descriptions of the languages sampled, not couched in extraneous formats - imagination, and perhaps serendipity, in probing for generalizations, and rigour in checking them against the evidence - theoretical sophistication - manpower, and, most importantly, mutual awareness and cooperation

Such shortcomings have not gone unrecognized and unattended. Owing to numerous individual and collective efforts to give languages their due in linguistics, typology has been coming of age over the last few decades. Today's typology, done competently, is at the cutting edge of theoretical linguistics. With no party line to be followed, it will be poised to discover rather than rehash for some time to come. Its potential for applied linguistics is considerable, as is beginning to be appreciated by those who apply linguistics to more than one language. Language description is rarely done these days in blissful ignorance of what is on record about the possibilities and limits of typological variation. Cultural and cognitive anthropology stand to benefit from being pursued in conjunction with a typology that has long shed its ideological biases.

"Linguistic Typology" is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal of international scope.

ISSN: 1430-0532; 1613-415X
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics