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Language Endangerment: Language Policy and Planning

When Jul 26, 2013
from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Where CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT
Contact Name
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Mari Jones (Department of French/Peterhouse, University of 3rd conference on Endangered LanguagesCambridge)

Christopher Connolly (Peterhouse, University of Cambridge)

Call for Papers

Language policy is where linguistics meets politics. Linguistic  legislation serves as a medium through which power is negotiated between different speech communities within a given society. Where varieties are endangered, language policy often takes the form of specific ideologies that underlie language planning strategies. As such, its goals may be specific and practical in nature, such as orthographic reform, or more emblematic, such as measures for the promotion and protection of vulnerable languages. However, language policy issues are imbued with a powerful symbolism that is often linked to questions of identity, with the suppression or failure to recognize and support a given variety representing a refusal to grant a ‘voice’ to the corresponding ethnocultural community. This conference will consider how and whether the interface between people, politics and language can affect the fortunes of the endangered linguistic varieties involved. Can policy really alter linguistic behaviour, or does it merely ratify changes already underway within the speech community? Do governments have a moral obligation to support endangered languages? Should linguists play a role in shaping language policy and, if so, what should that role be? When policy decisions are at odds with the will of the speech community, which will triumph? We welcome papers on a range of related topics including the association of revitalization campaigns with political movements (parasitic pragmatism or beneficial cooperation?); the relationship between language policy and language planning (complementary or conflicting?); 'top-down' vs. 'bottom-up' language policy; and models for analysing and evaluating the outcomes of language policy.

Abstracts: (200 words maximum) to be submitted via email to the organisers by April 1st 2013.

Plenary speaker - Professor Lenore Grenoble (University of Chicago)

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