With world-wide environmental destruction and globalization of economy, a few languages, especially English, are spreading rapidly in use, while thousands of other languages are disappearing, taking with them important cultural, philosophical and environmental knowledge systems and oral literatures. We all stand to suffer from such a loss, none more so than the communities whose very identity is being threatened by the impending death of their languages. In response to this crisis, indigenous communities around the world have begun to develop a myriad of projects to keep their languages alive.
This volume is a set of detailed accounts about the kind of work that is going on now as people struggle for their linguistic survival. It also serves as a manual of effective practices in language revitalization.Following are the key features: 23 case studies of language revitalization in practice, from Native American languages, Australian languages, Maori, Hawaiian, Welsh, Irish, and others, written primarily by authors directly involved in the programs; short introductions situate the languages, to help make the languages more 'real' in the minds of readers; each chapter gives a detailed overview of the various kinds of programs and methods in practice today; introductions and maps for each of the languages represented familiarize the reader with their history, linguistic structure and sociolinguistic features; and, strong representation in authorship and viewpoint of the people and communities whose languages are threatened, gives the readers an inside understanding of the issues involved and the community-internal attitudes toward language loss and revitalization.
This book was previously published by Academic Press under ISBN 978-01-23-49354-5.