"Language disequilibrium in the modern world: What do Chinese minority languages have to teach us?"

Dr. Lindsay Whaley


Although language death is not unique to our age, the rate at which languages are disappearing is greater than at any time in history. Research over the past several decades has provided a general framework for understanding this phenomenon, yet it remains unclear how regionally specific factors--such as local subsistence patterns, religious practices or national political organization--facilitate language loss. In this talk, I examine Oroqen, one of the Tungusic languages of northern China, which offers a poignant example of the contribution of local variables in hastening the decline of language vitality.