Keynote Lecture – ‘Language Death: a Problem for All’ By David Crystal by Mr Cooper

Crystal PolaroidSpeaker: David Crystal (University of Bangor)

Full title: Language Death: a Problem for All

Disciplines: Linguistics/Literature

(This presentation previously given at the Compass Interdisciplinary Virtual Conference, here)

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RELATED SESSION AT ICA 2010 SINGAPORE:

Endangered Languages

Time: Thu, Jun 24 – 8:30am – 9:45am

Place: SUNTEC International Convention Centre, Room 206

Session Participants:

Ideologies of Revitalisation of Endangered Languages

Peter Austin (SOAS, Univ. of London)

Perspectives of Tribal Language Speakers of South Asia

Anvita Abbi (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Language Planning for Endangered Languages: Majority and Minority Perspectives

Julia Sallabank (SOAS, Univ. of London)

Vitality of Indigenous Languages: Some Considerations From Canada and Bolivia

Itesh Sachdev (SOAS, Univ. of London), Denise Arnold (Birkbeck, Univ. of London), Juan de Dios Yapita (Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara, La Paz)

Chair: Peter Austin (SOAS, Univ. of London)
Respondent: Bernadette Maria Watson (U of Queensland)
Chair: Itesh Sachdev (SOAS, Univ. of London)

Abstract:

The world’s linguistic diversity is in the hands of a fraction of its population, and is being threatened as communities shift from small languages to the few dominant tongues that are perceived to have economic, political, social and personal power. Although factors such as ‘language attitudes’ have been identified as contributing to this shift, there has been little research into what this means in theory and practice, and how it operates across the diverse language communities of the world. Also, although various individual attempts have been made to ‘revitalise’ languages there has been little comparative research to identify effective policies and practices that can bolster linguistic vitality and support threatened languages. This symposium will take a multidisciplinary approach to explore the forces behind language endangerment and what can be done to respond to them at various levels, and to increase language vitality within communities.

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