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
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
– 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.
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
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:
– 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
In case you are not able to submit your abstract via EasyChair, please
send it (with details) via e-mail to email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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.
• 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: