Endangered Languages and Cultures Groups (CELC) [2010-2012]

From 2010 to 2012


“Language ecology as the new frontier of language planning: exploring the relationship between endangered languages and their socio-cultural habitat

This academic year, the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and the Departments of Middle Eastern Studies, Anthropology and Sociology have been involved in an exciting cross-disciplinary initiative to bring together Cambridge scholars from different backgrounds who work on issues related to language and culture endangerment. Despite the number of academics and postgraduates working in this field, the University of Cambridge has not had a comprehensive forum where researchers could exchange ideas and disseminate findings – until now. CELC will perform this function.

The group will host a series of fortnightly seminars and The Second  Cambridge Conference on Endangered Languages (6 July 2012).  The events will bring together eminent scholars from institutions across the world with the aim of providing an academic platform for the study of language endangerment in Cambridge and forging connections with other renowned research centres in the field.

The group firmly believes in the importance of documenting and preserving languages and cultures threatened by extinction. Our main focus and concern will be the theoretical analysis of endangered contexts, alongside attempting to understand the mechanisms underlying language loss and, ultimately, how to reverse them. Today, about 6,500 languages are spoken worldwide, most of which are near extinct. Since languages are of vital importance for the transmission of living heritage their loss, in terms of cultural diversity, would be extensive. CELC will, therefore, aim to promote the revitalisation of endangered languages and cultures, and to raise general awareness of these issues by sharing information and knowledge across the widest possible academic network.

In addition to the CRASSH-webpage, you can find more information about  theCambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group from their  external website 
(CRASSH is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)



Thomas Godard  (Department of Linguistics, MML) 
Illan Gonen (Fac of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies-FAMES)
Elena Pala  (Department of Linguistics, MML)
Natalia I. Petrovskaia  (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic)

Elena Pala  (Department of Linguistics, MML)
Natalia I. Petrovskaia  (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic)
Thomas Godard  (Department of Linguistics)
Thomas M Artiss (Department of Sociology, PPSIS)

Faculty Advisors

Dr Mari Jones (Reader, Department of French, Peterhouse)
Professor Geoffrey Khan (Fac of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies FAMES)
Dr Stephen Leonard (Research Fellow, Dept of Linguistics, Trinity Hall)
Dr Sarah Ogilvie (Research Fellow, Dept of Linguistics, Lucy Cavendish)
Dr Mark Turin (Research Associate, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)
Dr Ioanna Sitaridou (Lecturer, Dept of Spanish and Portuguese)

Past events


Endangered Languages CELC
(Dis)owning Culture but Preserving Access: Reflections on Field Methods from the World Oral Literature Project
12 October 2010, CRASSH. 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Mark Turin (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)

The Last Days of Armenian in Jerusalem
26 October 2010, Henry Cavendish Room, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Dr Bert Vaux (Dept of Linguistics, University of Cambridge) NB: Change of Venue, Henry Cavendish Room, Peterhouse

Northwest Amazonian Multi-lingualism: The Past, Present and Future of a Unique System
09 November 2010, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Stephen Hugh-Jones (University of Cambridge)

Bardi Documentation for Preservation and Revitalisation
23 November 2010, CRASSH. 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Claire Bowern (Yale)

Bushmen of the Southern Kalahari: the Puzzle of What is Real
25 January 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Hugh Brody (University of the Fraser Valley, Canada)

Languages in Contact and Isolation: Mature Phenomena and Societies of Intimates
08 February 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Professor Peter Trudgill (Freiburg)

Endangered Ancestors: Language Shift and the Loss of Theodiversity in Tribal India
22 February 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Piers Vitebsky (University of Cambridge)

East of Andes: Resonances and Continuities in 500 years of Uwa Self-Defence
08 March 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Nicholas Ostler (Foundation for Endangered Languages)

Language Revitalisation: Issues and Outcomes
03 May 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Dr Julia Sallabank (SOAS)

Mapping Linguistic Endangerment: The UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
17 May 2011, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Professor Christopher Moseley (UNESCO Atlas of Endangered Languages)

Stop, Revive, Survive!: Towards a New Discipline Revival Linguistics
04 October 2011, AMES, Room 8-9

Ghil’ad Zuckermann (Adelaide)

The Limba Sarda Comuna (LSC) and the Traditional Dialects of Sardinian
26 October 2011, AMES, Room L1

Roberto Bolognesi (Amsterdam-Groningen)

Sustaining Myth: How Languages Get and Lose their Mojo
09 November 2011, AMES, Room L1

John E. Joseph (Edinburgh) NB venue AMES, Room L1

Manx as a Partial Pidgin and Language Ecology in the Isle of Man
22 February 2012, CRASSH

Mark Williams (Cambridge)

A Historical View on Language Ecology and Language Planning
07 March 2012, CRASSH

Nadège Lechevrel (EHESS, NIAS)

The Preservation of Fragile Irish Language Speaking Communities as Sustainable Language Communities
02 May 2012, CRASSH, Seminar room SG2, Ground Floor

Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. NB The group will meet earlier today , Seminar room SG2

The Role of Documenting Semantics and Pragmatics in Understudied Languages
16 May 2012, CRASSH, Seminar room SG2, Ground floor

Tyler R.G. Peterson (Leiden) NB: Seminar room SG2, Ground floor