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[ from Peter K. Austin, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, Linguistics Department, SOAS]

The recently established Fondation Chirac in collaboration with the Musée du quai Branly and Unesco is organising a one-day public event to be held on Monday 9th June in Paris called "SOROSORO pour que vivent les langues du monde!" (SOROSORO long live the languages of the world! ). Sorosoro in the Araki language of Vanuatu means ‘breath, word, language’. The event will highlight the current situation of language diversity and endangered languages and includes presentations by linguists from France, Gabon, Guatemala, UK and Vanuatu.

The programme begins at 3pm in the Claude Levi-Strauss Theatre at the Museum and includes the following presentations (my translations of the French original):

3pm
Rozenn Milin, Director of the Sorosoro Project
Presentation of the Sorosoro Project

Erik Orsenna, author, winner of the Goncourt Prize and member of the Academie Francaise and Rigoberta Menchu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2002
Introduction and welcome
3:30 pm
Colette Grinevald, Lyon-2 University
How to think about linguistic diversity: what it is and why should we preserve it
4pm
Peter K. Austin, SOAS
How linguists and communities are working together to document and support endangered languages
4:30pm
Patrick Mougiamao Daoudan, Omar Bongon University, Gabon
The languages of Gabon and biodiversity: 700 catalogued names of animals
5pm
Juliana Sis Iboyn, Director of OKMA (Centre for documentation of Guatemala Mayan languages) The languages of Guatemala: when the Maya put in place the process of revitalisation
5:30pm
Hannah Bogiri, University of South Pacific, Vanuatu Vanuatu, a small country with the highest linguistic density in the world: the politics of preservation
6pm
Jacques Chirac, former President of France Closing remarks

The event is free and open to all. It will be a great opportunity to highlight linguistic diversity issues and the high profile of the non-linguists attending is likely to attract attention and participation well beyond the usual academic audience

Comments

There is a video of my presentation here. Unfortunately the Powerpoint slides the accompany the talk are not visible. A better multimedia presentation is planned for the future.

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