Websites and online references
Languages and Multilingualism at UNESCO
This website outlines the full array of UNESCO’s activities in the domain of languages and multilingualism. A special emphasis is placed on the proclamation of 2008 the International Year of Languages by the UN General Assembly.
Academic programmes in the area of sociolinguistics, language description and documentation
A list of academic institutions that offer degrees and courses relevant to the safeguarding of endangered and indigenous languages is provided in the pdf document.
Grants for the Safeguarding of Endangered Languages
Grants for the documentation and revitalization of endangered and indigenous languages are available from the following organizations (last updated in May 2009).
Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (SOAS)
National Science Foundation
Foundation for Endangered Languages
The Endangered Languages Fund
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Sprachen
Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records
Sacred Earth Network Endangered Languages Program
Please click on the pdf document for more information and links.
The African Academy of Languages founded in 2001.
Adocacy toolkit for Multilingual Education
Produced by UNESCO/Bangkok, this kit is designed to raise awareness on the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education (MLE). It presents key arguments and facts about MLE and provides important insights about the value and benefits of providing education in learners’ mother tongue. The kit also presents ideas, research findings and concrete examples that you can use to think about your own situation and suggests steps for taking actions to make your school system more responsive to linguistic diversity.
The kit will be especially valuable for policy makers, education practitioners and specialists who want to improve access to and quality of education for those excluded by language. It will also be helpful for speakers of ethnic minority languages who want to improve the education situation in their own communities.
Aménagement linguistique dans le monde (Linguistic planning in the world)
This French language website presents linguistic situations in 354 states and autonomous territories in 194 officially recognized countries. The website is browsable by countries or regions, by language, by people or by type of linguistic policy.
American Indian Language Links
This website, hosted by the Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken (Puerto Rico), provides links to information on Native American Indian languages.
Comprehensive bibliography on language endangerment by Professor Tasaku Tsunoda
This bibliography was compiled and is regularly updated by Tasaku Tsunoda, Professor at the Department of Asian and Pacific Linguistics at Tokyo University. He is specialized in language endangerment, language typology and australian Aboriginal linguistics.
Department of the North and Siberia, IEA RAS (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Information and resources on the endangered languages of indigenous peoples of Siberia, Russian Federation.
DOBES database of Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics
The database DOBES, hosted by the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen (Netherlands), one of the research institutes of the german Max Planck Society, consists of a data archive covering sound material, video recordings, photos, and various textual annotations. The framework for this project was originally proposed to the Volkswagen-Stiftung by members of the Committee on Endangered Languages of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft. The work of this committee is nowadays continued by the Gesellschaft für bedrohte Sprachen (GBS).
Endangered Languages Fund
The Endangered Language Fund is devoted to the scientific study of endangered languages, the support of native efforts in maintaining endangered languages, and the dissemination, to both the native communities and the scholarly world, of the fruits of these efforts.
The Ethnologue database has been an active research project for more than fifty years and is a comprehensive listing of information about the currently-known languages of the world. It is sponsored and provided by Summer Insitute of Linguistics (SIL), a non-governmental institution based in Dallas (Texas, U.S.A.).
- Ethnologue Database by region and country: http://www.ethnologue.com/country_index.asp
- Ethnologue Database by language: http://www.ethnologue.com/language_index.asp
Contains detailed information and bibliographies on endangered languages in Europe.
European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL)
The European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL) provides a database of regional and minority languages of the European Union.
Foundation Chirac - Sorosoro, so the languages of the world may prosper!
The SOROSORO program aims at defending the cultural diversity and participating in the race to safeguard endangered languages, making use of digital technologies now available in collaboration with international researchers who are already engaged in the effort.
Foundation for Endangered Languages
The aims of the Foundation are:
- to raise awareness of endangered languages,
- to support the use of endangered languages in all contexts
- to monitor linguistic policies and practices, and to seek to influence the appropriate authorities where necessary;
- to support the documentation of endangered languages,
- to collect together and make available information of use in the preservation of endangered languages;
Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Sprachen
The goal of the German Association for Endangered Languages (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Sprachen – GBS) is to further the use, preservation and documentation of endangered languages and dialects.
Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, London)
HRELP is a project set up with a donation of £20 million from Arcadia (formerly the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund) to support the documentation of endangered languages. Some of HRELP’s objectives include: providing grants to document the world’s most endangered languages, training language documenters and preserving and distributing endangered language documentation.
LACITO Archive (Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale, CNRS, France)
LACITO Archive contains over 200 documents in 44 languages, annotated by some twenty specialists.
Language Maps Collection
The collection of language maps (by continents, regions, countries, languages) has been compiled by Ljuba Veselinova, researcher at the Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University.
The Language Museum is a linguistic website which offers the samples of 2000 languages in the world. Every sample includes 4 parts: a sample image, an English translation, the speaking countries and populations and the language’s family and branch. The Language Museum is constructed and maintained by Zhang Hong, an internet consultant and amateur linguist in Beijing, China.
Promotion of policies that protect language diversity and that foster the learning of several languages constitutes the basic orientation of the Linguapax Institute.
Linguapax was born as a UNESCO initiative stemming from an experts meeting in Kiev (1987) and it soon turned into a philosophy that inspires the activities of several institutions in the fields of sociolinguistics and language education
The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST maintains a web-site with over 2000 pages and runs a mailing list with over 17,500 subscribers worldwide. LINGUIST also hosts searchable archives of over 100 other linguistic mailing lists and runs research projects which develop tools for the field and recommendations of best practice for digitizing endangered languages data. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics professors and graduate students.
LSA/CELP Database of Endangered Languages
This database is provided by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) and their Committee on Endangered Languages & Their Preservation (CELP). The summary report includes 109 language researchers reporting on 151 languages/dialects.
MERCATOR: Linguistic Rights and Legislation
The main objective of the Mercator network is to make available for students, researchers, scholars and opinion and policy makers, a specialized resource centre and an information service devoted to European minoritized languages. Accordingly, it also intends to create a space aimed at interchanging experiences and documentation between the different European language communities.
Oral Tradition Journal
This free, open-access electronic journal edited by the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri is devoted to oral traditions and expressions, including an archive of 10,000 pages of back issues (since 1986).
Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC)
PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) offers a facility for digital conservation and access for endangered materials from the Pacific region, defined broadly to include Oceania and East and Southeast Asia (Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Australian National University, Australia).
At March 2008 PARADISEC’s collection contains 1926 hours of digital audio and video files on 3.45 TB of disk space. A catalogue of this material is available at the link given in the right hand frame of this page.
Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Programme
A programme working closely with endangered language communities engaged in language revitalisation to produce Rosetta Stone software in their language for their use only.
Script Encoding Initiative
The Script Encoding Initiative was set up at the Department of Linguistics of the University of California at Berkeley to fund proposals for those scripts currently missing in Unicode (and its ISO counterpart, 10646), the universal character encoding standard. It was officially established in April 2002.
Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
A Foundational Report for a Strategy to Revitalize First Nation, Inuit and Métis Languages and Culture
Teaching Indigenous Languages (University of Arizona)
This web site is an outgrowth of a series of annual conferences started in 1994 at Northern Arizona University (U.S.A.) focusing on the linguistic, educational, social, and political issues related to the survival of the endangered Indigenous languages of the world. It contains papers from the 1997 through 2003 conferences on indigenous language teaching, revitalizing and preserving and lots of additional information and links.
Terralingua supports the integrated protection, maintenance and restoration of the biocultural diversity of life - the world’s biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity - through an innovative program of research, education, policy and on-the-ground action.
Typological tools for fieldworkers
This website, hosted by the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), contains tools for use in field linguistics and language description. These tools include questionnaires and elicitation kits, which are designed to assist a field worker in data collection.
UNESCO Red Book on Endangered Languages
The UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages is hosted by the Department of Dynamic Linguistics at Tokyo University. It provides information on endangered languages listed by continents.
Virtual Linguistics Campus
The VLC Language Index allows users to examine more than 450 languages (most of them with standardized audio support) in several ways: via interactive maps with various search parameters (typology, cognates, language families) or via a pull-down list. Furthermore, users can add information or even create new language entries.
To access the Index, users have to register (for free). As soon as they login, they will see “My VLC”. Clicking on the “VLC Toolbox” link will enable the user to reach the VLC Language Index.