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LMU Symposium

When languages fall silent

Munich, 07/09/2013

Thousands of languages and dialects all over the world are threatened with extinction. A symposium on “Endangered Languages” at LMU considers how their vocabulary and grammar can be preserved.

Linguists from far and near gather in Munich this week to discuss the status and the future of “Endangered Languages”. The conference is being held at LMU from 10 -12 July, and has been organized by the Language Section of the Graduate School on Language and Literature Munich at LMU, in cooperation with the Commission for Dialect Research in the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

Over 6500 languages are spoken in the world today and, of these, roughly 2500 are classified as endangered. Acutely threatened languages from several continents will be highlighted during the Munich symposium. Among those on the Symposium’s agenda is Barossa German, a dialect that evolved among German-speaking immigrants who settled in the State of South Australia. Many visual or gestural languages, including German Sign Language, are also in decline.

One session of the Symposium is devoted to methods of documenting languages and the role of the internet and related digital technologies in helping to preserve the world’s linguistic heritage. The impact of language policy on the vitality of vernaculars will also be considered, with reference to - among others - Bavarian German, which is classified as threatened by UNESCO.

Date and Venue:
Gefährdete Sprachen
10 -12 July 2013
Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Alfons-Goppel-Straße 11
80539 Munich


The Symposium is open to interested members of the public.
To register, please contact:
Christiane Jell
Kommission für Mundartforschung
Phone: +49 89/23031-1178



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