This book presents a comprehensive overview of endangered languages with a global coverage. It features such well-known specialists as Michael Krauss, Willem F. H. Adelaar, Denny Moore, Colette Grinevald, Akira Yamamoto, Roger Blench, Bruce Connell, Tapani Salminen, Olga Kazakevich, Aleksandr Kibrik, Jonathan Owens, David Bradley, George van Driem, Nicholas Evans, Stephen A. Wurm, Darrell Tryon and Matthias Brenzinger. The contributions are unique in analysing the present extent and the various kinds of language endangerment by applying shared general indicators for the assessment of language endangerment.
Apart from presenting the specific situations of language endangerment at the sub-continental level, the volume discusses major issues that bear universally on language endangerment. The actual study of endangered languages is carefully examined, for example, against the ethics and pragmatics of fieldwork. Practical aspects of community involvement in language documentation are discussed, such as the setting up of local archives and the training of local linguists. Numerous case studies illustrate different language shift environments with specific replacing factors, such as colonial and religious conquests, migrations and governmental language education.
The book is of interest to students and scholars of linguistics with particular focus on endangered languages (and their documentation), typology, and sociolinguistics as well as to anthropologists and language activists.