Endangered Languages Resource Page

People often approach us seeking information about the world’s endangered languages. In particular, they ask about ongoing documentation projects, regional archives, and how they can get involved.

In an effort to celebrate and promote all the diverse initiatives currently going on in the field of endangered languages, we put together this extensive resource page with links to many excellent websites.

We encourage people to explore the resources below, and also to consult our Educational Resources page for links related to curriculum planning and language learning.

For further information about the field of endangered languages and our work as an institute, see also our Glossary and our FAQ. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers who contributed to this page!

screen-shot-2012-11-20-at-3-00-07-pmPlease note: The regional archives listed below are grouped according to Language Hotspots. We define hotspots as concentrated regions of the world having the highest level of linguistic diversity, the highest levels of endangerment, and the least-studied languages. The Language Hotspots therefore represent high-priority regions that urgently need further documentation and support.

archive-bg

REGIONAL LANGUAGE ARCHIVES

CENTRAL AND EASTERN SIBERIA

CAUCASUS REGION

  • Ressources sur le Caucase: Linguistic and ethnographic resources on the Caucasus region by linguist and anthropologist Kevin J. Tuite, Université de Montréal
  • The ECLING Project: endangered Caucasian languages in Georgia
  • Ufuq-S Language and Culture Services: Ufuq (Azerbaijani for ‘Horizon’) is an Azerbaijani organization committed to the service of language communities
  • LangueDoc: a site maintained by a working group of linguists documenting several minority languages of Russia.

GREATER SOUTH ASIA

EASTERN MELANESIA & PAPUA NEW GUINEA

TAIWAN & OTHER PACIFIC LANGUAGES

  • Academia Sinica Digital Repository, Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
  • NTU Corpus of Formosan Languages
  • For the most accurate Formosan language families groupings, see Blust, Robert A. 1999. Subgrouping, circularity and extinction: some issues in Austronesian comparative linguistics. In Elizabeth Zeitoun and Paul Jen-Kuei Li, eds., Selected papers from the Eighth International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, pp. 31–94. Symposium Series of the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica 1. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.
  • AMPM: Archive of Maori and Pacific Music, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Paradisec: The Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures.

LATIN AMERICA (MESOAMERICA & SOUTH AMERICA HOTSPOT)

  • AILLA is a digital archive of recordings and texts in and about the indigenous languages of Latin America.
  • INALI: instituto nacional de lenguas indigenas [Mexico]
  • SAPhon: UC Berkeley’s South American Phonological Inventory Database (SAPhon v1.1.0)
  • The Jaqi Collection : Aymara, Jaqaru, and Kawki Language Resources is comprised of archival and published texts as well as recorded sounds and images related to the Jaqi family of languages.
  • Etnolingüística: Línguas indígenas da América do Sul
  • Sounds of the Andean Languages / Sonidos de las lenguas andinas
  • Quechua.org.uk: A Comparative Study of the Andean Languages and a portal to several sites on the Quechua and Aymara language families
  • CILLA: Centre for Indigenous Languages of Latin America
  • STLILLA 2011: Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Teaching and Learning Indigenous Languages of Latin America
  • RED EIB Chile. Red de Derechos Lingüísticos y Culturales de los Pueblos Indígenas de Chile
  • DILA: Laboratorio de Documentación e Investigación en Lingüística y Antropología
  • PDLMA: Project for the Documentation of the Languages of Mesoamerica (PDLMA)
  • Archivo de lenguas indigenas de Mexico: a project by the Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX)
  • SIL Mexico: Dictionaries, grammars and analyzed texts in Mexican Indian languages
  • ILLA: Instituto de Lenguas y Literaturas Andinas Amazónicas
  • AAIC: Archivo de los Idiomas Indígenas de Chiapas [site under construction]
  • Digital Mesoamerica: Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon
  • Indigenous Language Dictionaries: online, multimedia, searchable dictionaries of indigenous languages of Mesoamerica (Wired Humanities Projects)

NORTHERN & CENTRAL AUSTRALIA

  • The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages: A digital archive of endangered texts in Aboriginal languages of the Northern Territory, Australia.
  • Paradisec: The Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures
  • ASEDA: The Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive holds computer-based (digital) materials about Australian Indigenous studies collected from the late 80’s to early 2009 by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • AUSIL: Australian Society of Indigenous Languages
  • ANGGARRGOON: Australian Languages on the Web
  • Our Languages: A site dedicated to Australian Aboriginal Languages
  • AIATSIS: The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Banma Kiya – Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee
  • ABC Indigenous – Indigenous Language map of Australia
  • CLC: Central Land Council – Aboriginal Languages of Central Australia
  • RNLD: Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity.
  • Virtual Library: Aboriginal Languages of Australia, Virtual Library by D. Nathan
  • PAK: Papuli Apparr-Kari Aboriginal Corporation Language Center
  • Wangka Maya – Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre
  • Handbook of Western Australian languages
  • CDU Yolngu studies
  • David Nash’s site on Australian languages

WESTERN NORTH AMERICA

OKLAHOMA

  • Native American Languages Collections Division at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History: The archives house over 6,000 media and print resources in languages of Oklahoma and North America
  • OHS: Oklahoma Historical Archives Audio Collection

AFRICAN HOTSPOTS

———————————————————–

email_archiving2

GLOBAL LANGUAGE ARCHIVES & MAPS

Endangered Languages Project: a project by the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, this world-wide site seeks to compile up-to-date information on threatened languages. It is part of ELCat (the Endangered Language Catalogue), an online collaborative effort to protect global linguistic diversity. We are a proud partner of this initiative.

Ethnologue: This is a database for endangered language documentation maintained by the Summer Institute for Linguistics (also known as the “SIL”).

OLAC: The “Open Language Archives Community” (OLAC) is a multi institutional database of language resources that can be searched to find all kinds of data and links to archives.

UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) maintains the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.

WALS: The “World Atlas of Language Structures” (WALS) is a database of structural information about languages, maintained by the Leipzig-based Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Rosetta Project: This is a collaborative digital library of language research. (Note: use “advanced search” to search by all media types).

DOBES: A project of the Volkswagen Foundation, the “Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen” [Documentation of Endangered Languages Programme] is a great online archive. You can search by Projects / Language Areas.

ERIC Database: The Education Resources Information Center is an online digital library of education research and information.

DELAMAN: Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archive Network

ELAR: Endangered Languages Archive

GLOTTOLOG / LANGDOC: This vast site provides comprehensive bibliographical and other reference information for the world’s languages, especially the lesser known languages.

MULTITREE: A Digital Library of Language Relationships

LANGSCAPE: an interactive online map that allows users to discover the languages spoken at any point on the globe.

UCLA Phonetics Archive: The materials on this site comprise audio recordings illustrating phonetic structures from over 200 languages with phonetic transcriptions, plus scans of original field notes where relevant.

archives

———————————————————–

ENDANGERED LANGUAGE NUMERAL SYSTEMS

  • Numeral Systems of the World’s Languages
    This site focuses on little-known and endangered languages, to record and preserve traditional counting systems before they fall out of use. The author of this project, Eugene Chan, is especially interested in the genetic classification, phonological systems and counting concepts of human languages, and so far has successfully collected basic numeral systems and data from about 4,000 languages in the world, in collaboration with many researchers.

———————————————————–

LANGUAGE DOCUMENTATION & CITIZEN MEDIA RESOURCES*

  • Talking Dictionaries Portal: Online dictionaries by Living Tongues Institute in collaboration with National Geographic Society and Swarthmore College
  • Recovering Voices: Documenting & Sustaining Endangered Languages & Knowledge (a project by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
  • The Language Documentation Crowd: Crowd-funding language and culture documentation before it’s too late. Professional linguists and concerned global citizens dedicated to preserving endangered languages through crowd-funding language and culture documentation projects.
  • LACITO: An interdisciplinary research unit whose members carry out fieldwork-based research in societies whose traditions are primarily oral.
  • Rising Voices: A project of Global Voices Online, Rising Voices aims to extend the benefits and reach of citizen media by connecting online media activists around the world and supporting their best ideas.
  • Lakota Documentaries is the first cultural documentation project designed and implemented by a Lakota person, Don Moccasin, on the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota, USA. It is currently housed at the Great Plains Art Institute, at Sinte Gleska University. View video here. Thanks to Project Director Dr. Jurgita Antoine for sending us the links.
  • Indigenous Tweets: a website tracking Twitter users who tweet in indigenous languages. You can search by language and connect with other speakers who post in specific languages.

————————————————————

STUDENT PROGRAMS

For prospective students looking for universities that offer college degrees in specific subjects such as linguistics and anthropology, check out the BestCollegesOnline.com. For President Obama’s accreditation reforms on higher education, read more here.

———————————————————–

CONTACT

The online resources were compiled by our volunteers and interns, and edited by Living Tongues project coordinator Anna Luisa Daigneault. If you have any suggestions or find any errors, please write to Ms. Daigneault at annaluisa AT livingtongues DOT org
 ———————————————————–
*Editor’s note:  For the language documentation & citizen media section, we know we are just barely scratching the surface of what is out there on the web. Feel free to share great links with us on our Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

We are a non-profit research institute dedicated to documenting endangered languages around the world.