Contact languages around the world and their levels of endangerment

Date
2018-02
Authors
Lee, Nala H.
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University of Hawaii Press
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147
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193
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Abstract
This paper provides an up-to-date report on the vitality or endangerment status of contact languages around the world, including pidgins, creoles, and mixed languages. By utilizing information featured in the Endangered Languages Project and the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Languages online portals, 96 contact languages are assessed on the Language Endangerment Index, a method of assessment that is based on four factors including intergenerational transmission, absolute number of speakers, speaker number trends, and domains of use. Results show that the contact languages are most at risk with respect to intergenerational transmission and domains of use. This is explained by the social and historical nature of contact languages. Overall results further raise the concern that the proportion of pidgins, creoles and mixed languages at some level of risk is extremely high. Reasons are provided for why linguists should be concerned about the endangerment of these languages.
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Keywords
contact languages, creoles and pidgins, language vitality, language endangerment
Citation
Lee, Nala H. 2018. Contact languages around the world and their levels of endangerment. Language Documentation & Conservation 12: 53-79.
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27 pages
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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