SOAS University of London

SOAS in major initiatives to document and support endangered languages

18 December 2013

SOAS, University of London is helping to lead the way in documenting and supporting global linguistic diversity as it joins a series of international workshops and training courses on language documentation and revitalisation in 2014.

Professor Peter K. Austin, Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics and other staff in the Department of Linguistics will take a lead role in the series of international events which will focus on the training of researchers and native speakers of endangered languages.  

The first workshop, hosted by the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project, will take place on 19-25 February at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies; the second, hosted by Stockholm University, will take place on 23 June – 4 July in Stockholm and the third, hosted by the University of Hong Kong, will take place on 7-11 July in Hong Kong.

In addition, SOAS and Mahidol University in Bangkok will be co-hosting a British Council Researcher Links workshop ‘Collaboration for language preservation and revitalisation in Asia’ on 24-27 March.

This is a new initiative launched by the British Council and the Thailand Research Fund to encourage international research collaboration between early career researchers from the UK and counterparts in Thailand.

The aim is to bring together researchers and practitioners in language documentation and description, language policy/planning and mother tongue-based multilingual education to discuss the latest developments in their research. It will also help to create a new common ground for initiatives in language preservation, revitalisation and human development. A fieldtrip to a minority village community is included.

Professor Peter K. Austin said: “The Endangered Languages Project, established at SOAS in 2003, has become a world leader in training postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the theory and practice of language documentation and revitalisation. This series of events in 2014 will enable us to share our expertise and to learn from researchers around the world, especially members of endangered languages communities themselves.”

The call for Early Career Researchers from the UK and Thailand to participate in this workshop is currently open. The application form for UK participants can be found at the British Council Research webpages.

UK applicants should email elap@soas.ac.uk. Applications from Thailand should email suwilai.pre@mahidol.ac.th.

Deadline: 17 January 2014.

Visit the Endangered Languages Project at SOAS for further information.