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SoConDi: Sally Thomason on Language Endangerment

Friday, October 26, 2012
12:00 AM
Lorch 403

Come hear Sally's insights on the topic of endangered languages

Sally Thomason will present in SoConDi this Friday. Her presentation will be based on a chapter from a textbook on endangered that she is currently writing. The title and abstract of Sally's talk is below.

A Community Perspective on Language Endangerment: Language Loss as Cultural Loss

This presentation (based on Chapter 4 of my endangered languages textbook-to-be-if-I-ever-get-it-finished) examines language endangerment from the perspective of a community whose language is vanishing.  I'll examine aspects of language endangerment that concern (1) cultural cohesion and identity; (2) a traditional community language as a medium for artistic expression; and (3) the loss of knowledge about the natural world.  I'll explore the responses of minority communities to the imminent or recent loss of their heritage languages.  Finally, I'll consider the opposing view -- that linguistic homogeneity is preferable to linguistic diversity, for a variety of psychological, social, and political reasons.

Speaker: