It is estimated that, if nothing is done, half of 6000 plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century. With the disappearance of unwritten and undocumented languages, humanity would lose not only a cultural wealth but also important ancestral knowledge embedded, in particular, in indigenous languages.
However, this process is neither inevitable nor irreversible: well-planned and implemented language policies can bolster the ongoing efforts of speaker communities to maintain or revitalize their mother tongues and pass them on to younger generations.The aim of UNESCO’s Endangered Languages Programme is to support communities, experts and governments by producing, coordinating and disseminating :
- tools for monitoring, advocacy, and assessment of status and trends in linguistic diversity,
- services such as policy advice, technical expertise and training, good practices and a platform for exchange and transfer of skills.
- UNESCO Introduction to Endangered Languages
features to note:
Title: Theoretical Perspectives on Native American Languages
Authors/Editors: Donna B. Gerdts & Karin Michelson
Length: 2 parts | 11 Chapters | 281 pages
Type: Fictional | Non-fictional
Pictures: yes / no (however, linguistic diagrams are included)
Citation (MLA): Gerdts, Donna B., and Karin Michelson. Theoretical Perspectives on Native American Languages. Albany, NY: State University of New York, 1989. Print.
Summary given: ”American linguistics has a tradition of finding unique and important insights from studies of Native American languages, often leading to innovations in current theories. At the same time, research on Native languages has been enhanced by the perspectives of modern theory. This book extends this tradition by presenting original analyses of aspects of six Native languages of Canada - Algonquin, Athapaskan, Eskimo, Iroquoian, Salishan, and Siouan.
Addressing problems relevant to phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, the authors make both descriptive and theoretical contributions by presenting data that has not been previously published or treated from the viewpoint of contemporary theory”
“Linguistic Anthropology is the comparative study of the ways in which language shapes social life. It explores the many ways in which practices of language use shape patterns of communication, formulate categories of social identity and group membership, organize large-scale cultural beliefs and ideologies, and, in conjunction with other semiotic practices, equip people with common cultural representations of their natural and social worlds. If you are interested in studying linguistic anthropology, be sure to visit our directory of linguistic anthropology programs.
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-From the “About the SLA”