International conference in Wilamowice, Poland, June 11-13

ImageWe would like to help our colleagues at Revitalizing Endangered Languages spread the word out about their upcoming conference. The event takes place in Wilamowice, Poland, from June 11th to 13th, 2014. The focus of the conference is the following languages: Nahuatl, spoken in Mexico; and Lemko and Wymysorys, spoken in Poland.

Conference Title:

ENDANGERED LANGUAGES: COMPREHENSIVE MODELS FOR RESEARCH AND REVITALIZATION

Description:

The conference seeks to explore new approaches to language revitalization, such as the development of research models based on close collaboration between scholars and the native speakers of endangered languages as well as their communities. We plan to bring together and foster vital networking among field researchers in language revitalization and documentation, language activists and members of speech communities. We believe that the revitalization of a language cannot be accomplished unless its speakers’ voices are heard within the context of a global cultural heritage. Therefore attempts should be made to overcome the isolation of groups that struggle to preserve their languages. We are also convinced that cross-cultural contact and multilingualism, as well as the preservation and development of minority languages are sources of profound and long-lasting social benefits and innovations. The unique perspective that is coded within each language provides a distinct and unique set of critical and creative tools that are available to both native and non-native speakers.

The conference will provide a space for native speakers, community members and scholars to exchange and discuss common experiences as well as to present and discuss contributions to scientific knowledge about studied languages. It will be carried out within the framework of the project “Endangered languages: Comprehensive models for research and revitalization” carried out at the University of Warsaw, in collaboration with the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ), Adam Mickiewicz University and the Pedagogical University of Cracow.

Our project focuses on three endangered languages in two countries: Nahuatl in Mexico; and Lemko and Wymysorys in Poland. The conference will be held in Wilamowice, southern Poland, where Wymysorys—a severely threatened ethnolect and the only remnant of a former Middle High German language exclave —is spoken, and where a number of revitalization initiatives have been taking place in recent years. Topics covered in the conference will be:

• Language, identity and culture

• Interdisciplinary approaches to endangered language maintenance and extension

• Bottom-up solutions and grassroots initiatives in language revitalization: strategies, success stories, theory and practice

• Importance of academic research and language documentation for revitalization programs

• Importance of historical identity and traditional knowledge in revitalization

• Recreating and strengthening literary culture in minority/indigenous groups

• Cognitive potential of indigenous/minority languages: implications derived from linguistic and psycholinguistic research

• Multi/bilingual language education

 

Submit questions about the conference to: revitalization@al.uw.edu.pl

Visit the host organization’s website: http://www.revitalization.al.uw.edu.pl/

Practical information about the Conference is located here.

Thanks for reading!

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