paperMAINThis article Addressing the Ground of Language Endangerment by VACL Community Linguist, Dr Christina Eira, is published in Proceedings of FEL XI, The Eleventh Conference of The Foundation for Endangered Languages, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 2007.

"It is commonly understood by linguists working on endangered languages that their status as endangered is no accident. Languages are endangered because of colonisation, stealing of children, genocide, and the need to use another language for access to health care, legal services, education and jobs. Simply put, what causes the loss of languages is dominance of one group of people over another. Nonetheless, when linguists participate in work on endangered languages, we focus on the language itself - collecting language, analysing language, it's grammar, it's words, etc. This has the effect of ignoring the ground of language endangerment. More importantly, it ignores the ways in which our work can actually perpetuate the status quo of unequal relations between groups."

pdfAddressing the Ground of Language Endangerment