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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


The Seventh Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment

Language Endangerment: Language Contact and Language Change

July 4th 2017


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



Mari Jones (Department of French/ Peterhouse, University of Cambridge)

Damien Mooney (Department of French, University of Bristol)


Call for Papers

Languages become endangered when their speakers are in contact with other speech varieties which are often considered to carry greater social prestige. These interactions commonly lead to some change in how one or more of the languages are spoken. This could be in terms of the linguistic structure of the language itself or of the sociolinguistic situation and context in which the language is spoken. This conference invites papers that reflect on these issues: How are the functions of the endangered languages affected by contact? Are the linguistic changes observable in the grammar and vocabulary of endangered languages essentially the same as those that we find in languages that are not endangered? Are there any particular kinds of linguistic change that are more likely to occur in endangered languages? When endangered languages are documented, to what extent should contact-induced linguistic changes be included in this record? How is the make-up of the endangered language speech community affected by bi- or multi-lingualism? Are the attitudes of speakers towards commonly-found types of language change (such as code-switching and borrowing) different in speech communities where a language is endangered, as compared to those where the language is not endangered? Can any similarities be found between contact-induced change in endangered sign languages and that which occurs in endangered spoken languages?  

Abstracts: (200 words maximum) to be submitted via email to the organisers by April 10th 2017. 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



The conference programme is available to download here


Abstract Booklet

The abstract booklet is available to download here.



Please click here to register your place online.

The standard fee is £40 with a reduced fee of £20 for students (proof of student status will need to be presented). This includes lunches and refreshments at the conference. 

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

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