Endangered languages conference: call for papers

the next foundation for endangered languages conference is going to be held in Tajikistan. Here is the call for papers. I must admit I was a little more enthusiastic about this conference before it found that exactly where in the country it is; I can’t help feeling that being that close to the border with Afghanistan is not the sort of thing I would do on my own…

[ Sorry for the bad formatting, it is cut and pasted from my e-mail program and I’m one-handed at the moment so formatting is a little more trouble than it usually is.]
Foundation for Endangered Languages

in association with the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and

The Institute of Humanities, Khorog

Conference: Endangered Languages and History

Place: Institute of Humanities,

Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan,



Dates: 24-26, September, 2009

Call for Abstracts: FEL XIII

Endangered languages are often the remnants of old nations and

civilizations. Many of these languages have been widely used in vast

territories for centuries before giving way to more powerful and

influential languages over a period of time for various social,

economic, literary, political, and natural reasons. It is often

precisely in the endangered languages of minorities and indigenous

peoples that scholars seek answers to the historical developments of

nations, their values and ethics, agricultural activities, habitat, way

of life, migration patterns, arts and crafts,  religious traditions,

archaeological findings, etc. Endangered languages can serve to

legitimise the sovereignty of the dominant nations, or to reaffirm their

identity and authority over the territory, often at the expense of other

languages.. In the process, the endangered languages themselves may be

strengthened or weakened as the past of the nation becomes a bone of

contention. History also has value in the life of a community and can

foster and promote a sense of identity among its members, thus perhaps

playing a crucial role in the preservation or revitalisation of the

endangered languages.

The conference will discuss the complex interaction of Endangered

Languages and History and how the study of history can encourage the

preservation and promote the revitalisation of endangered languages. The

following are some of the aspects of this interface which could be

discussed at the conference, certainly not an exclusive list:

–    The role of endangered languages in the writing of history. Endangered

languages as a medium for history writing, a source of historical data,

and a basis for the buttressing of the historiography of a nation,

region, empire, etc.

–    Methods and tools used to relate history to endangered languages,

including the effects of imperialism and nationalism on their perceived

status. The impact of conquest, political annexation, economic

ascendency or cultural dominance on languages and their resulting

endangerment; conversely, the contributions of endangered languages to

the evolution of the language of empire.

–    Use of endangered languages in the study of literary sources and

archaeological findings. Oral history, myth and oral literature as

instruments of decipherment of sources.

–    The use of endangered languages in strengthening historic community

identities, at any level from family to nation.   Endangered languages

as a symbol of homogeneity, an instrument of unity and a vehicle of


–    What history tells us about the causes and trends of language

attrition, including the role of language contact as a result of trade,

war, conquest and missionary religion.

–    How historical studies can contribute to the revitalisation of

endangered languages.

–    A historical perspective on the developing study of language

endangerment and endangered languages. Historiography and epistemology

of language endangerment.

The languages of the conference: English, Russian and Tajik. Abstract

and papers will be accepted in any of these languages.

Abstract Submission

An abstract of no more than 500 words should be submitted before 1st of

March, 2009. After this deadline, abstracts will not be accepted.

It is possible to submit an abstract in English for a Russian or Tajik papaer.

In addition to the abstract, on a separate page, please include the

following information:

NAME : Names of the author(s)

TITLE:  Title of the paper

INSTITUTION: Institutional affiliation, if any

E-MAIL: E-mail address of the first author, if any

ADDRESS: Postal address of the first author

TEL: Telephone number of the first author, if any

FAX: Fax number of the first author, if any

For submission of abstracts three methods are possible, as below.

1. EasyChair (English abstracts only):

Authors will have to take the following steps:

– go to http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=felxiii2009

– if you already have an EasyChair account you can just enter your user

name and password and log in.

– if you don’t have an account click on the link ‘then click here’ and

follow the instructions and then log in.

– click on ‘new submission’ and follow the instructions.

You will be taking the “Abstract Only” option, which requires Latin-1 characters. Consequently, submission in Russian or Tajik is not possible via EasyChair.

We shall publish more guidelines for the submission process on


2. E-Mail:

In case you are not able to submit your abstract via EasyChair, please

send it (with details) via e-mail to hakimelnazar@yahoo.com and

nostler@chibcha.demon.co.uk  with the subject of the e-mail stating:

“FEL Abstract: <last name of the author(s)>: <title of paper>”..

If the abstract is in Russian or Tajik it should also be copied to


3. Post:

Finally, in case you are not able to submit your abstract via EasyChair

or e-mail, please send your abstract and details on papaer to the following address (to arrive by 1 March, 2009):

FEL XIII Conference Administration

Foundation for Endangered Languages

172 Bailbrook Lane

Bath        BA1 7AA

United Kingdom

The name of the first author will be used in all correspondence. Writers

will be informed once their abstracts have been accepted and they will

be required to submit their full papers for publication in the

proceedings before June 15, 2009 together with their registration fee

(amount still to be determined). Each presentation at the Conference

will last twenty minutes, with a further ten minutes for discussion and

questions and answers. Keynote lectures (by invitation only) will last

forty-five minutes each.

Important Dates

•    Abstract arrival deadline : March 1, 2009

•    Notification of acceptance of paper: March 30, 2007

•    In case of acceptance, the full paper is due by June 15, 2009.

(Further details on the format of text will be specified to the authors)

•    Conference dates: September 24-26, 2009

A day’s excursion is planned for September 27, and transit to or from

the conference site (via Dushanbe in Tajikistan) will take two days from

most parts of the world. Transit within Takijistan will be provided.

The Institute of Humanities in Khorog is an affiliate of the Academy of

Sciences of Tajikistan. The institute is engaged in the study of

culture, history, languages, folklore and literary tradition of the

people of Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. The institute holds an

extensive archive of oral traditions of the Pamir and adjacent areas.

Khorog is capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan.

The Foundation for Endangered Languages is a non-profit membership

organization, registered as Charity 1070616 in England and Wales,

founded in 1996. Its objective is to support, enable and assist

documentation, protection and promotion of endangered languages all over

the world.. The Foundation awards small grants for projects. It also

publishes a newsletter, OGMIOS: Newsletter of Foundation for Endangered

Languages.. FEL has hosted an annual conference since 1996, most recently

in Barcelona, Spain (2004), Stellenbosch, South Africa (2005), Mysore,

India (2006), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (2007) and Ljouwert/Leeuwarden,

Netherlands (2008). The FEL conferences bring together experts, scholars

and enthusiasts from all over the world to discuss issues pertinent to

the endangerment of languages. The Proceedings of FEL conferences are

available as published volumes. For further information visit:


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