Item description for Language Endangerment And Language Revitalization (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs) by Tasaku Tsunoda...
In almost every part of the world, minority languages are threatened with extinction. At the same time, dedicated efforts are being made to document endangered languages, to maintain them, and even to revive once-extinct languages. The present volume examines a wide range of issues that concern language endangerment and language revitalization. Among other things, it is shown that languages may be endangered to different degrees, endangerment situations in selected areas of the world are surveyed and definitions of language death and types of language death presented. The book also examines causes of language endangerment, speech behaviour in a language endangerment situation, structural changes in endangered languages, as well as types of speakers encountered in a language endangerment situation. In addition, methods of documentation and of training for linguists are proposed which will enable scholars to play an active role in the documentation of endangered languages and in language revitalization. The book presents a comprehensive overview of the field. It is clearly written and contains ample references to the relevant literature, thus providing useful guidance for further research. The author often draws on his own experience of documenting endangered languages and of language revival activities in Australia. The volume is of interest to a wide readership, including linguists, anthropologists, sociologists, and educators.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.2" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Jan 30, 2004
Publisher Mouton de Gruyter
ISBN 3110176629 ISBN13 9783110176629
Availability 0 units.
More About Tasaku Tsunoda
Tasaku Tsunoda is Professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
Tasaku Tsunoda has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Tokyo.
Reviews - What do customers think about Language Endangerment And Language Revitalization (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs)?
A valuable reference Feb 20, 2006
Disclaimer: I'm one of Professor Tsunoda's students, and helped edit the English edition of this book -- not that much assistance was needed! There aren't any reviews posted, so mine will be a bit long-ish.
Have you read books like Andrew Dalby's "Language in Danger" or David Crystal's "Language Death" and wanted something a bit more academic-oriented and informative? Are you a linguistics major who's considering doing fieldwork on an endangered or minority language? The two books above will pique your interest in endangered languages; Professor Tsunoda's book will take you one step further and serve as a reference manual for your own studies.
"Language Endangerment and Language Revitalization" is an invaluable reference work for graduate students and anyone venturing into the field of endangered languages and the state of their documentation and revitalization activities. Despite being packed with reference material, it's quite usable as a textbook (our class used it) and doesn't lack for readability.
Each chapter introduces another aspect of language endangerment, and presents essential terminology, summaries of previous work, and an introduction to various linguists and their positions on debates in different areas. Chapter 10 (Maintenance and Revival) is particularly useful and fascinating -- a look at how moribund and once-extinct languages are being brought back. This is the soul of the book, and Chapters 12 (Role and ethics of researchers) and 13 (Methods of documentation and training of fieldworkers) will serve as your instruction manual as you perform your own research.
Almost every page is filled with references to previous works, painstakingly noted with a very complete bibliography. This alone makes it something you'll find yourself referring to often.
If you're not familiar with Aboriginal Australian languages, you soon will be. Professor Tsunoda is an expert on several Australian tongues which have gone extinct within living memory, are precariously endangered, or are in the process of revival. The overemphasis on these languages, and the numerous examples using them, can be off-putting if you're expecting the entire globe to be equally represented, but their obscurity can be the very thing that makes this book instructive -- the Warrungu language's syntactic ergativity in particular is one rare linguistic feature that you would never know about if not for books like this.
I give the book four and a half stars, rounded up to five now that the price will finally be within reach -- a paperback edition is coming soon, putting this valuable reference in the realm of affordability to students as well as faculty. And if you're a university librarian or linguistics department administrator, you should be buying it now.
In conclusion, as a postgraduate linguist myself, not a week goes by when I'm not thinking back to important concepts and previous research mentioned in this book. Get it on your bookshelf and broaden your horizons to the world's endangered languages.