What historical events have led to a physical threat to the language?

1 Basic purpose
For this assignment, you will pick a threatened/endangered/minority/Indigenous language spoken somewhere in the world, do some basic research on it, and present your findings in the form of a written report. This assignment will introduce you to using resources for finding information about languages. You will also get experience thinking about some of the broad topics we’ve discussed in class from the specific perspective of a single language.
You will produce three language reports throughout the semester. What you’ll produce
Your report will be a 2-3 page (double space; 750 word minimum) report which answers the questions below. The report needs to be mostly prose (not bullet points), but will be in multiple short sections — this is a report, not a persuasive essay. For the report, you will need to answer 7 of the 8 following questions. Please write out each question and then respond to it with a one to two paragraph response.
1. What is the demography of the language?
To answer this question, provide as much information as you can about the speaker population, the overall ethnic population, where speakers live, and any other important demographic information you can find.
2. What historical events have led to a physical threat to the language?
Be sure to explain why the historical event directly affected the vitality of the language.
3. What historical events have led to cultural threats to the language?
Be sure to explain why the historical event directly affected the vitality of the language.
4. Is there a written tradition related to the language?
In other words, do speakers of this language have a history of writing in their language? Do they have a unique writing system or script? Some languages don’t have a major written tradition, and for many speech communities, the language is really only an oral language. For some

languages, the most significant written document might be a translation of, for example, the New Testament of the Bible.
5. What domains of use is the language used in? What important domains is it not used in?
Make sure to consider home domains, education, government, commerce, and media, if not other important domains. For example, “The language is used in the home and is taught in primary education, but it is not used by the government in any way and is not used in media.”
6. Does the language receive any institutional support from government, private, or community- based organizations, or elsewhere?
Answering this question may involve searching for news reports about the language or the community that speaks the language. This would include declaration of a language as having official status in a country or territory.
7. According to your report, how would you classify the level of endangerment of the language according to Crystal pp. 20-21?
You must justify and explain your endangerment classification.
8. Are there revitalization or maintenance efforts related to the language?
This can include any kind of program to promote or learn the language, either as a grassroots community effort, or a government program.
3 Picking a language for your report
• Pick a hotspot: Language endangerment “hotspots” are regions with a high linguistic diversity and high rates of endangered languages. For your three language reports over the course of the semester, you will need to pick languages from three (3) different hotspots. The list of hotspots can be found at this website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/langhotspots/features.html.
• Choose a hotspot to see a list of languages and genetic units found in that region
• From the list of languages, you will want to do some initial exploration of resources to help you pick a language you can do a successful report on. Try finding your language on the Endangered Languages Catalogue (endangeredlanguages.com), Ethnologue (ethnologue.com), or Glottolog (glottolog.org). Ethnologue (access from here: https://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/linguistics) will provide some basic vitality information, Glottolog will show you a list of known resources about a given language. Wikipedia isn’t a bad place to start either to get some basic background info (but don’t cite Wiki).

• Pick a language for which you think there is enough available information to write your report with the info listed in the next section.
Conducting further research
Try to find access to sources you see on the Glottolog, Ethnologue, or Wikipedia page for your language. Make sure that you adequately cite all of your sources — failure to do so can be counted as plagiarism.
4 Assignment details, formatting
• Please cite all of your sources. You should have in-line citations (Author, YEAR) in the body of your report, and a references section at the end. We ask that for your references section, you conform to a simple MLA citation format. • Remember: Failure to cite your sources constitutes plagiarism.