Languages are falling silent all over the world at a breathtaking rate
because of the effects of globalisation and urbanisation. Linguists
estimate that of the 7000 languages spoken today half will fall silent by
the end of this century. Communities in Meso- and South Amerika are
trying to counteract the developments by documenting their languages
and the knowledge encoded in therein together with linguists. The
collected recordings are then preserved in digital archives like Archive of
the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) or Endangered
Languages Archive (ELAR). Local activist use the recordings to create
teaching materials, films and apps to ensure the language is still
transmitted to the young generation.
Dr. Mandana Seyfeddinipur (University of London) will introduce
documentary projects in Mexico and Brazil, showcase the local activism
and discuss the role language archives play in the preservation of
language and the mobilisation of the documentary collections.