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  • Slide 1
  • Linguists, UNESCO, endangered languages Presentation by Anahit Minasyan Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO
  • Slide 2
  • Timeline YearDedicated initiativeRelated initiative 1992Launch of UNESCOs ELPCIPL congress & call 1994Red book of endangered languages 19961st edition of the Atlas 20012 nd edition of the AtlasUniveral declaration on cultural diversity 2002- 2003 UNESCO Ad Hoc Group on endangered languages 2003Language Vitality and Endangerment paper Convention on intangible heritage 2007Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples 2008UN Resolution on Multilingualism 20093rd edition of the Atlas GC debate on possible Convention World Culture Report
  • Slide 3
  • Main actors and stakeholders a) Member States (governments) b) Epistemic community(linguists, anthropologists) c) Speakers (grassroots NGOs, activists, indigenous groups) d) UNESCO Secretariat (international civil servants and national project officers)
  • Slide 4
  • Epistemic community Rationale: high esteem of scientific authority, legitimizing public action of governments and organizations Modalities within UNESCO soliciting contributions to documents (reports, policy guidelines, position papers, etc.) soliciting participation in expert meetings aiming to shed light on specific questions involving in Committees, Evaluation Panels or as consultants to tackle a particular research task or manage a project
  • Slide 5
  • Selected expert meetings organized by UNESCOs Culture Sector YearMeeting 1997International expert meeting on language policies in Africa (Harare) 2003International expert meeting on endangered languages (Paris) 2005- 2006 Reigional expert meetings in Bamako and Addid Ababa 2007Expert meeting on language mapping (Paris) 2011Expert meeting to review LVE (Paris)
  • Slide 6
  • A typical discourse production-diffusion-interpretation cycle ActorAction Epistemic communityproduces and popularizes a particular idea or an argument Governmentsinterpret/develop it into programmatic or normative texts, policies and measures (national level); resolutions and norms (international level) UNESCO / UN staffinterpret/develop it into advocacy texts, reports, guidelines; support implementation of norms Speaker communitiesappropriate and use to substantiate their claims for language rights and status, and/or to secure funding for their safeguarding efforts, provide feedback
  • Slide 7
  • Language Vitality and Endangerment paper
  • Slide 8
  • UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger: Three Print Editions (1996, 2001, 2010) First edition 1996 - in English, French and Spanish. 600 languages on 53 pages, 12 maps. Second updated edition 2001- in English only. 800 languages on 90 pages, 14 maps. Third edition - 2010 in English, French and Spanish. 2500 languages on 154 pages, 62 maps. For each language, the print Atlas provides: - name -degree of endangerment -country or countries where it is spoken.
  • Slide 9
  • Slide 10
  • Slide 11
  • Online Atlas Phase 1 (2008): intensive data collection and collation by an expert group
  • Slide 12
  • - researching and consolidating data - inputting data in the online tool - locating languages on the map - discussing over email: regional editors concerned + editor-in-chief + UNESCO
  • Slide 13
  • Phase 2 (2009-20012) - crowd-reviewing: feedback and content production by public, mediated by experts over 1000 user comments and suggestions submitted through various channels in 2009 2012 majority from speakers of listed languages
  • Slide 14
  • Overview of comments Comment status %Treatment stage Under treatment 37% UNESCO: accept / reject (offensive, nonsensical, duplicates) Editor-in-Chief : accept & forward to regional editor / close Regional editor(s) in consultation with Editor-in-Chief : verify & suggest update / verify and close; reply to author UNESCO: validate, update online Atlas Treated63%Rejected by UNESCO : 7 % Closed by Editorial Board : 51 % Validated by Board & reflected in online Atlas : 42 % Total100%
  • Slide 15
  • 375 updates, by type
  • Slide 16
  • Closed comments (no modification) Comment 699 about Soyot language (Russian Federation) marked as extinct in the Atlas. The user suggested that during a research project, he saw Soyot was taught at school and that school teachers could speak the language. The regional editor confirmed these efforts to revitalize the language since the 1970s but also observed that these attempts are yet to produce measurable impact. After deliberation between the Regional Editor and the Editorin-chief, it was decided not to amend the entry.
  • Slide 17
  • Validated comments - Bashkarik Degree of endangermentSeverely endangeredDefinitely endangered Number of speakersApproximately1500Estimated 40 000 speakers Alternate name(s)Gawri; Kalami; Kalkoti (dialect)Gawri; Kalami Iso-code(s)gwc, xkagwc Bibliography Joan L.G. Baart and Muhammad Zaman Sagar (2004): Kalam Kohistani Texts. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies and Summer Institute of Linguistics. Coordinateslat : 35.2893; long : 72.6168lat : 35.5222 ; long : 72.5817