The concern for the fast-disappearing language stocks of the world has arisen particularly in the past decade, as a result of the impact of globalization. This book appears as an answer to a felt need: to catalogue and describe those languages, making up the vast majority of the world's six thousand or more distinct tongues, which are in danger of disappearing within the next few decades.
Endangerment is a complex issue, and the reasons why so many of the world's smaller, less empowered languages are not being passed on to future generations today are discussed in the book's introduction. The introduction is followed by regional sections, each authored by a notable specialist, combining to provide a comprehensive listing of every language which, by the criteria of endangerment set out in the introduction, is likely to disappear within the next few decades. These languages make up ninety per cent of the world's remaining language stocks.
The Encyclopedia therefore provides in a single resource: expert analysis of the current language policy situation in every multilingual country and on every continent, detailed descriptions of little-known languages from all over the world, and clear alphabetical entries, region by region, of all the world's languages currently thought to be in danger of extinction.
The Encyclopedia of the World’s Endangered Languages will be a necessary addition to all academic linguistics collections and will be a useful resource for a range of readers with an interest in development studies, cultural heritage and international affairs.
'This is a valuable resource for all academic libraries and for other libraries with patrons interested in language, cultural heritage or diversity, international studies, and related topics… Highly recommended.' --M.R. Dittemore, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Choice
'This unprecedented, ground breaking encyclopedia is, without a doubt, essential stock for all academic libraries with linguistics collections and for all individuals and institutions with an interest in development studies, cultural heritage and international affairs.' -- H.G.A.Hughes, Reference Reviews
General Introduction. List of Maps. North America. Latin America 1: Meso-America. Latin America 2: South America. Europe and North Asia. South Asia and the Middle East. East and Southeast Asia. Australasia and the Pacific. Africa. Index of Language Names