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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


The Eighth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment

Language Endangerment: Language Revitalisation and Reversing Language Shift

July 4th 2018




Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT




Call for Papers

Language revitalisation strategies aim to increase the number of speakers of an endangered language. This process may be an integral part of reversing language shift (RLS). These strategies, which make the endangered language an attractive and useful resource for modern users may be developed and implemented by linguists, the state, language activists and the speakers themselves. This conference invites papers that reflect on these issues: To what extent are the attitudes and approval of the speech community key to the successful implementation of RLS strategies? Should revitalisation strategies involve both ‘top down’ and ‘bottom-up’ initiatives? If there are opposing views within the speech community as to how language revitalisation should proceed, how can the linguist help facilitate consensus-building? How context-specific are successful revitalisation strategies and to what extent is it possible to replicate these strategies across different situations of language obsolescence (including, for example, creoles, signed languages and whistled languages)? What might the consequences of language revitalisation be in terms of the linguistic structure of the variety being revitalised? To what extent are ‘new speakers’ in speech communities where an endangered language is being revitalised also agents of linguistic change?

Abstracts: (200 words maximum) to be submitted via email to the organisers by April 9th 2018. Please include in the abstract document your name and your affiliation as you would like to see them in the programme.  

Paper format: 20 minutes + 10 minutes for questions



Please click here to register your place online.

The standard fee is £45 with a reduced fee of £25 for students (proof of student status will need to be presented). This includes lunches and refreshments at the conference and a wine reception in the Scholar’s Garden at Peterhouse. 

Please note that all bookings and payment have to be made via this website. We regret that there is no provision for delegates to pay on the day.   

Bookings that are not accompanied by payment will not be registered on the system.

The programme is available to download here.

A booklet containing abstracts for all of the papers to be given at the conference is available here.



The organisers are unable to arrange or help book accommodation. However, the following websites may be useful:

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