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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

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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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Academic Paper

Title: Bukharan Tajik
Author: Shinji Ido
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Nagoya University
Linguistic Field: Language Documentation; Phonetics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Bukharic
Abstract: Standard Tajik, or Modern Literary Tajik as it was called during the Soviet era, was established in the nineteen twenties and thirties based largely on the dialects of the Bukhara-Samarkand area, which was at the time the undisputed cultural centre of the Tajik-speaking population. Dushanbe, the current capital of Tajikistan, was then a small village with a population of only a few hundred and had no cultural heritage comparable to that of Bukhara or Samarkand. Bukharan Tajik, whose phonology is described in this paper, is a variety of Tajik that played a particularly influential role in the phonological standardization of Tajik, which took place for the most part in 1930. For instance, the Scientific Conference of Uzbekistan Tajiks of 1930 resolved that the dialect of Bukhara must be the designated basis of the sound and orthography of literary Tajik (вaroji tajjorī вa kanfiransijaji ilmiji istalinoвod 1930: 2). In August the same year, the Linguistic Conference held in the then newly established Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic also adopted a similar resolution that establishes the ‘language of the Tajiks of Samarkand and Bukhara’ as the reference point in establishing the literary (i.e. standard) pronunciation (Halimov 1974: 126). According to Bergne (2007: 82), ‘the same Linguistic Conference of 22 August 1930 in Stalinabad decided that the phonetic base for the language had better be the dialect of Bukhara’. Thus, the Bukharan Tajik of today is the direct descendant of the variety of Tajik which served as a primary basis of standard Tajik phonological norms; and hence differs little from standard Tajik phonologically and phonetically.


This article appears IN Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 44, Issue 1.

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