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The 26th of September 2008 is the annual European Language Day, and this year is the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which among many other good things recognises "regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth".

So, when and where better to hold the Foundation for Endangered Languages' annual conference, than in Fryslân? It's all happening from September 24 to 27 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, at the Fryske Akademy, (who incidentally sponsor a Frisian spell-checker for MS Office - yes!)

The abstracts are on the web [.pdf]

They present a diversity of situations: endangered languages in Europe (Frisian itself of course, Cimbrian and Friulian in Italy, Gaelic on Skye, Guernesiais on Guernsey, Basque), in large rich countries (native Canadian and American languages), in small countries (Amazigh in Morocco), in very small rich countries (Iban in Brunei), in large countries that are rapidly becoming rich (in Yunnan, China), in the Russian Federation (Latgalian, Nivkh, Uilta, Ainu, Buryat, Evenk, Koryak, Itelman, Nenets, Saami, Khanty, Mansi, Selkup, Nenets, Komi-Zyrjans, Siberian Tatars) and other countries of the former USSR (Pamiri in Tajikstan), as well as immigrant languages (Malayalam in Malaysia, Japanese and Korean on Sakhalin Island, Yiddish), and mixed languages (Kormakiti Maronite Arabic on Cyprus).

And there's also a diversity of ideas about teaching, revitalisation, documentation, sociolinguistics, language rights, and the relationship of each to the others .... Every time we start to gloom about what point there is for speakers in documenting a language is, consider Hashem Ahmadzadeh's problem in teaching Kurdish at the new Centre for Kurdish Studies (University of Exeter, UK) - with dialect differences, and without a plethora of text books, dictionaries and grammars.

We don't have to miss out - FEL publishes its proceedings. Back orders are available - there's information in the newsletter [.pdf] on prices, as well as on how to join FEL.

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
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Links

E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

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Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages

Projects

ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text