The Internet: A lifeboat for endangered languages?
Published 30 November 2011 – Updated 05 December 2011
Although the English language continues to dominate the Internet, the
rise of global economic powerhouses like China and Russia has seen a
surge in what used to be considered second-tier languages, a Brussels
conference heard last week. Meanwhile, the UN predicts that half of
the world’s 6,000 languages will become extinct by the end of the
Access full article here.
Early in November the WFD met in Ål, Norway. Their topic this year was “Sign Languages as Endangered Languages”. The conference pulled from many different professions (academics, language policy experts, representatives from deaf associations, and deaf community members) and brought to light many issues that affect sign languages worldwide. The link below will take you to their page where they have posted both a written and a signed summary.
View the summary here
It is widely recognized in the fields of linguistics and anthropology that one of the most important issues facing humankind today is the rate at which our languages are dying. If the present trend continues, during the 21st century more than half of the world’s 7000 languages could become extinct, and most of these will vanish without being adequately recorded. The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have recognized the extreme urgency of documenting and describing endangered languages. With 2009 – 2011 support from the NSF’s Linguistics Division (BCS-0853665 and BCS-1027735), Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) Program, this project aims to: describe the linguistic nature and underpinnings of PISL; bring together sign language linguists and members of the PISL signing community for the purpose of language documentation, description, and to draw attention to this important, yet often times overlooked part of American Indian cultural and linguistic heritage. The project also provided PISL Linguistic Documentation Workshops on the Northern Cheyenne reservation, August 11 – 15, 2010, in collaboration with stakeholders from American Indian communities and tribal colleges.