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Africa's Endangered LanguagesDocumentary and Theoretical Approaches$
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Jason Kandybowicz and Harold Torrence

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256340

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256340.001.0001

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Africa’s Endangered Languages

Africa’s Endangered Languages

An Overview

(p.1) 1 Africa’s Endangered Languages
Africa's Endangered Languages

Jason Kandybowicz

Harold Torrence

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of language endangerment in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting previous efforts to document the continent’s endangered languages and ascertain their threat levels, the unique state of language endangerment in Africa as compared to other parts of the world, and the challenges to documentation and revitalization efforts posed by Africa’s endangered languages. As a consequence of these challenges, a disproportionately low amount of research and funding is devoted to the study of endangered African languages when compared to any other linguistically threatened region in the world. We propose nurturing synergistic partnerships between documentary and theoretical linguists researching endangered African languages to stimulate and enhance the depth, visibility, and impact of endangered African language research in the hope of reversing this trend.

Keywords:   African languages, endangered languages, threatened languages, language documentation, linguistic theory

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