Call for papers: FEL XIII: Endangered Languages and History

The Foundation for Endangered Languqages is holding its thirteenth annual conference this year in Tajikistan, in association with the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and The Institute of Humanities, Khorog.
Place: Institute of Humanities, Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Khorog Tajikistan
Dates: 24-26 September, 2009
Abstract deadline: March 1, 2009
The languages of the conference: English, Russian and Tajik. Abstract and papers will be accepted in any of these languages. Go to the conference website for further information. But I’ve put the conference themes below in full, because they make one think about history in a serious and interesting way.

Call for Abstracts:
Endangered languages are often the remnants of old nations and civilizations. Many of these languages have been widely used in vast territories for centuries before giving way to more powerful and influential languages over a period of time for various social, economic, literary, political, and natural reasons. It is often precisely in the endangered languages of minorities and indigenous peoples that scholars seek answers to the historical developments of nations, their values and ethics, agricultural activities, habitat, way of life, migration patterns, arts and crafts, religious traditions, archaeological findings, etc. Endangered languages can serve to legitimise the sovereignty of the dominant nations, or to reaffirm their identity and authority over the territory, often at the expense of other languages. In the process, the endangered languages themselves may be strengthened or weakened as the past of the nation becomes a bone of contention. History also has value in the life of a community and can foster and promote a sense of identity among its members, thus perhaps playing a crucial role in the preservation or revitalisation of the endangered languages.
The conference will discuss the complex interaction of Endangered Languages and History and how the study of history can encourage the preservation and promote the revitalisation of endangered languages. The following are some of the aspects of this interface which could be discussed at the conference, certainly not an exclusive list:
* The role of endangered languages in the writing of history. Endangered languages as a medium for history writing, a source of historical data, and a basis for the buttressing of the historiography of a nation, region, empire, etc.
* Methods and tools used to relate history to endangered languages, including the effects of imperialism and nationalism on their perceived status. The impact of conquest, political annexation, economic ascendency or cultural dominance on languages and their resulting endangerment; conversely, the contributions of endangered languages to the evolution of the language of empire.
* Use of endangered languages in the study of literary sources and archaeological findings. Oral history, myth and oral literature as instruments of decipherment of sources.
* The use of endangered languages in strengthening historic community identities, at any level from family to nation. Endangered languages as a symbol of homogeneity, an instrument of unity and a vehicle of identity.
* What history tells us about the causes and trends of language attrition, including the role of language contact as a result of trade, war, conquest and missionary religion.
* How historical studies can contribute to the revitalisation of endangered languages.
* A historical perspective on the developing study of language endangerment and endangered languages. Historiography and epistemology of language endangerment.

Here at Endangered Languages and Cultures, we fully welcome your opinion, questions and comments on any post, and all posts will have an active comments form. However if you have never commented before, your comment may take some time before it is approved. Subsequent comments from you should appear immediately.

We will not edit any comments unless asked to, or unless there have been html coding errors, broken links, or formatting errors. We still reserve the right to censor any comment that the administrators deem to be unnecessarily derogatory or offensive, libellous or unhelpful, and we have an active spam filter that may reject your comment if it contains too many links or otherwise fits the description of spam. If this happens erroneously, email the author of the post and let them know. And note that given the huge amount of spam that all WordPress blogs receive on a daily basis (hundreds) it is not possible to sift through them all and find the ham.

In addition to the above, we ask that you please observe the Gricean maxims:

*Be relevant: That is, stay reasonably on topic.

*Be truthful: This goes without saying; don’t give us any nonsense.

*Be concise: Say as much as you need to without being unnecessarily long-winded.

*Be perspicuous: This last one needs no explanation.

We permit comments and trackbacks on our articles. Anyone may comment. Comments are subject to moderation, filtering, spell checking, editing, and removal without cause or justification.

All comments are reviewed by comment spamming software and by the site administrators and may be removed without cause at any time. All information provided is volunteered by you. Any website address provided in the URL will be linked to from your name, if you wish to include such information. We do not collect and save information provided when commenting such as email address and will not use this information except where indicated. This site and its representatives will not be held responsible for errors in any comment submissions.

Again, we repeat: We reserve all rights of refusal and deletion of any and all comments and trackbacks.

Leave a Comment