Public Release:  CoLang Institute to address crisis of global language endangerment

Linguistic Society of America

(Arlington, TX, May 22) - Over 200 linguistic scholars and students from across the U.S. and around the world will gather in Arlington, Texas next month for a six-week program of courses, lectures, workshops, research presentations, professional development, social activities, public events, and more. Representatives of the news media are invited to observe and report on the proceedings, which will take place on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington from June 16 through July 25.

The Institute on Collaborative Language Research, or CoLang is co-sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America. It is an unparalleled gathering of linguists and indigenous scholars from throughout the field of language documentation and revitalization, including research scientists, community leaders, and graduate and undergraduate students. Its mission is to provide training in how to document, maintain, revitalize, and renew languages. First started in 2008 at the University of California, Santa Barbara, it is now the largest event of its kind ever held.

"This event is a unique opportunity for many diverse constituencies to come together as a response to the crisis of global language endangerment, with Native American community representatives, academic linguists, and other language experts all gathering in one place," said Colleen Fitzgerald, the Director of CoLang 2014. "Finding effective ways to do research on endangered languages and to mobilize that research to keep these languages in use is a major priority, including for funding agencies that support linguistic research. The partnerships formed at CoLang, especially those with indigenous, grassroots language activists from the southwest region of the U.S., promise to broaden the horizons of both participating students and community members," she remarked.

Over 64 instructors, representing top experts from around the world and throughout the field of language documentation and revitalization, will present a program of nearly 58 courses, ranging from creating dictionaries, to using text analysis software, to mastering "ethnobotany." A series of public events are offered as part of the Institute, including the Texas premiere of the Navajo-language version of "Star Wars IV: A New Hope."

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Detailed information about CoLang 2014 may be found on the Institute website at: http://tinyurl.com/colang2014. The next iteration of CoLang will be held in 2016 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) is the largest national professional society representing the field of linguistics. Its mission is to advance the scientific study of language.

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