The fragility of minority languages is becoming increasingly apparent in a globalizing world. Linguists, civil society organizations, local communities, governments, and supranational organizations are advocating for maintaining and even reviving endangered languages as a prerequisite for the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage and of indigenous peoples’ cultures and identities.
This publication is intended as a small contribution to this overall effort. The present volume examines a wide range of issues concerning the status of minority languages around the world with a special focus on the Tibetan language and its dialects. The legal issues surrounding minority language use and policy, as well as strategies for language revitalization, are also addressed.
The papers included in this collection were originally presented during Trace Foundation’s Minority Languages in Today’s Global Society lecture series 2008-2010. The series brought together a diverse group of experts, scholars, and linguists from three continents, including a number of important Tibetan specialists, to present an overview of the challenges being faced by indigenous peoples’ languages in the modern world.
This book is the first of a two-volume set entitled Minority Language in Today’s Global Society. This work is part of The Tibetan Plateau Forum, a publication series produced by Trace Foundation meant to serve as a bilingual platform for the dissemination of information, debate, and discourse on the contemporary situation of Tibetan communities.
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