Welcome to the Endangered Languages Subject Guide. This guide highlights some of the UConn Library's many resources that are available to assist you in your researches on Endangered Languages.
What is an endangered language? There is surprisingly little consensus, even in the terms which are used to discuss them. One may also find references to dying languages, vanishing languages, language obsolescence, and language attrition, and anthropological linguistics often discuss linguistic minorities.
In the United Nations Education , Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) document Language Vitality and Endangerment (2003), nine criteria are listed for determining a language's vitality:
At the same time, these criteria are not absolute. A vital language may have a relatively small number of speakers, and a language with a large number of speakers may be at risk of being diluted to the point of non-recognition. In On the Death and Life of Languages, Claude Hagege recognizes this, stating that "languages accompany human groups. They disappear with them; or, on the contrary, if those groups are large and quick to spread beyond their original environment, the languages can be dispersed, in their wake, over vast territories" (p. 3),
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