The Second Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment will take place next year at Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Peterhouse on Friday 6th July 2012.
The theme of the conference will be:Language Endangerment: Methodologies and New Challenges
At a time when UNESCO deems 43% of the world’s 6,000 languages at risk of extinction, the imperative to record and analyse these linguistic varieties while they are still spoken has scarcely been greater. Yet researchers have ostensibly been slow to avail themselves of the opportunities offered by new techologies, from visual and aural archiving, to digitisation of textual resources and electronic mapping, techniques which could have the potential to play an integral role in reversing language shift. However, it is clear that with these new technologies come new challenges for the linguist. The Second Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment invites researchers to bring forward their ideas for tackling these issues: to share experiences from the field, to consider how these new resources might best be applied, as well as the problems that they can bring, to reassess more traditional techniques in light of new technologies and to work with a view towards achieving a practicable synthesis of old and new methodologies. At this critical time, the conference seeks to ignite the debate as to what, if indeed anything, new technologies have to offer the fields of documentation, revitalization and maintenance, and how the research community might seek to enhance the functionality of these resources in order to advance their application beyond mere superficies.