[Elsnet-list] FEL XIII Proceedings: Endangered Languages and History - new book

Nicholas Ostler nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk
Wed Mar 31 16:29:20 CEST 2010

The Foundation for Endangered Languages held its thirteenth conference
in Khorog or Khorugh (Tajikistan) in September 2009, in collaboration
with the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. It concerned the
significance of endangered languages in world history.

The conference discussed the complex interaction of Endangered Languages
and History and how the study of history can encourage the preservation
and promote the revitalization of endangered languages.

Endangered languages are often survivors from ancient nations and
civilizations. Many of these languages have been widely used in vast
territories for centuries before giving way to more powerful and
influential languages over a period of time for various social,
economic, literary, political, and natural reasons. It is often
precisely in the endangered languages of minorities and indigenous
peoples that scholars seek answers to the historical developments of
nations, their values and ethics, agricultural activities, habitat, way
of life, migration patterns, arts and crafts, religious traditions,
archaeological findings, etc.

Endangered languages can serve to legitimize the sovereignty of the
dominant nations, or to reaffirm their identity and authority over the
territory, often at the expense of other languages. In the process, the
endangered languages themselves may be strengthened or weakened as the
past of the nation becomes a bone of contention.

History also has value in the life of a community and can foster and
promote a sense of identity among its members, thus perhaps playing a
crucial role in the preservation or revitalization of the endangered

The proceedings of the conference are now available, entitled
"Endangered Languages and History", edited by Hakim Elnazarov and
Nicholas Ostler. (ISBN 9780956021007)

It is an 192-page volume, and the contents look like this:

Index of Authors
Map of Language Locations by Page Number
Index of Languages

Hakim Elnazarov and Nicholas Ostler 	Preface: Endangered Languages and 

Resolution of the FEL XIII Conference (bilingual – English-Russian)

Nicholas Ostler	The Pedigree of Nations: Endangered Languages’ Value to

SECTION 1	Historical Sources in Language Preservation
Olga Kazakevich	Community History against a Background of the History of
   Russia reflected in Life Stories of the Ket, Selkup, and Evenki
Tjeerd de Graaf	The Use of Historical Documents and Sound Recordings for
   the Study and Safeguarding of Endangered Languages
Leila Dodykhudoeva and Vladimir Ivanov	Data Elicitation in Endangered
   Pamiri communities: Interdependence of Language and History
McKenna Brown	Who Owns the Mayan Apocalypse? Identity Claims in El 13
   B'aktun by Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez

SECTION 2	Identity and Language Shift
Cassie Smith-Christmas	Gaelic History, Identity, and Language Shift
Inayatullah Faizi	Religion as a Tool of  Social Domination: Case 
    study of Kalasha from Chitral, Northern Pakistan
Elbon Hojibekov	The Use of Shughni language in Ghoron of Ishkashim
   district of Badakshan and the Causes of its Demise. (in Tajik)
Vlada Baranova	 Deportation and Language Identity in Kalmykia

SECTION 3	Language and State: Past and Present
Dörte Borchars	The Career of Endangered Languages in Nepal’s Young 
Gaybullah Babayarov and Andrey Kubatin	The Role of the Sogdian Language
   in the Western Turkic Qaghanate (in Russian)
Shahnaz Hunzai	Economic Ascendancy and Cultural Dominance in the
   Northern Areas: A Threat to the Existence of Burushaski
Khushnazar Pomirzod	Shughni Language as a Language of a Khayani   Tribe 
in Avesto (in Dari)

Historical Perspective on Language Shift
Gwendolyn Hyslop and Karma Tshering	The Tasha-Sili Language of Bhutan: a 
Case Study in Language Shift and Bhutanese Pre-history
Maya David and Caesar DeAlwis	The Importance of a Historical Perspective 
in Language Shift Studies: Focus on Minority Indian Communities in 
Kuching, Malaysia
Logan Sutton	Kiowa-Tanoan: What’s in the Hyphen?

Vincent Wintermans	An Early Attempt to Prepare a Global Strategy for 
Endangered Languages: CIPL, IIIC and the 'primitive languages in process 
of extinction' (1928-1929)
Michael Walsh	The Rise and Fall of GIDS in accounts of Language Endangerment
Boghshoh Lashkarbekov	The Influence of the Global and Migration 
Processes on the Destiny of the Pamiri Languages and the People of Pamir
(in Russian)

Endangered Language as Historical Source
Paolo Coluzzi	Language Vitality and “Historical Presence”
Joy Edelman	Reflection of the History of the Pamir Peoples in the 
Pamiri Languages (in Russian)
Sulaiman Nuristani	Historical Development of the Languages and   Culture 
of the People of Nuristan, Afghanistan (in Dari)

OPEN SESSION: Reflection of Pamiri Languages in the Customs and Literary
Traditions of People of Badakhshan
Saifiddin Mirzoev	Yaghnob is My Motherland and Sughdi is My   Language 
(in Tajik)
La'ljuba Mirzohasanov	Historical and Educational Values of Folk Songs 
in Pamiri (Shughni) Language (in Tajik)
Zarifa Nazarova, and Nazar Nazarov	Language Situation in the Western 
Pamir: Case of Linguistic Materials on the Endangerment of Ishkashimi 
Language (in Tajik)

Learning from History: Prospects for Language Revitalization
Saiqa Asif	Death by Desertion: Linguistic Meltdown of Siraiki Idioms and 
Muqbilsho Alamshoev	Historical Formation and Prospects for Preservation 
of Pamirian Languages (in Russian)
Varka Okhoniyozov	Pamiri Native Poetry as a Shield to Traditions   and 
Beliefs of the People of Pamir (in Tajik)

FEL Manifesto


Copies are now available, at 20 pounds sterling (US$ 35	or 25 euro) 
apiece (including surface postage and packing). For air-mail dispatch, 
please add 7.50 pounds/US$ 12.50/10 euro. Cheaper prices are available 
to FEL members, but copies are already on their way to paying members.

You can pay by

- a cheque (in pounds sterling) payable to "Foundation for
Endangered Languages".

- a check (in US $) payable to "Nicholas Ostler".

- proof of having sent an equivalent sum in your own currency to the
bank account, "Foundation for Endangered Languages", Account no: 50073456,
The Cooperative Bank (Sort code: 08-90-02), 16 St. Stephen's Street,
Bristol BS1 1JR, England.
(IBAN: GB86 CPBK 0890 0250 073456; and Bank Identification Code: CPBK GB22)
- or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, EuroCard), enclosing Card number,
Expiry date (month | year), Name (as on card), and Address (as on card).

To expedite delivery, please send orders to me at the address below, or 
place your order at 


Nicholas Ostler

Chairman, Foundation for Endangered Languages
172 Bailbrook Lane, Bath, BA1 7AA, England

nostler at chibcha.demon.co.uk

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