Endangered language

endangeredmoribundendangered languagesmoribund languagelanguage endangermentnearly extinctcritically endangeredseverely endangeredendangermentalmost disappeared
An endangered language, or moribund language, is a language that is at risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to speaking another language.wikipedia
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Language revitalization

language revivalrevitalizationrevival
Many projects are under way aimed at preventing or slowing language loss by revitalizing endangered languages and promoting education and literacy in minority languages, often involving joint projects between language communities and linguists.
Languages targeted for language revitalization include those whose use and prominence is severely limited.

Speaker types

rememberersemi-speakerlast native speaker
UNESCO operates with four levels of language endangerment between "safe" (not endangered) and "extinct" (no living speakers), based on intergenerational transfer: "vulnerable" (not spoken by children outside the home), "definitely endangered" (children not speaking), "severely endangered" (only spoken by the oldest generations), and "critically endangered" (spoken by few members of the oldest generation, often semi-speakers).
Within the linguistic study of endangered languages, sociolinguists distinguish between different speaker types based on the type of competence they have acquired of the endangered language.

Language

languageslinguisticlinguistic diversity
An endangered language, or moribund language, is a language that is at risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to speaking another language.
Humans also frequently speak more than one language, acquiring their first language or languages as children, or learning new languages as they grow up. Because of the increased language contact in the globalizing world, many small languages are becoming endangered as their speakers shift to other languages that afford the possibility to participate in larger and more influential speech communities.

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural OrganizationUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
While there is no definite threshold for identifying a language as endangered, UNESCO's 2003 document entitled Language vitality and endangerment outlines nine factors for determining language vitality:
Endangered languages and linguistic diversity projects

Language death

extinctextinctionlinguicide
An endangered language, or moribund language, is a language that is at risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to speaking another language.
Endangered language

Mayan languages

MayanMayaMayan language
1) War and genocide. Examples of this are the language(s) of the indigenous population of Tasmania who were wiped out by colonists, and many extinct and endangered languages of the Americas where indigenous peoples have been subjected to genocidal violence. The Miskito language in Nicaragua and the Mayan languages of Guatemala have been affected by civil war.
While a number of Mayan languages are moribund or are considered endangered, others remain quite viable, with speakers across all age groups and native language use in all domains of society.

Language shift

shiftshiftedshifting
An endangered language, or moribund language, is a language that is at risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to speaking another language.
The shift from Gaelic to Scots and Scottish English has been ongoing since about 1200 CE; Gaelic has gone from being the dominant language in almost all areas of modern-day Scotland to an endangered language spoken by only about 1% of the population.

Ainu language

AinuSakhalin Ainuain
1) Cultural, political, or economic marginalization creates a strong incentive for individuals to abandon their language (on behalf of themselves and their children) in favor of another more prestigious one. One example of this is assimilatory education. This frequently happens when indigenous populations, in order to achieve a higher social status, have better chance to get employment, or are forced to it in school, adopt the cultural and linguistic traits of a people who have come to dominate them through colonisation, conquest, or invasion; examples of this kind of endangerment are the Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Scots in Great Britain, the Ainu language in Japan, and the Chamorro language in Guam. This is the most common cause of language endangerment. Ever since the Indian government adopted Hindi as the official language of the union government, Hindi has taken over many languages in India. Other forms of cultural imperialism include religion and technology. Religious groups may hold the belief that use of a certain language is immoral or require its followers to speak one language that is the approved language of the religion. Cultural hegemony may often arise not from domination or conquest but simply from increasing contact with a larger and more influential language community through better communications compared with the relative isolation of past centuries.
Depending on the classification system used, According to UNESCO, Ainu is considered an endangered language.

SIL International

SILSummer Institute of LinguisticsInstituto de Lingüístico Verano
One of the most active research agencies is SIL International, which maintains a database, Ethnologue, kept up to date by the contributions of linguists globally.
The organization's focus on language description, language development and Bible translation, and the missionary activities carried out by many of its field workers have been criticized by linguists and anthropologists who argue that SIL aims to change indigenous cultures, which exacerbates the problems that cause language endangerment and language death.

Extinct language

extinctdead languageextinct languages
Language loss occurs when the language has no more native speakers and becomes a "dead language".
*Endangered language

Michael E. Krauss

Michael KraussKraussKrauss, Michael E.
Using an alternative scheme of classification, linguist Michael E. Krauss defines languages as "safe" if it is considered that children will probably be speaking them in 100 years; "endangered" if children will probably not be speaking them in 100 years (approximately 60–80% of languages fall into this category) and "moribund" if children are not speaking them now.
With his 1991 address to the Linguistic Society of America, Krauss focused awareness of the global problem of endangered languages.

Occitan language

OccitanProvençallangue d'oc
2) Political repression. This has frequently happened when nation-states working to promote a single national culture limit the opportunities for using minority languages in the public sphere, schools, the media, and elsewhere, sometimes even prohibiting them altogether. Sometimes ethnic groups are forcibly resettled, or children may be removed to be schooled away from home, or otherwise have their chances of cultural and linguistic continuity disrupted. This has happened in the case of many Native American and Australian languages, as well as European and Asian minority languages such as Breton, Occitan, or Alsatian in France and Kurdish in Turkey.
According to the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages, four of the six major dialects of Occitan (Provençal, Auvergnat, Limousin and Languedocien) are considered severely endangered, whereas the remaining two (Gascon and Vivaro-Alpine) are considered definitely endangered.

Breton language

BretonOld BretonBreton-language
2) Political repression. This has frequently happened when nation-states working to promote a single national culture limit the opportunities for using minority languages in the public sphere, schools, the media, and elsewhere, sometimes even prohibiting them altogether. Sometimes ethnic groups are forcibly resettled, or children may be removed to be schooled away from home, or otherwise have their chances of cultural and linguistic continuity disrupted. This has happened in the case of many Native American and Australian languages, as well as European and Asian minority languages such as Breton, Occitan, or Alsatian in France and Kurdish in Turkey.
The majority of today's speakers are more than 60 years old, and Breton is now classified as an endangered language.

Sign language

deaf sign languagesign languagessigning
However, some sign languages are also endangered, such as Alipur Village Sign Language (AVSL) of India, Adamorobe Sign Language of Ghana, Ban Khor Sign Language of Thailand, and Plains Indian Sign Language.
As with any spoken language, sign languages are also vulnerable to becoming endangered.

Lists of endangered languages

Endangered Languageslist of
Lists of endangered languages
The following lists of endangered languages are mainly based on the definitions used by UNESCO.

Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights

Barcelona declaration
Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights
The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (known also as the Barcelona Declaration) is a document signed by the International PEN Club, and several non-governmental organizations in 1996 to support linguistic rights, especially those of endangered languages.

Indigenous language

indigenousindigenous languagesautochthonous
Treasure language
Many indigenous peoples worldwide have stopped passing on their ancestral languages to the next generation, and have instead adopted the majority language as part of their acculturation into the majority culture.

Japan

🇯🇵JPNJapanese
1) Cultural, political, or economic marginalization creates a strong incentive for individuals to abandon their language (on behalf of themselves and their children) in favor of another more prestigious one. One example of this is assimilatory education. This frequently happens when indigenous populations, in order to achieve a higher social status, have better chance to get employment, or are forced to it in school, adopt the cultural and linguistic traits of a people who have come to dominate them through colonisation, conquest, or invasion; examples of this kind of endangerment are the Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Scots in Great Britain, the Ainu language in Japan, and the Chamorro language in Guam. This is the most common cause of language endangerment. Ever since the Indian government adopted Hindi as the official language of the union government, Hindi has taken over many languages in India. Other forms of cultural imperialism include religion and technology. Religious groups may hold the belief that use of a certain language is immoral or require its followers to speak one language that is the approved language of the religion. Cultural hegemony may often arise not from domination or conquest but simply from increasing contact with a larger and more influential language community through better communications compared with the relative isolation of past centuries.
The Ainu language, which has no proven relationship to Japanese or any other language, is moribund, with only a few elderly native speakers remaining in Hokkaido.

Endangered Languages Project

Catalogue of Endangered LanguagesThe Endangered Language ProjectThe Endangered Languages Project
Endangered Languages Project
The Endangered Languages Project (ELP) is a worldwide collaboration between Indigenous language organizations, linguists, institutions of higher education, and key industry partners to strengthen endangered languages.

Language ideology

language ideologiesideologicalideologies
Language ideology
Alan Rumsey also sees linguistic ideologies as playing a role in shaping the structure of a language, describing a circular process of reciprocal influence where a language's structure conditions the ideologies that affect it, which in turn reinforce and expand this structure, altering the language “in the name of making it more like itself.” This process is exemplified by the excessive glottalization of consonants by bilingual speakers of moribund varieties of Xinca, who effectively altered the structure of this language in order to make it more distinct from Spanish.

Red Book of Endangered Languages

Atlas of the World's Languages in DangerRed Bookendangered language
Red Book of Endangered Languages
The Red Book of Endangered Languages was published by UNESCO and collected a comprehensive list of the world's endangered languages.

Turkey

🇹🇷TurkishTUR
2) Political repression. This has frequently happened when nation-states working to promote a single national culture limit the opportunities for using minority languages in the public sphere, schools, the media, and elsewhere, sometimes even prohibiting them altogether. Sometimes ethnic groups are forcibly resettled, or children may be removed to be schooled away from home, or otherwise have their chances of cultural and linguistic continuity disrupted. This has happened in the case of many Native American and Australian languages, as well as European and Asian minority languages such as Breton, Occitan, or Alsatian in France and Kurdish in Turkey.
Endangered languages in Turkey include Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Cappadocian Greek, Gagauz, Hértevin, Homshetsma, Kabard-Cherkes, Ladino (Judesmo), Laz, Mlahso, Pontic Greek, Romani, Suret, Turoyo, Ubykh, and Western Armenian.

Language Documentation & Conservation

Language Documentation & Conservation (peer-reviewed open-access academic journal)
Language Documentation & Conservation is a peer-reviewed open-access academic journal covering all topics related to language documentation and conservation, including the goals of data management, field-work methods, ethics, orthography design, reference grammar design, lexicography, methods of assessing ethnolinguistic vitality, archiving matters, language planning, areal survey reports, short field reports on underdocumented or endangered languages, reports on language maintenance, preservation, and revitalization efforts, plus reviews of software, hardware, and books.

Language attrition

attritionlanguage lossattrited
Language loss occurs when the language has no more native speakers and becomes a "dead language".

Fluency

fluentfluentlyreading fluency
A dead language may still be studied through recordings or writings, but it is still dead or extinct unless there are fluent speakers.