Foundation for Endangered Languages

Home | Manifesto | Membership details | Proceedings | Grant Applications | Newsletter | Links | Bibliography


2. Development of the Foundation

FEL X: Vital Voices - Endangered Languages and Multilingualism: Draft Programme for this year's conference in Mysore, India (25-27 October 2006)

The Foundation for Endangered Languages, in association with the Central Institute of Indian Languages, will hold its annual 2006 conference in India, home of more than a thousand languages and dialects, and a consciously multilingual policy stance by the Government of India.

Although many of these languages enjoy political and economic patronage, others are struggling to survive. Among these strugglers are the languages of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where communities are not only tiny, but also some of the most anciently independent tribes on the planet. The viability of many such small languages is threatened. This year's conference concerns the effects of multilingualism on smaller languages. A crucial question for this conference is how far poorly-conceived language planning policies may actually contribute to environmental imbalance and instability, dangers that are often very little understood. As we understand the effort to revitalize languages, this is no more than the support they need to develop in the face of new demands, including the increased bi- and multi-lingualism coming from globalization, urbanization and language contact. Contributions selected for the conference range across all the continents of the world, with a healthy emphasis on the problems local to the Indian Subcontinent.

25 October 2006
Session 1 Outlining the Danger
Haobam Multilingualism Endangered
Sipos On the Possibilities of Revitalising the Synya dialect of the Khanty language
Yadav Endangerment of Nepal’s indigenous languages

Session 2 Development and Changes
Stockton Carving both sides: globalization in education reform and language politics
David Language maintenance or language shift? A sociolinguistic study of the Temuan in urban Kuala Lumpur
Monaka, Kamwendo Linguistic minorities and marginalization in Botswana: prospects for survival

Session 3 Effects of Contact
Som Multilingualism and the Great Andamanese
Puttaswamy Contact and Convergence in Malto
Ansaldo, Lim Globalization as a means to empowerment for minority voices – Malay in Sri Lanka

26 October 2006
Session 4 Roles for Religion
Echeverria Speaking in tongues, saving souls
Benedicto, Dolores, Fendly, Gomez Language loss to a non-existent enemy: the case of the Tuahka
Hough Beyond linguistic documentation: giving new breath to indigenous voices

Session 5 Literacy Choices & Documentation
InamUllah Future of Torwali-speaking migrants in the urban areas of Pakistan.
Morey Small languages in a polylingual situation - the case of Turung
Avtans, Abbi Language documentation in Andamans: highs and lows

Session 6 Extreme Endangerment
Naik Vanishing Voices
Cardoso Challenges to Indo-Portuguese across India
Monaghan Wirangu and Gugada – the survival chances of two neighbouring Australian languages

Session 7 Majority-Minority Relationships
Elangaiyan Strategies proposed for arresting different types & degrees of language endangerment in India
Mallikarjun Karnataka, India – a case study
Schaefer, Egbokhare On profiles of use for majority languages in Southern Nigeria

27 October 2006
Session 8 Emerging Complexity
Jacquesson History, languages, and populations: a broader context for endangered languages
Modi The complexity and emergence of Hindi as Lingua Franca in Arunachal Pradesh
Dobrushina Multilingualism in Archi: communication, self-identification and social prestige.

Session 9 Cooperation with Neighbour Languages
Khadim Language shift in the minority Swat Kohistani community--the case of Ushojo
Coelho Betta Kurumba: prospects for native language education
Elnazarov Multilingualism in Pamir: challenges of preservation and revitalisation

Session 10 Community Response for Language Support
Rastogi Challenges and responses to the survival of a tribal language Raji
Schreyer Re-orientations in planning: a "language-as-cultural-resource" model from a Canadian First Nation
Sena Minority languages must be safeguarded, despite the difficulties, in a globalising world

Abstracts of selected papers, and much other relevant information, are available at the CIIL website

The Conference Venue
The Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, (CIIL) was set up by the Government of India in July 1969. It is a large institute with seven regional centers spread all over India, and is engaged in research and training in Indian languages other than English and Hindi. It helps to evolve and implement India’s language policy and coordinate the development of Indian languages. Mysore is a city in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. The former capital of the princely state of Mysore, ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty since the 14th century, it is now the administrative seat of Mysore District, the second largest in Karnataka, 135 km from Bangalore, the state capital. The city is known for its palaces and many other attractions. One of these is the Brindavan Gardens laid out beside the Krishnarajasagar dam (19km), particularly beautiful at night. There are also the Royal Palace, the Chamundi Hills, Srirangapatnam Temple, Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, Oriental Research Institute, and Museums of Folklore, and of Art and Archeology. The conference dates (25-27 October) will allow participants, if they wish, to witness Diwali (the festival of lights) on 23 October before coming to Mysore. A language-related excursion is planned for 28-29 October after the conference.

Bus: Mysore has inter-city and sub-urban public bus transportation.
Rail: Mysore is connected to Bangalore to the northeast via Mandya, and to Hassan to the northwest, to Chamarajanagar via Nanjangud to the southeast.
Air: The nearest accessible airport is at Bangalore.
For more details about the conference's local arrangements, please contact Dr B. Mallikarjun at CIIL Address other queries to the Chairman at

No FEL Grants in 2006

The Foundation is not issuing any new research grants in 2006, while we review our grant-giving policy for future years.

Reports have been coming in from last year’s grant recipients on the work they have completed with our financial help, and we hope to feature some of these in future issues.