The fragility of minority languages is becoming apparent in a globalizing world. Linguists, civil society organizations, local communities, governments, and supranational organizations are advocating for maintaining and reviving endangered languages as a prerequisite for the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage and of indigenous peoples’ cultures and identities.
The papers included in volumes 1 and 2 of Minority Language in Today’s Global Society were originally presented during Trace Foundation’s Minority Languages in Today’s Global Society lecture series in 2008–2010, which brought together a diverse group of experts, scholars, and linguists from three continents, including a number of important Tibetan specialists, to address these important issues.
We published the first volume of Minority Language in Today’s Global Society in July 2012 as a small contribution to this effort. This volume explores the status of minority languages with a special focus on the Tibetan language and its dialects, as well as the legal issues and policy framework surrounding minority language use and strategies for language revitalization.
Now we are pleased to announce the publication of the second volume, which addresses the role technologies have played in the preservation, enhancement, and sustainability of minority languages in general and digitalization of Tibetan language in particular. The papers collected in this edition explore both the pros and cons of language standardization within minority communities and the relationship among linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity from the perspectives of traditional land use, livelihoods, and indigenous knowledge.