- The Oxford Handbook of Endangered Languages
- Biographical Note
- Introduction: Endangered Languages
- The Status of the World’s Endangered Languages
- Assessing Degrees of Language Endangerment
- Language Contact and Language Endangerment
- Indigenous Language Rights—Miner’s Canary or Mariner’s Tern?
- The Goals of Language Documentation
- Documentation, Linguistic Typology, and Formal Grammar
- The Design and Implementation of Documentation Projects for Spoken Languages
- Endangered Sign Languages: An Introduction
- Design and Implementation of Collaborative Language Documentation Projects
- Tools and Technology for Language Documentation and Revitalization
- Corpus Compilation and Exploitation in Language Documentation Projects
- Writing Grammars of Endangered Languages
- Compiling Dictionaries of Endangered Languages
- Orthography Design and Implementation for Endangered Languages
- Language Archiving
- Tools from the Ethnography of Communication for Language Documentation
- Language Documentation in Diaspora Communities
- Ethics in Language Documentation and Revitalization
- Approaches to and Strategies for Language Revitalization
- Comparative Analysis in Language Revitalization Practices: Addressing the Challenge
- The Linguistics of Language Revitalization: Problems of Acquisition and Attrition
- New Media for Endangered Languages
- Language Recovery Paradigms
- Myaamiaataweenki: Revitalization of a Sleeping Language
- Language Revitalization in Kindergarten: A Case Study of Truku Seediq Language Immersion
- Māori: Revitalization of an Endangered Language
- Language Revitalization in Africa
- Planning Minority Language Maintenance: Challenges and Limitations
- Congruence Between Species and Language Diversity
- Sustaining Biocultural Diversity
- Traditional and Local Knowledge Systems as Language Legacies Critical for Conservation
- Climate Change and Its Consequences for Cultural and Language Endangerment
- Interdisciplinary Language Documentation
- Why Lexical Loss and Culture Death Endanger Science
- Funding the Documentation and Revitalization of Endangered Languages
- Teaching Linguists to Document Endangered Languages
- Training Language Activists to Support Endangered Languages
- Designing Mobile Applications for Endangered Languages
- Indigenous Language Use Impacts Wellness
Abstract and Keywords
The need for accurate measures of language endangerment is now more important than ever, given the global problem of language endangerment. In this chapter, different vitality measures are introduced and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. In particular, this chapter draws attention to the Language Endangerment Index. Learning from the strengths and weaknesses of previous approaches, LEI was developed for assessing the level of endangerment for any language in the world. It takes into account four separate factors: intergenerational transmission, absolute number of speakers, speaker number trends, and domains of use. LEI combines these four factors to obtain an overall rating, which can be used for quick reference or comparison. The scale also generates a certainty level, based on how many of the four factors were used in the assessment, which allows it to be used and interpreted accurately, even when little is known about a language’s situation.
Nala H. Lee is an assistant professor of linguistics at the National University of Singapore. She is interested in the spectrum of language change brought about by multilingualism. Specifically, her research interests include language endangerment, language death, and creole studies. She wrote a grammar of Baba Malay for her PhD dissertation, and is a co-developer of the Language Endangerment Index, which is used by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (www.endangeredlanguages.com). She has published in Language in Society, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, Language Documentation & Conservation, and Language.
John R. Van Way is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In his dissertation, he is documenting Nyagrong Minyag, an understudied and endangered language of western China. This language is experiencing a unique and imminent threat to its livelihood due to construction of a hydroelectric dam which will displace all of its speakers. John also served as project coordinator for the Catalogue of Endangered Languages during the initial phase of the project.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.