Miscellaneous published in:Documentary Linguistics: Working with Communities
Edited by Sumittra Suraratdecha and Toshihide Nakayama
[Language Ecology 3:2] 2019
► pp. 233–254
Research Project Report
Language revitalization and community initiatives
An Indian perspective
Language is an integral part of the social identity and ethnicity of a community apart from being its mode of communication. Language plays a key role to preserve the history, culture and identity of a community. In this era of globalization, cultural and linguistic homogenization is a common trend. The state and dominant linguistic communities expect ‘others’ or the minority groups to assimilate into the dominant culture and language. Arguments for the maintenance and revitalization of minority and endangered languages have been made by many linguists around the world. Language rights, language planning and language documentation programmes are some steps taken by government and externally-funded organizations to protect endangered and indigenous languages. Besides the initiatives taken by the non-members of the community, the future of an endangered language and culture has been decided by the role and attitude of the community towards its community-specific linguistic and cultural identity. India is a very diverse country as far as its linguistic and cultural heritage is concerned. This project is enriched with insights from field experience in various districts of West Bengal, a state in India, where the speakers of endangered linguistic communities are aware of their linguistic rights and are highly engaged in the language and cultural revitalization, and in that their degree of progress and success is commendable. This paper aims at demonstrating the major role played by the communities themselves in language-revitalization programmes.
- 2.Language revitalization
- 2.1Language revitalization: Earlier successful attempts
- 3.Linguistic landscape of India
- 4.Mother-tongue and minority linguistic rights
- 5.Revitalization programmes
- 6.Languages in India
- 6.1Language attitudes and community associations
- 6.2Role of script
- 6.3Mother tongue education programme
- 6.4Media, social media and language revitalization
- 7.Future steps
Published online: 09 September 2020
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