Endangered Languages in India – Seminar and Publication

A path breaking initiative was the organization of an “International seminar on Endangered Languages of India” to mark the silver jubilee celebrations of INTACH, on 22nd and 23rd October, 2009.  The aim of this seminar was to have discussions and talks about spreading awareness of the existence and dangers of loss of endangered languages, exchanging views and information on the present situation of the languages, ascertaining the place of minority and regional languages in education and society and recommending viable solutions on a future course with emphasis on the younger generation and continuity.

Distinguished scholars and academicians from India as well as other countries participated in the seminar.  Mr Christopher Moseley, editor in chief of UNESCO’s latest Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, delivered the keynote address. The plenary address was given by Prof. Peter Austin, who specializes in endangered languages at the School of African and Oriental Studies at London University.  The outcome of having eminent scholars from India as well as other countries, not only from the field of linguistics, but from the fields of political science, literature, ethnology, aesthetics, the arts, and education,  led to the production of some satisfying and worthwhile recommendations worked out as a result of this seminar which are published in this volume.

The publication consists of a compilation of articles and academic papers that were presented during the seminar by noted and distinguished scholars such as Dr. Christopher Reid, specialist in Australian Aboriginal languages; Dr. Jean Robert Opgenort from Leiden University in Netherlands who is an expert on the Himalayan Languages; Prof. Anvita Abbi, chairperson, Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies (JNU), Delhi; Prof. G.N. Devy, Founder Director, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Ahemdabad; Dr. Gail Coelho, Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi; Prof. Udaya Narayan Singh, Tagore Professor, Santiniketan, Earlier, Director, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, to name a few.

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