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Atlas of the Worlds Languages Editor: Stephen A.

Wurm

in Danger of Disappearing Cartographer: Ian Heyward

UNESCO PUBLISHING
Atlas of the Worlds Languages
in Danger of Disappearing
Atlas of the Worlds Languages
in Danger of Disappearing
Second edition, revised, enlarged and updated

Editor: Stephen A. Wurm Cartographer: Ian Heyward

UNESCO PUBLISHING
UNESCO wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the Japanese Published in 2001 by the United Nations Educational,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund Scientific and Cultural Organization,
for the Preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, in 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP
the publication of this Atlas. The Organization also expresses its Typeset by Susanne Almeida-Klein
gratitude to the Department of Linguistics of the Australian Printed by Sagrafic, Barcelona
National University, Canberra, for its invaluable support to this ISBN 92-3-103798-6
undertaking. UNESCO 1996, 2001
(ISBN first edition: 92-3-103255-0 )
The authors are responsible for the choice and the presentation
of the facts contained in this book and for the opinions expressed
therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not
commit the Organization. The designations employed and the
presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply
the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO
concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area
or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers
or boundaries.
5 Atlas of the
Preface and introduction to the second edition Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

In contrast to the first edition, the present edition has five parts:
(1) an introduction detailing developments in the study of endan-
gered languages since 1996; (2) a description of the phenomenon
of language endangerment and the death of languages; (3) a short
report on efforts undertaken by the scientific community, in part
in co-operation with UNESCO, to describe and record endangered
languages; (4) a fairly detailed overview of language endanger-
ment and death in all major parts of the world; and (5) a small
atlas of fourteen maps, some of which are new, and others of
which have been revised, updated and expanded from the maps
that appeared in the first edition.

The period between the publication of the first edition of this Atlas
(1996) and this second edition has been characterized by an
unprecedented expansion in the study of languages in danger of
disappearing in many places. This has, in part, been due to the
appearance of a very popular, easily accessible Atlas addressed to
the educated layman and of course to linguists. Its popularity in
many parts of the world led to wide, unexpected media interest
with press, telephone, radio and television interviews that were
broadcast widely. Interested in supporting the study of languages
in danger of disappearing since 1992, the UNESCO Sector for
Culture welcomed an approach by a sister agency, the Inter-
national Council of Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (CIPSH),
and agreed to provide funds. It also backed the publication of
6
relevant sources of information on languages in danger of disap- preservation of knowledge of them for posterity. Conferences,
pearing, including the first edition of the present Atlas and a symposia and other meetings of experts have taken place in many
monumental three-volume publication on contact languages in the parts of the world, dealing with the subject of language endanger-
Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, many of which are under threat ment and extinction, and the study, maintenance and reinvigora-
(Wurm, Mhlhusler and Tryon, 1996). This essential activity is tion of languages in danger of disappearing. Furthermore, the
now gradually being taken in hand by other world and regional revival of recently or even long extinct languages is becoming a
organizations interested in the study and maintenance of minority topical issue in many parts of the world, with the descendants of
and other languages in danger of disappearing. These include the the last speakers clamouring for materials on their ancestral
Permanent International Committee of Linguists (CIPL) and the languages in order to gain an insight into how they sounded and
UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund for the Preservation of the Intangible functioned, and to relearn them at least in part so that they can
Cultural Heritage, which in 2000 made available five short-term use words and phrases as symbols of their reawakened ethnic iden-
grants for the immediate study of and work on seriously endan- tity. For instance, in Australia, several dying or extinct languages
gered languages in various parts of the world. The work was have now been revived and already have several dozen speakers,
carried out in the context of a contract between the Intangible with more and more members of the respective ethnic communities
Heritage Section of UNESCO and CIPL; the Linguistic Circle of learning their ancestral tongues.
Copenhagen; the Volkswagen Stiftung in Germany, which gave five
substantial grants for the purpose in 2000; the Foundation for Recent conferences and symposia on language endangerment and
Endangered Languages in Britain, which has been giving grants for the maintenance and reinvigoration of threatened languages have
such work in recent years; and the significant new Languages of in a short space of time led to the publication of substantial
the Pacific Rim project directed from Kyoto, Japan, among others. volumes by major international houses. These convey their find-
All concerned are fully aware of the fact that languages, in their ings to the public, be they specialists or interested members of the
great diversity, are the most important part of the intangible educated general public concerned about the disappearance of
culture of humanity, each language reflecting as it does different languages and the consequent loss of the most precious part of
thought patterns and philosophies. With each vanishing language, humankinds non-material culture. Mention may be made of a
an irreplaceable element of our complete understanding of human conference held at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia
thought in its multiform variations is lost for ever. (1999) on the subject of language endangerment and mainte-
nance, the conclusions of which were published by Curzon Press in
Since 1997 an increasing number of research projects and studies 2001. A major symposium on seriously endangered and moribund
of individual languages in danger of disappearing have been languages everywhere took place near Bonn, Germany (February
undertaken with a view to their maintenance or at least to the 2000). It was attended by leading experts from all parts of the
7 Atlas of the
world, and its findings published under the title Language Diversity publications from all over the world. The inclusion of this section Worlds Languages
in Danger
Endangered (Brenziger, 2001). In October 2000, a meeting of greatly facilitates the task of linguists, scholars and other parties of Disappearing

experts on threatened pidgin and creole languages took place in in keeping abreast of publishing activity in regard to language
Manila, Philippines, the results of which were published there. In endangerment and threatened languages in the world. Many rele-
November 2000, a major Japanese research project for the long- vant publications appear here and there in obscure journals and
term study of threatened languages of the entire Pacific Rim area are difficult for scholars to trace. A conference to launch this
was launched at a symposium in Kyoto, Japan, at which leading initiative was held in November 2000 at the Royal National Library
world experts on language endangerment gave lectures followed of the Netherlands in The Hague, and was attended by leading
by discussions, the results of which are being published there. linguists and bibliographers.

In addition to the ever more frequent conference and symposium In another new development, serial and periodic publications on
activities on language endangerment, and the publication of their individual threatened languages and language endangerment in
conclusions in book form, a number of monumental publications general have begun to appear. These include Materials on
on threatened languages have appeared or will shortly appear, Endangered Languages in the Indo-Pacific, being issues of the more
including a three-volume Atlas of Languages of Intercultural than 500-volume Pacific Linguistics series issued by the
Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas (Wurm, Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian
Mhlhusler and Tryon, 1996). Another major publication is the Studies, Australian National University, Canberra. The first volume
Encyclopedia of the Endangered Languages of the World, edited by is devoted to endangered languages in Papua New Guinea, while
Moseley (forthcoming). Other major atlases of threatened others on languages in West Papua (Irian Jaya) and the Himalayas
languages in certain parts of the world are in advanced prepara- region are in preparation. Mouton de Gruyter Publishers plan to
tion, including the Atlas of Endangered Languages in Latin America start a Journal of Language Endangerment in 2001.
and Threatened Languages of the Pacific and Australia, both edited
Such unprecedented activity and growing interest in the field of
by S. A. Wurm, and similar atlases of the threatened languages of
language endangerment and threatened languages would have
South-East Asia and Africa to follow.
been unthinkable a decade ago. Now, however, they are expected
to increase and gather strength. It is hoped that this updated and
A further important event in the study of, and information on,
enlarged edition of the Atlas of the Worlds Languages in Danger of
language endangerment and individual threatened languages is
Disappearing will contribute to this development.
the recent inclusion of a specific section on the subject in the
distinguished Linguistic Bibliography published annually by CIPL S. A. W., 2001
and giving bibliographic information on over 20,000 linguistic
8
Preface to the first edition (1996)

The phenomenon of the death of languages has been known for a This study pursues three aims which are set out in three chapters.
very long time. Some languages have disappeared without leaving The first chapter gives a brief description of the phenomenon of
any trace. Others jealously guard their own secrets because no one the death of languages. The second part reports on the efforts
has succeeded in deciphering them. Finally, there are those which undertaken by the scientific community, in part in co-operation
have evolved and given birth to new languages. We know that, like with UNESCO, to describe, record and introduce threatened
any living thing, a language placed in a specific context blossoms languages into the data bank. The last part goes on to draw up an
or fades away and dies. atlas of a selection of the very many threatened languages of the
world that have been identified in the present state of research.
With the upsurge in means of communication, our own period This overview will enable researchers all over the world to fill in
seems to have created more situations of conflict between the this outline as their studies progress.
languages of the world than ever before, by the same token
causing more and more languages to disappear at an accelerating Professor Stephen A. Wurm
pace. Although the phenomenon of the disappearance of Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
languages is well known, its systematic study at world level is very The Australian National University
recent, and the task of describing and recording languages before Canberra, Australia
they disappear is only just beginning.
9 Atlas of the
Contents Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

Preface and introduction Eurasia 28 Africa 43


to the second edition 5 Europe 28
America 44
Siberia 30
Preface to the first Arctic North America East 44
Caucasus 32
edition (1996) 8 Arctic North America West 45
Asia 33 Canada 46
International collaboration
China 33 United States 46
in the field 11
Himalayan Chain 34 Mexico 47
Endangered languages and language Indian subcontinent 35 Central and South America 48
disappearance 13 Central Asia: Pamir area 36 Select bibliography 51
South-East Asia 37
History and languages 17
Maps 53
Greater Pacific Area 38
CIPL, CIPSH, UNESCO, and languages
Japan 39
in danger 23 Index 83
Taiwan 39
Remarks on the present Atlas 27 Philippines 39
Malaysia 40
Indonesia 40
Papua New Guinea 40
Solomon Islands (including the Santa Cruz Archipelago) 41
Vanuatu 41
New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands 41
Fiji and Rotuma 42
Micronesia 42
Polynesia 42
Australia 42
11 Atlas of the
International collaboration in the field Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

In the past few years, there has been a surge of interest in and
work on the many languages throughout the world that are in
danger of disappearing. UNESCO has taken an interest in them,
and in their study and maintenance. The International Council for
Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (CIPSH), a non-governmental
organization that works with UNESCO, and the Permanent
International Committee of Linguists (CIPL), have both been very
active in this field, with a growing number of linguists and rele-
vant institutions in the world turning their attention to the
increasing problem of languages that are in danger of disap-
pearing. In this undertaking, it is heartening to see that a growing
number of experts and others from regions where languages are in
danger of disappearing, themselves sometimes speakers of these
very languages, are entering dedicating their own work to the
study and maintenance of dying languages.

The following, non-exhaustivelist, gives the names of many indi-


viduals working in this field. Reginald Amenoo (Ghana and
Zimbabwe), Ayo Bamgbose (Nigeria), Victor Atknine (Siberia
[Khakas]), Nils Helander (Norway [Saami]), Kirikae Hideo (Japan
[Ainu]), G. N. Kurilov (Yakutia, Siberia [Yukagir]), Dob (China
[Mongol]), Suwilai Premsirat (South-East Asia [Thai]), Otto Nekitel
(Papua New Guinea), Wangkanyi Ngurra Tjurta (Australia), Edna
Ahgeak MacLean (Alaska [Inupiaq Eskimo]), Marie-Claude Matti-
Muller (Venezuela), Jon Landaburu (Colombia), and many others,
12
among them Aryon Rodrigues (Brazil), Wang Jun (China), Michael Pacific Rim), Alexandra Aikhenvald (Australia, Lowland South
Krauss (Alaska), Mei Lee-Smith (Australia, China), Juha Janhunen America, Siberia), Robert W. Dixon (Australia), Peter Mhlhusler
(Finland, Siberia, China), Tapani Salminen (Finland, Siberia), Hein (Australia [Pidgin and Creole languages]), Maya Bradley
v. d. Voort (Netherlands, Arctic America, Brazil), Peter Bakker (Australia, South-East Asia and China), Stephen Morey (Australia
(Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Alaska), Willem Adelaar [Tai languages]), Christina Eira (Australia [Hmong]), John Bowden
(Netherlands, South America), Matthias Brenzinger (Germany, (Australia, Eastern Indonesia), John Hajek (Australia, Eastern
Africa), Bernd Heine (Germany, Africa), David Bradley (Australia, Indonesia), Peter Austin (Australia), Luise Hercus (Australia),
China, South-East Asia), Stephen Wurm (Australia, the Pacific, Barry J. Blake (Australia), Gavan Breen (Australia), Thomas
Central Asia, Siberia, South America), Beatriz Garza Cuarm Adelaar Dutton (Australia, Papua New Guinea), C. L. Voorhoeve
(Netherlands, South America), Matthias Brenzinger (Germany, (Netherlands [West Papua, Halmahera]), Nikolaus P. Himmelmann
Africa), Bernd Heine (Germany, Africa), David Bradley (Australia, (Germany [Sulawesi]), William McGregor (Australia), Otto Nekitel
China, South-East Asnd North Africa), Bruce Connell (England, (Papua New Guinea), Ger P. Reesinck (Netherlands [Papuan
Central Africa), Barbara Grimes (United States, general), George languages]), Malcolm Ross (Australia, South Western Pacific), Wim
van Driem (Netherlands, North and South Asia), Colette Grinewald A. L. Stockhof (Netherlands [Papuan languages of Timor area]),
(United States, Central America), Olga Kazakevitch (Russia, Nicholas Thieberger (Australia), Alexander Adelaar (Australia,
Siberia), Aleksandr E. Kibrik (Russia, Siberia), Denny Moore Indonesia), Mark Donohue (Australia, West Papua), Charles Grimes
(Brazil, Lowland South America), Jonathan Owens (England, the (Australia, Eastern Indonesia), Paul Jen-Kuei Li (Taiwan), Eva
Middle East), Akira Yamamoto (United States, North America), Lindstrm (Sweden [East Papuan]), Theodorus Purba (West
Mahendra K. Verma (England, India), Tasaku Tsunoda (Japan, Papua), Victor Golla (United States, North America), Mily Crevels
Australia), Kazuto Matsumura (Japan [Finno-Ugrian]), Osamu (Netherlands, South America), Yolanda Lastra (United States,
Sakiyama (Japan, Pacific Rim), Ulrike Mosel (Germany, Polynesia), Mexico), Ofelia Zepeda (United States), Jane Hill (United States),
Hans-Jrgen Sasse (Germany, Africa), Nicholas Ostler (England, Doris Bartholomew (United States, Mexico), Gerrit Dimmendaal
Foundation for Endangered Languages), Osahito Miyoka (Japan, (Netherlands, Africa, Middle East), and hundreds more.
13 Atlas of the
Endangered languages and language Worlds Languages
in Danger
disappearance of Disappearing

According to our estimate there are about 6,000 languages spoken


in the world today, most of them in several dialects. We know of
many languages that are no longer spoken, in other words, that
have become extinct and are dead. Only a few of those, such as
Latin, Ancient Greek and Sanskrit, have been kept alive artificially
and are still widely known, and sometimes even spoken in certain
special circumstances by quite a number of persons, as is the case
with Latin and Sanskrit, and by a few persons in the case of
Ancient Greek and Egyptian.

Each language reflects a unique world-view and culture complex,


mirroring the manner in which a speech community has resolved
its problems in dealing with the world, and has formulated its
thinking, its system of philosophy and understanding of the world
around it. In this, each language is the means of expression of the
intangible cultural heritage of a people, and it remains a reflection
of this culture for some time even after the culture which underlies
it decays and crumbles, often under the impact of an intrusive,
powerful, usually metropolitan, different culture. However, with
the death and disappearance of such a language, an irreplaceable
unit in our knowledge and understanding of human thought and
world-view is lost forever.

The dying and disappearance of languages have been going on for


thousands of years as a natural event in human society, but at a
14
slow rate, with a few languages here and there in the world disap- It is important to know that a language which is in danger of
pearing slowly over the years. This trend sometimes increased disappearing can still be saved, provided that an appropriate
locally for a short period of time, for instance when a powerful, language policy is adopted: the case of Hebrew is a good example
conquering group of warriors attacked and killed off certain small of the revival of a language that ceased to be a living community
groups of people speaking a variety of different languages, and language thousands of years ago.
whose languages died with them, or when natural disasters such
as violent volcanic eruptions or great floods wiped out small tribes A language can become endangered for other reasons even if it
of people who spoke a number of local languages. However, such has child speakers. The first of these reasons is the forceful split-
events did not bring about the disappearance of hundreds of ting up and transplanting of the speech community that speaks a
languages at the same time and at a steady or increasing rate, and given language, putting small groups or even only individuals of
did not result in a drastic and catastrophic reduction in the the speech community into communities that use another
number of languages spoken in the world. language. This will inevitably kill the original language of the
transplanted people in a short amount of time. A second situation
However, the past three hundred years or so have seen a dramatic in which a language becomes endangered and threatens to disap-
increase in the death and disappearance of languages, at a pear occurs when a particular speech community comes into face-
steadily increasing rate in many parts of the world, leading to a to-face contact with carriers of a more aggressive culture, who
situation today in which 3,000 or more languages that are still speak another, usually metropolitan, language. The first culture is
spoken are endangered, seriously endangered or dying, with many overwhelmed and threatened with disintegration, because mastery
other still viable languages already showing signs of being poten- of the intrusive language offers economic advantages to the
tially endangered and soon entering the phase where they will be speakers of the language of the weaker culture. Parents of children
endangered and will face disappearance. in the weaker culture tend to encourage their children to use the
language of the stronger culture in preference to their own, and
What exactly does it mean when a language is referred to as being will themselves tend to speak to their children in that preferred
endangered? Basically, the language of any community that is no language. The young generation will soon learn to despise their
longer learned by children, or at least by a large part of the children traditional language and regard it as worthless and inferior, and
of that community (say, at least 30 per cent), should be regarded as cease to be interested in it. A third group of causes for the endan-
endangered or at least potentially endangered. If a large portion germent or even disappearance of local and minority languages
of the children switch to another language, then more and more chil- can be indirectly attributed to the actions of people of a dominant
dren will act likewise until there are no child speakers left, and the culture that lead to the destruction of the environment, habitat
language will eventually disappear with the death of its last speakers. and livelihood of the speakers of local languages, e.g. mining, oil
15 Atlas of the
drilling, excessive tree felling, damming of rivers, warfare, etc. There are many examples of the three main reasons that we have Worlds Languages
in Danger
These actions lead to the transplanting and scattering of the given above for language endangerment. The paradox now comes of Disappearing

speakers of the local languages, with disastrous results for their to light: il would appear that the way to prevent a language from
languages. Other types of causes of the endangerment or disap- becoming endangered especially in the second, and to some
pearance of very small to moderately small, local languages extent the first, category would be to promote bi- or multi-
include natural catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions, severe lingualism, which is already the norm in many parts of the world,
earthquakes, tsunamis (gigantic waves hitting shorelines after a with several thousand, especially smallish, languages spoken by
seaquake), floods, wildfires, new devastating diseases and bi- and multilinguals, be they a few members of a speech commu-
epidemics resulting from contacts between speakers of local nity, or very many, or the entire community. Bi- and multi-
languages and those of a dominant culture, where the former have lingualism make it possible for speakers of languages under threat
no resistance to diseases such as influenza or tuberculosis, and in from languages spoken by bearers of aggressive cultures and civi-
the past, to smallpox and the like. lizations to acquire a good knowledge of the latter for economic
and other reasons, while maintaining a good knowledge of their
In our discussion of language endangerment, an important factor is original languages. This allows them to preserve their cultural and
the number of speakers of a given language. Languages spoken by traditional identity and maintain their own self-respect and self-
a large group are less vulnerable to the danger of disappearing esteem. Bi- and multilinguals tend to be superior to monolinguals
than others. However, the problem here is that the question of in having more flexible, more alert minds and a greater and
large or small numbers of speakers is quite relative and is deter- quicker thinking capacity on the basis of a much greater volume of
mined by the number of the speakers of surrounding languages who memory which they have for mastering two (or in the case of
are culturally aggressive. In Australia, very few of the many multilinguals more than two) different language systems with
autochthonous languages ever had or have even today more different vocabularies, grammars, sound structures and idiomatic
than 1,000 speakers, but they are none the less regarded and expressions. Bi- and multilingualism from very early childhood
referred to as large languages, because the average number of onwards, to be maintained past the age of six years, is the most
speakers of viable Australian languages with fewer speakers is a few advantageous quality any person can possess. Unfortunately, it is
hundred or even less. The situation is similar in New Guinea and not encouraged in most of the major cultures, the speakers of
adjacent islands, in parts of Melanesia, and some other parts of the whose languages are overwhelmingly monolingual and wrongly
world. On the other hand, in areas such as India where numerous regard monolingualism as the norm and the preferred state for
languages have millions of speakers, a language with 10,000 or human language.
even more speakers is regarded as a small language, and will feel
pressure from neighbouring languages with millions of speakers.
17 Atlas of the
History and languages Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

Meetings between groups of people previously unknown to each


other, and contact with unknown languages, are common events in
everyday life and in human history. Over the past thousand years or
so, the shifting of geographical centres of power and domination,
as well as sheer demographic increase, has led to intensifying
contacts between different cultures, and to increasing contact
between groups of people speaking different and mutually
incomprehensible languages on an increasing scale. For hundreds
of years, these events remained relatively sporadic and, apart
from a few exceptions, of relatively minor consequence from a
linguistic point of view. Minority groups, usually smaller in
population, often the bearers of complex, sophisticated, local
traditional cultures, were frequently less culturally aggressive and
politically powerful than the groups with whom they came into
contact.

Things took a turn for the worse in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, however, with the explorations, widening of economic
interests and expansionist tendencies of a number of European
peoples Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Spaniards and
others, and including Russians moving into Siberia and the Far
East. A devastating consequenceof these migrations was the intro-
duction of new diseases into areas such as North America, Siberia
and later Australia, where, for instance, smallpox epidemics took a
terrible toll, decimating the local populations, disrupting societal
18
structure and, naturally, changing the situation from a language able by those who do not possess this knowledge. Such economic
point of view since few people or even none at all now spoke advantages usually include eligibility for jobs, with good monetary
certain languages. Some speech communities in North America, rewards, allowing access to coveted goods and services (something
Siberia and Australia, for instance, were dramatically reduced in that gives the impression to the speakers of the traditional
number through smallpox epidemics. languages that their own languages are useless in the changing
economic situation, and makes them forget other, social and
However, the decrease in the numbers of speakers of languages intangible cultural and psychological values inherent in their
and the disruption of societies through the introduction of traditional languages. Such impressions and attitudes mean that
epidemic diseases was merely one consequence of the meeting of they have less and less regard for their traditional languages, and
two cultures. Encounters between local peoples with people from this leads to an increased use of the language of the dominant
more aggressive cultures and civilizations frequently resulted in a cultures and the eventual disappearance of the traditional
clash between the two groups, on a cultural level at the very least. languages.
The influence of the dominant culture, economically and culturally
speaking, upon the local traditional culture and their language This scenario can worsen if, in addition, the representatives of the
ecology, were more pervasive and destructive in certain parts of dominant cultures undertake deliberate acts to discourage the
the world. Overpowering and irresistible cultural and social pres- continued use of the traditional languages, and this sometimes in
sure from outside often heavily influenced local languages, when it contradiction with an official position that would seem to
did not simply cause them to disappear. Traditional languages encourage the continued existence of local cultures. Such actions
found themselves unsuited to function as vehicles of expression were, in differing grades of intensity, carried out in the not-so-
for the new culture. This situation was usually made worse by the distant past in much of Aboriginal Australia; in England, with
negative, contemptuous, destructive and intolerant attitudes respect to the Welsh language; in North America and in the former
towards the languages of local populations by members of the USSR, where children were taken from their families and placed in
dominant culture group. All of this had a tendency to adversely boarding schools, where the languages of instruction became
affect the attitudes of the speakers of the traditional languages English or Russian, and children were often forbidden to speak
towards their own languages, which they began to regard as their mother tongue at school. In addition, the inhabitants of
inferior to the language of the intrusive dominant culture. Such an settlements of different ethnic minorities were regrouped by
effect may be compounded by economic factors: knowledge of the means of forced relocations. This led to the total destruction of
language of the economically stronger culture by members of the traditional cultures and values and the loss of traditional
economically weaker traditional language speech community tends languages in many instances.
to lead to economic advantages for the latter which are unobtain-
19 Atlas of the
Dominated peoples cling to their language as the last rampart they are ultimately saying the same thing in different guises. This Worlds Languages
in Danger
against foreign domination. Isolated from all the domains of theory implies that the disappearance of any one language is a of Disappearing

public life (administration, politics, justice, etc.) and modern minor occurrence the disappearance of one among many of the
activities (trade and industry) and deprived of the major means of same kind. Curiously enough, this theory has many followers, but
communication (press, radio and TV), the speakers of dominated anyone working seriously with translation between languages from
languages are marginalized, and their language is condemned, two very different cultures immediately recognizes its fallacy and
sooner or later, to disappear. knows it to be wrong.

Circumstances like the ones described above, or similar to them, A second theory about language argues that most perceptions of
have led to the death and disappearance of hundreds of languages the world and parts of the world are brought into being and
over the past 300 years and on an accelerating basis, especially in sustained by language itself. Therefore, different languages
the past 100 years, above all in America and Australia. Hundreds emphasize and filter various aspects of a multifaceted reality in a
more languages will very likely suffer the same fate in the fore- vast number of different ways. According to this theory, and as has
seeable future. According to our estimates, about half (i.e. about already been said above, every language reflects a unique world-
3,000) of the approximately 6,000 languages in the world are now view and culture complex mirroring the manner in which a speech
endangered to some degree or another. community has resolved its problems in dealing with the world,
and has formulated its thinking, philosophy and understanding of
Underlying many of the developments and problems mentioned the world around it. This theory explains why linguistic diversity is
above is a practical factor which, until very recently, has attracted an invaluable asset and resource rather than an obstacle to
little, if any, attention among linguists and others concerned with progress, and why the disappearance of any one language consti-
the problem of languages in danger of disappearing, and whose tutes an irretrievable and tragic loss to valuable and irreplaceable
importance has probably not been properly understood. human knowledge.

According to one theory about language and the relationship It seems remarkable and rather strange that, in contrast to the
between language and the material and non-material (i.e. spiritual great concern shown by many people for animal and plant species
and intangible) elements surrounding its speakers, the world is threatened by extinction, there are, with relatively few exceptions,
thought to consist of many parts, and each language provides a few organized groups concerned about the fact that about half
different set of labels for the same set of parts. This theory main- of one of humanitys most precious commodities language diver-
tains that the differences between languages are only superficial, sity is also threatened by extinction. This attitude is, curiously
and that any one language can fully translate any other, because enough, shared by some linguists whose interests in human
20
language do not include the role and function of language in South America. Their medicinal properties were known to the local
culture. It has only been relatively recently that a fair number of forest tribes long before they came into contact with Europeans.
linguists have begun to show any alarm at all at the rapidly Another striking example was recently reported from northern
progressing extinction and endangerment of languages. This Australia, where ailments such as severe skin ulcers, which failed
change in attitude largely coincides with an increasing awareness to respond to European drugs, cleared up quickly when lotions
of language as an intrinsic part of the culture and society of those derived from certain plants known to members of local Aboriginal
who speak it. tribes were applied at the local hospital. The Aborigines had devel-
oped a detailed knowledge of the use of medicinal plants.
Frequently, when people are made aware of the problem, their Fortunately, the nursing sister on hand had been in contact with
reaction is simply to ask why there is any problem at all, and what Aboriginal people for twenty-two years, and took the Aboriginal
value there could be in studying, or in trying to maintain, all of people, their knowledge and their culture seriously. The success of
the worlds languages. But this reaction reflects ignorance of the this and similar traditional treatments has broken the ice with
complexity and high level of human thought inherent in each indi- certain doctors trained according to rational principles, and a wide
vidual language, including the languages spoken by people search for other effective medicinal plants in Australia has now
regarded as primitive by the speakers of languages with general begun with the help of Aboriginal people providing the words that
or international currency. It also reflects their ignorance of the they use (in their now seriously endangered languages) for these
fact that each language is unique, in as much as each language plants.
has a different thought pattern and world-view underlying it, and
that the loss of any one language means a contraction, reduction Another, slightly different example, will illustrate the value of the
and impoverishment of the sum total of the reservoir of human study of traditional, and now endangered, languages for
thought and knowledge as expressible through language, the tool enhancing the thought patterns and perception abilities of
enabling cultures to exist through intercommunication. speakers of metropolitan languages. In the Inuit languages, there
are many different words for a concept that is expressed in just
To give just a few examples, many highly effective medicinal plants one word in the English language, namely, snow, and each of the
are known only to people in traditional cultures; their languages Inuit words indicates a completely different type of snow. From
possess specific names for these plants. When their languages and this, English speakers could come to a new discovery about sharp-
cultures are lost, the knowledge about these plants and their ening ones perception of natural phenomena. There are thousands
healing properties is lost too, unless a linguist or other interested of similar examples from little-known languages that can enrich
person has recorded the names and a description of the properties the entire perceptual field of those who speak only one general or
before the disappearance. Curare and quinine are examples from international language. Thus there is considerable value and merit
21 Atlas of the
in the study and proper understanding of local, and especially We might mention here that in some places (e.g. New Guinea and Worlds Languages
in Danger
endangered, languages. It is probably high time for the message New Caledonia, where small, indigenous speech communities, each of Disappearing

to be more widely disseminated. The effective spreading of a of them speaking a different language, are in close contact with
similar message concerning the dangers of the impoverishment of each other and have been for a long time), egalitarian multilin-
biodiversity in the world resulting from the extinction of animal gualism is the norm, with all languages having equal standing and
and plant species has fallen on fertile ground it is hoped that prestige. This indeed constitutes a fitting example for other civi-
the message concerning the impoverishment of human thought lizations to follow! Australia is headed this way: a very large
resulting from the extinction and disappearance of languages may proportion of the population is foreign born; numerous cultural
also be heard and understood. patterns exist peacefully side by side; multiculturalism is official
government policy; and numerous European and Asian languages
There is a strongly ingrained belief, especially among native can be heard everywhere in the streets with bi- and multilin-
speakers of what are considered to be major, dominating gualism on the rise. The same holds in New Zealand, where Maori,
languages, that monolingualism and monoculturalism alone the original Polynesian language of the country, holds official
constitute the normal and acceptable state for human beings. status along with English, and is now taught in many schools.
Consequently, speakers of other languages that come within the Switzerland is a good European example: here, even the small,
political orbit of a nation or region ruled by speakers of one now standardized, Romansch language (about 67,000 speakers)
language, and who are to become members or at least associate enjoys official status and receives full government support. A
members of such a nation, are faced with a hard choice: either similar situation exists in southern Finland for Finnish and
they become full representatives of the culture of such a nation Swedish, and there are other recent examples of similar positive
and speak or at least pretend to speak the dominant language developments and attitudes.
monolingually, or they stay out. If circumstances have placed them
by force within such a political orbit, they become underprivileged What we have just outlined in the above paragraphs indicates that
fringe members of the community. It rarely occurs to speakers of a it is possible for minority and other small languages, together with
dominant language that bi- and multilingualism is widespread and at least some elements of their traditional cultures, to continue to
is becoming the norm in many continents or countries or regions exist in a context of stable bilingualism and biculturalism even
(e.g. Finland, Switzerland, much of other parts of Europe, Africa, after their speakers have acquired full knowledge and mastery of
India, Indonesia, the south-western Pacific area, Paraguay, the the dominant language and culture into whose orbit they have
Philippines to name just a few). inescapably been drawn by historical events. Their traditional
language and culture gives them something to be proud of,
and provides a counterbalance to the often paternalistic,
22
contemptuous or intolerant attitudes of certain monolingual in their attitudes and have a tendency to be more tolerant of the
speakers of the dominant language. The continued possession of a unknown than monolinguals (i.e. they are less hostile and suspi-
traditional language and aspects of their own culture gives the cious); they are more inclined to regard manifestations of other
speakers of the minority and lesser-spoken languages the feeling cultures by individuals as acceptable and respectable, even though
that they are in possession of something that the speakers of the different from their own cultures. 3) Their thought patterns and
dominant language do not have. This, in addition to their bi- and world-view are better balanced due to their familiarity with
perhaps multilingualism, and indeed biculturalism, is an intangible different, often somewhat contradictory concepts. They have
yet very real asset. greater ability than monolinguals to learn concepts, ideas and
things that are entirely new, to fit into novel situations without
It should also be pointed out here that, although it is not so trauma, and to understand the different facets of a problem.
widely known, bi- and multiculturalism are also quite possible in
human society. An individual can be just as readily bicultural, at Bi- or multilingualism and biculturalism and understanding and
home in two cultures, as bilingual. Another culture, with its char- tolerance of other cultures from early childhood onwards is an
acteristic thought patterns and world-views, can be learned as ideal to be attained by human beings. At the same time, languages
other languages can be learned. In groups and nations, bi- and and their associated thought patterns and world-views are given
multiculturalism mean the peaceful, tolerant and conflict-free viability, even though they may be under subtle or heavy pressure
coexistence, side-by-side, of individuals belonging to different from another language and culture, whose carriers regard mono-
cultures. lingualism and monoculturalism as an ideal and are therefore less
tolerant, more single-minded and culturally aggressive.
The question of the intellectual and emotional advantages of bi- or
multilingualism and biculturalism gives rise, then, to the following Stable bilingualism can continue for centuries as long as the
considerations. 1) From a practical point of view, those concerned languages exist side by side as equals, and there is no pressure
have access to a far greater volume of information and knowledge from one side or other in favour of its language. Such pressure can
than monolinguals, possess a larger stock of knowledge (both be withstood by awareness that ones own language is not inferior
linguistic and general) in their minds, grasp different semantic to the other, that one can be fully at home in both, and that bi- or
associations better, and, being used to switching languages and multilingualism, and not monolingualism, is essentially the norm
thought patterns, have more flexible minds. 2) They are less rigid in a large part of the world.
23 Atlas of the
CIPL, CIPSH, UNESCO and languages in danger Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

The urgent world situation concerning languages in danger of


disappearing prompted the Permanent International Committee of
Linguists (CIPL) to focus its attention on endangered languages a
number of years ago. At the 14th International Congress of
Linguists in Berlin in 1987, the Committee was asked officially to
make endangered languages a central topic for the 15th
International Congress of Linguists in Quebec in 1992. At the 17th
International Congress of Linguists, to be held in Oaxaca, Mexico,
in 2002, a plenary session will be devoted to the subject of endan-
gered languages as one of the four main themes of the event.

This led to the appearance in 1991 of Endangered Languages,


edited by R. H. Robins and E. M. Uhlenbeck, an important work
published under the auspices of the International Council of
Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (CIPSH). This book included
four contributions from the periodical Diogenes (Volume 143),
published by CIPSH in parallel editions in several languages
including English, French and Spanish. Endangered Languages has
now been translated into Spanish with a view to publication in
that language.

To further what by then had become a combined CIPSH-CIPL


project, S. A. Wurm, in his capacity as president of CIPSH at the
time, contacted the Sector for Culture at UNESCO in this matter
and proposed that steps be taken for: (i) identification of the
24
endangered languages in the world; (ii) establishment of a data mously adopted a resolution requesting that UNESCO negotiate
bank and communication centre to receive, store and make avail- with the Government of Japan for the establishment of a clearing
able to interested scholars and other persons information on house and data bank centre in Tokyo.
endangered and dying languages; and (iii) urgent study of
languages threatened with extinction in the near or immediate The response of UNESCO through its Sector for Culture, and of the
future, especially of languages which have not been studied, or Japanese authorities, was very favourable, and following negotia-
studied very little, and which are either isolated languages (i.e. tions, the centre was established as part of the newly created
are not related, or only very distantly related, to known Department of Asian and Pacific Linguistics, Institute of Cross-
languages) or are in some way special and unusual. Cultural Studies, at the Faculty of Letters of the University of
Tokyo, with three academic staff members. It had its official
At the 15th International Congress of Linguists held in Quebec opening in November 1995 in the course of an International
(Canada) in 1992, endangered languages were one of the two main Symposium on Endangered Languages. It now possesses material
themes and gave rise to a plenary session. A resolution on endan- on over 500 endangered languages, although it has not been very
gered languages for the attention of UNESCO was unanimously active.
adopted on that occasion, as follows:
By 1994, CIPSH was beginning to receive applications for the study
As the disappearance of any one language constitutes an irretrievable of endangered languages in various parts of the world, which it
loss to mankind, it is for UNESCO a task of great urgency to respond to then vetted, suitable ones being forwarded to UNESCO for
this situation by promoting and, if possible, sponsoring programmes of financing. Grants were handed out to successful applicants by
linguistic organizations for the description in the form of grammars, CIPSH. The financing of endangered language study applications
dictionaries and texts, including the recording of the oral literatures of by UNESCO through CIPSH ceased in 1999.
hitherto unstudied or inadequately documented endangered and dying
languages. In 2000, other national and international organizations gradually
took over the funding of similar studies and activities. In this
The next step was taken at the 21st CIPSH General Assembly in connection, two urgent research projects undertaken in 1995 with
1992 in Harare (Zimbabwe), when a colloquium was held on the financial assistance by CIPL involved the study of two unusual
theme, Life and Death of Languages, in Particular in Africa, at endangered languages in Papua New Guinea. Both of these studies
which a number of Africanist linguists participated. The Assembly were concluded with the preparation of grammatical descriptions,
unanimously endorsed the resolution which had been adopted by extensive vocabularies and texts with interlinear and free transla-
the 15th International Congress of Linguists, and also unani- tions. The study of another dying Papua New Guinea language
25 Atlas of the
which had only one fluent speaker left, was undertaken at the reinforce it through the powerful symbol of their traditional Worlds Languages
in Danger
same time, with its results also being published. CIPL intends to languages. of Disappearing

support further studies of languages in danger of disappearing.


The interest in languages in danger of disappearing extends to the
The study of languages in danger of disappearing has two aims. maintenance and preservation of such languages. Different
Firstly, in the case of languages that are irrefutably on the way out methods are used to maintain endangered languages and possibly
and moribund, but have not been studied in detail, every effort revive those seriously endangered. Most importantly, the ethnic
should be made to carry out what could be described as a museal self-awareness of the speakers of such languages should be awak-
study for posterity to preserve as much as possible of the knowl- ened and strengthened as they come to realize that they possess
edge of their sound structure, grammar, vocabulary, texts with something that speakers of the dominant language around them
interlinear and free translations including specimens of discourse do not have. Major efforts should be made to concentrate on
and oral literature, folklore, traditions and myths, together with helping their children acquire and maintain a knowledge of the
sound recordings. This would make it possible for scholars and the endangered language. Special playing situations in which the
descendants of the last speakers to know what the language was endangered language is exclusively used might be developed, with
like, and enable these descendants to acquire a knowledge of the rewards for children who respond positively. Additional reasons
dead language again something that is now increasingly occur- and circumstances should be envisaged to raise the interest of the
ring with the reawakening of ethnic identity feelings among many speakers of an endangered language in preserving and main-
groups in various parts of the world. taining that language. For instance, their language could be used
as a secret language, unintelligible to the speakers of the domi-
In the case of endangered languages with a number of speakers, nant language, whom they may have reason to regard as their
but which have not been studied in detail, the same type of study oppressors. As a background to the revival and maintenance of an
is necessary, but with an additional aim: if there is a desire on the endangered language, still-remembered aspects of the traditional
part of the speakers to maintain their language, perhaps in a bilin- culture and activities of its speakers should be reawakened.
gual situation, the results of such a study would, together with
some advice on language maintenance, enable the speakers to The percentage of the hitherto unstudied or only little studied
induce and teach the children (and adolescents and young adults) endangered or dying languages that can still be studied before
in their community to learn this language or to relearn it if they their extinction and irretrievable disappearance, and knowledge
have lost their previous knowledge of it. Such situations are occur- and information about them preserved for posterity, will depend
ring with increasing frequency as people whose languages are in on the amount of funding available for this purpose, the avail-
danger of disappearing remember their ethnic identity and wish to ability of scholars and local people with some linguistic training (a
26
question closely connected with the amount of funding available) that the results of work in various projects will be made available
and in part on the co-operation and goodwill of the authorities in to the interested audience worldwide, which in turn may be
some countries, particularly in developing countries. An ap- expected to have beneficial results for the wider appreciation and
preciable number of endangered and dying languages could recognition of the problem of endangered languages. Publications
accordingly be selected for study before their extinction, or at may make more people aware of the fact that many endangered
least material on them collected, so that they remain visible. It is languages exist and this may increasingly result in the realization
hoped that activities will enable a number of endangered among decision-makers and speakers of endangered languages
languages, whose adult speakers are anxious to maintain and themselves that the worldwide problem is very serious indeed.
preserve them, to continue as living languages. Also, it is hoped
27 Atlas of the
Remarks on the present atlas Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

It was felt necessary, in order to attract public interest to the


serious worldwide problem of endangered languages and language
disappearance in a graphic and easily understandable manner, to
republish this small Atlas of the Worlds Languages in Danger of
Disappearing. It is well known that a few appropriate graphic
representations of a problem will convey a message much more
succinctly and convincingly than any number of pages of detailed
explanation.

The maps are intended to show the seriousness and widespread


nature of the endangerment and disappearance of languages in
many parts of the world. In a selective manner, they cover the
entire globe. On each map, languages are shown by their names,
with one of five symbols added. These symbols indicate whether
languages are in danger of disappearing, moribund or already
extinct. In danger of disappearing indicates a progressive process
that moves from potentially endangered to endangered, and on to
seriously endangered, and eventually to moribund, and ultimately
to extinct. The meanings of the terms used here are: potentially
endangered, children are no longer learning the language; endan-
gered, the youngest speakers are young adults; seriously endan-
gered, the youngest speakers are moving into middle age and
beyond in the more advanced stage of the process, and many no
longer have a good knowledge of the language; moribund, only a
handful of speakers are left, mostly very old; and finally, extinct,
28
no speakers are left. See the page before the maps for the relevant speakers of such languages (especially moribund), may be living.
symbols. Only the language name with the appropriate symbol has been
given. The symbol has been placed either in the approximate area
This small Atlas is not intended to give full coverage of the where some speakers of the named language are known to be
languages of the world which belong to the categories ranging living, or, if the location of such an area is not well-known, after a
from in danger of disappearing to moribund, with some extinct given language name on the understanding that the name and
languages added; however, by showing a number of such symbol mark the approximate location of the language in ques-
languages for a range of areas in all major parts of the world, it tion. With coastal languages, the combination of language name
intends to convey a graphic, easily understood image of the and symbol may well extend into the sea.
extremely widespread nature of the problem of language endan-
germent. It is hoped that when the reader comes to the full real- The individual maps cover areas of quite different size, ranging
ization that he or she is looking only at a sample of the problem, from parts of countries such as the north-east of China to wider
the full, grim truth will sink in fully. areas such as the northern and eastern, western and southern
parts of Canada, Siberia, a part of East Africa and so forth, and
In many cases, especially with endangered languages that have continental areas such as Australia, Africa, much of Europe, and all
almost disappeared and moribund languages, it is difficult, if not of South America. The latter type of maps show the widespread,
impossible, to indicate the present area of such languages, pervasive nature of the problem over vast geographical expanses,
because quite often they are no longer spoken anywhere near their and are thus more impressive.
traditional areas. This is because the speakers have been removed
far away to reservations or resettlement places by local authori- The explanations given on the situation of endangered languages
ties, or scattered far and wide by them into communities or settle- in the areas dealt with on maps in this Atlas reflect the present
ments among speakers of other languages. Alternatively, the last state of research, which at present is only preliminary.
speakers of a moribund language may have sought shelter with
other speech communities on a voluntary basis wherever they met
with a friendly reception or at least tolerance. On most of the Eurasia
maps, no borders of languages have been indicated, even in cases
in which their surviving speakers are still living more or less inside Europe
their traditional area, but are now so few in number that indi- The only languages in Europe that are generally known to be in
cating the area in which their language is spoken becomes mean- danger of disappearing are the Celtic languages of Britain and
ingless. Often it is not known where all the scattered remaining Ireland, such as Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and Welsh. Manx is
29 Atlas of the
already extinct, and Cornish died out at the end of the eighteenth are Nogai and Crimean Tatar. In Belgium, France and Spain there Worlds Languages
in Danger
century, but was artificially revived and now has a number of are several further threatened Romance languages such as Walloon of Disappearing

speakers. In French Brittany, Breton is spoken. In Scandinavia, in Belgium, Franco-Provenal, Provenal (Occitan), Auvergnat,
several of the Saami (Lappish) languages are seriously endangered Limousin, Languedocien and Gascon (also in Spain) in France, also
or moribund. Not far from Finland, on Russian territory, several Aragonese, Asturian, Galician and Leonese in Spain. Mozarabic in
small threatened Finno-Ugrian languages are spoken, such as southern Spain is extinct. The Basque language, which is endan-
Ingrian, Ludian, Olonetsian, Vepsian, Votian and the large gered in Spain and seriously endangered in France, is not Indo-
Karelian. The Finno-Ugrian moribund Livonian is found in western European like most of the other languages in Europe (except for
Lithuania. The Finno-Ugrian languages also include the Estonian, the Finno-Ugrian languages mentioned above) and it is an isolate
Finnish and Hungarian languages which are not endangered. The language, that is, it seems to be unrelated to any other known
Saami languages mentioned above also belong to the Finno-Ugrian language. The only other remaining threatened language in Europe
group. In northern Germany, Frisian and Low German, as well as outside Russia is Scots in Scotland, which is becoming endan-
several small surviving Slavic languages such as Kashubian and gered. Romance Catalan in eastern Spain (and overlapping into
Sorbian, are on the danger list. Further south in Switzerland and France), regarded by some as potentially endangered, is now
northern Italy, several Rhaeto-Romansh languages are in danger, increasingly re-invigorated.
i.e. Romansch, Ladin and Friulan, as are a number of other
Romance languages in Italy (including Sardinia), Albania, Greece, In European Russia, apart from small Finno-Ugrian languages near
southern France and Spain, such as Ligurian, Lombardian, Finland already mentioned above, several Finno-Ugrian languages
Piemontese, the four forms of Sardinian, and also Corsican on in the north are in danger, such as Moksha and Erzya, Western and
French Corsica. All these are endangered to some extent, as are Eastern Mari, Udmurt, Permyak and Komi. There are also two
Franco-Provenal and Provenal which are endangered in Italy and endangered Turkic languages in north-eastern Russia, in addition
seriously endangered in France. In the Balkans, the threatened to the threatened ones mentioned before in the south of European
Istriot and Istro-Rumanian in Croatia and Aromunian in Albania Russia. These northern ones are the highly aberrant Turkic
are also Romance languages (French, Italian, Portuguese and language called Chuvash, and the Bashkir language which is
Spanish too are important Romance languages). Meglenitic and closely related to Tatar of the same area and further east, which is
Tsakonian in Greece are related to Greek. The threatened Gagauz in not threatened. The Mongolian Kalmyk language, to the north-
European Turkey, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of east of the Black Sea on the lower Volga River, is endangered.
Macedonia and Moldavia is a Turkic language closely related to
Turkish. Karaim in Lithuania, the Ukraine, and on the Crimean Finally, there are varieties of the Romani (Gypsy) language in most
Peninsula in the northern part of the Black Sea is also Turkic, as parts of Europe, most of them threatened to some extent at least.
30
The plight of most of these languages is due to heavy pressure and the so-called southern Samoyedic languages, of which Selkup
from the dominant languages of the countries where they are is the only surviving member, is seriously endangered in parts of
spoken; in some cases, especially in the past, this has been its territory and moribund in others. Kamas survived until the early
combined with deliberate policies aiming at their suppression. 1990s, but Mator died long ago. Of the north-western Samoyedic
Some notable exceptions to this are countries such as Norway, languages Nenets, Enets and Nganasan, the Tundra Nenets dialect
Switzerland and a few others which have been actively furthering is only endangered, the others being seriously endangered or
and supporting the use of minority languages. In recent years, moribund. Nganasan is functioning well among the members of
there has been a strong upswing in interest for minority languages the old generation, but is not being passed on properly to the
in many places in Europe, and a strengthening of the ethnic and younger generation.
linguistic awareness of their speakers.
The Mongolian, Tungusic and Turkic languages belong to the so-
called Altaic group, to which some linguists also attach Japanese
Siberia and Korean. The closely interrelated Turkic languages (with the
In western and southern Siberia, most local languages are in exception of the Churash language mentioned under Europe) are
danger of disappearing: Finno-Ugrian, Samoyedic, Turkic, found in Turkey, the Caucasus, eastern Europe and eastern
Mongolian and Tungusic languages, and one Palaeo-Siberian European Russia (see the Europe section), Central Asia, Siberia,
language. northern Mongolia and northern and western China. In Siberia
they are mostly small languages spoken in south-western Siberia,
The Finno-Ugrian languages in western Siberia belong to the such as Siberian Tatar, Shor, Teleut, Altai, Khakas, Chulym and
Ugrian section of Finno-Ugrian, whereas all Finno-Ugrian Tofa. Most of these are endangered or seriously endangered, with
languages mentioned under Europe belong to the Finnic section the last two moribund. In northern and north-eastern Siberia, the
of Finno-Ugrian, except for Hungarian, which is Ugrian, and large Yakut and the Dolgan languages are Turkic, with Dolgan
include the western Siberian Mansi and Khanty languages, its spoken by Turkicized Samoyeds. Both are well-functioning
nearest relatives. The ancestors of the present-day Hungarians languages, though regarded by some linguists as potentially
lived in the same area as todays Mansi and Khanty speakers, but endangered. Yakut is now taking over from Russian as the inter-
left that area about 3,0004,000 years ago. The Western Siberian language lingua franca, or contact language, in north-eastern
Ugrian languages are seriously endangered and moribund. The Siberia. The speakers of most of the small south-western Siberian
Samoyedic languages are related to the Finno-Ugrian languages, Turkic languages were originally speakers of southern Samoyedic
and together with them constitute the Uralian languages group. languages, but became Turkicized. The closely interrelated
The Samoyedic languages are located in north-western Siberia, Mongolian languages are spoken in Mongolia, southern Siberia and
31 Atlas of the
northern and western China. In Siberia, only the regionally poten- belonging to three different groups that are probably not related Worlds Languages
in Danger
tially or seriously endangered Buryat language is spoken, as well to each other, and there is one doubtful language. In western of Disappearing

as the regionally endangered or moribund Khamnigan Mongol Siberia, along the middle and upper Yenisey River there is (in part
language near the border of northern China. The closely inter- was) the Ketic group of languages of which the seriously endan-
related Tungusic languages are very widespread in central, eastern gered Ket and the moribund Yug are the surviving members. Kot on
and north-eastern Siberia, on the Kamchatka Peninsula, on the upper Yenisey has long been extinct. The Ketic languages do
Sakhalin Island, and in north-eastern and western China, but they not seem to be related to any other known languages, though
have few speakers, with the exception of the Sibo dialect of the there have been attempts to link them with languages outside
Manchu language, which was the language of the Manchu Siberia. A large Palaeo-Siberian group is the Chukchee-Koryak-
conquerers of China in the early seventeenth century AD, and the Alyutor-Kamchadal group in north-eastern Siberia and the
official language of the Manchu dynasty which ruled China until Kamchatka Peninsula. The first three are individual languages, all
1913. Their language has now almost vanished in China, there are of them seriously endangered. Kamchadal originally consisted of
only a few aged speakers left in north-east China (see the North- three languages, of which only Itelmen proper survives today as a
east China map in this Atlas, p. 58), but a Manchu garrison was moribund language. The other two are extinct. A moribund small
sent to Western China (Xinjiang) in the seventeenth century, and language, Kerek, is closely related to Chukchee. Further, there is
among their descendants there are still well over 20,000 speakers the Nivkh language on the lower Amur River in the Russian Far East
of a dialectal form of Manchu called Sibo. The largest ethnic and on northern Sakhalin Island. It seems unrelated to any other
Tungusic group today are the Ewenki, widespread in small commu- known language, though attempts have been made to link it with
nities from central to eastern and south-eastern Siberia, and into the Chukchee group. Finally, the doubtful Palaeo-Siberian
north-east China. In Siberia, there are 26,000 ethnic Ewenki, and language is Yukagir, spoken in two separate locations in north-
close to 20,000 in China. Only 6,000 still speak the language in eastern Siberia. The extinct Chuvan language was also Yukagiric.
Siberia, whereas many of those in China still know their language. Recent studies suggest strongly that the language is related to the
There are efforts for its revival in Siberia. Other important Uralian languages (see above). It seems moribund, but attempts at
Tungusic languages are Even in north-eastern Siberia and on the reviving it are in progress.
Kamchatka Peninsula, and a number of small Tungusic languages
in the Russian Far East and on Sakhalin Island, such as Nanay, In addition to all these languages, there are several Asiatic Eskimo
Negidal, Olcha, Oroch, Orok and Udege. All of these are seriously languages on the eastern shores of the Chukchee Peninsula, such
endangered or moribund. as Central Siberian Yupik Eskimo, which is extinct in two locations
and endangered in another, Naukanski Eskimo, which is seriously
The remaining languages of Siberia are Palaeo-Siberian languages endangered, and Sirenitski Eskimo which became extinct in 1999
32
with the death of its last speaker (see the Arctic North America The forty Caucasian languages constitute a separate group of
West map, p. 74). interrelated languages with four subgroups: north-western, north-
eastern (or Daghestan), and southern Caucasus languages, with a
All the threatened languages mentioned above have been under northern (or northern central) group geographically between the
enormous pressure from Russian and, in the past, were the target north-western and north-eastern groups. The language of the
of deliberate Soviet policies aiming at obliterating them, through Chechens belongs to this northern group. Famous languages of the
methods such as the removal of children to distant boarding north-western group are Circassian and Abkhas, which are noted
schools where they were forbidden to speak their language to one for having the largest number of consonants of any language in
another, and forced resettling of members of speech communities the world and very few vowels this makes them sound so alien
among speakers of other languages including Russian. Only since that outsiders doubt whether they are listening to a human
the disintegration of the former Soviet Union have there been language when they hear it. Georgian is a well-known member of
signs of a reawakening of ethnic identity awareness among some the southern group, and the Caucasian language with the largest
Siberian peoples, with simultaneous growing interest in the number of speakers, over 5,000,000. The twenty-seven north-
preservation, revival and furthering of their languages. eastern languages are the most numerous; some of them have very
few speakers. Some of the more familiar names of north-eastern
A considerable amount of work on endangered and dying languages are Andi, Archi, Avar, Hunzib, Lak, Lezgin, Tabassaran,
languages in Siberia has been carried out by Russian scholars, Tsakhur and Udi.
scholars from outside Russia (i.e. linguists from Europe, in partic-
ular from Finland, Hungary and some other countries), as well as There are a number of Turkic and other non-Caucasian languages
by American scholars from Alaska. Increasingly, linguists from the (Iranian Kurdish, Ossetic, Tat and Talysh) in the Caucasus area. The
local language areas have also been studying endangered Siberian most important are the Turkic Azerbaijan language in the south-
languages. However, there is still much work to be done on them. east, which exerts pressure on several north-eastern Caucasian
languages, and the Indo-European Armenian language. The Turkic
Nogai (already mentioned in the Europe section) and Kumyk
Caucasus languages are important as trade languages in the east of the
The Caucasus area contains a number of languages in danger, Caucasus area, and they also put pressure on some north-eastern
especially in Daghestan and the Georgian Republic. Some of them Caucasian languages.
are under pressure from large local languages, such as Turkic Azer-
baijan, and from Russian. Their speakers are fiercely proud of their The one moribund Caucasus language is the northern Caucasus
ethnic identity, and resist the demise of their languages strongly. Bats (or Batsbi) in one village in northern Georgia, which is
33 Atlas of the
succumbing to Georgian. Some quite large languages of the north- Asia Worlds Languages
in Danger
eastern group have lost whole villages to the Azerbaijan language of Disappearing

and could perhaps be regarded as potentially endangered, e.g. the China


Lak and Tabassaran languages. Some of the north-eastern In China, the main areas where languages are in danger of disap-
languages have quite substantial numbers of speakers: Tabassaran pearing are in north-east and north-western China and western
has today 78,000 speakers. There are some with far fewer Xinjiang, and Yunnan in the far south. These languages are in part
speakers: Tsakhur has 5,200; Udi 6,100; Hunzib 5,000; Khinalug under heavy pressure from Chinese. In some areas, ethnic identity
1,000; Budukh 900; Kryz 1,300; Archi, Tindi and Godoberi have is strengthening, with a positive influence on language mainte-
similar small numbers of speakers, and Hinukh even less. These nance.
languages are potentially endangered, as is Hinukh, under pres-
sure from the large local languages, and from Russian, though the The present Atlas contains a map of the threatened languages of
fierce pride of the speakers, mentioned above, acts as a bulwark north-east China. All of them belong to the Altaic group (see
against language loss. Siberia under Eurasia), i.e. the Turkic, Mongolian and Tungusic
parts of it. The only Turkic language is the moribund Manchurian
The situation is different in the southern Caucasus Group, where Kirghiz (Fuyu). The Mongolian languages are Eastern Buriat in
the speakers of the four small languages Adzhar, Laz, Mingrelian China, Khamnigan Mongol, Old and New Bargut and Dagur; and the
and Svan, which are closely related to Georgian and spoken within Tungusic ones are Ewenki proper, Khamnigan Ewenki, Orochen,
Georgia, are all bilingual in Georgia, with their languages being Manchu, and Solon. With the exception of Eastern Buriat in China,
now gradually superseded by Georgian. They have to be regarded and Dagur and Solon in western locations where they are only
as endangered. potentially endangered, these languages are all endangered, seri-
ously endangered, or moribund, although the number of speakers
Much work on Caucasus languages has been carried out by Russian of Ewenki proper and Khamnigan Ewenki are still considerable.
and non-Russian scholars, but there is still room for work on these
languages, especially the north-eastern ones. Elsewhere in China, there are threatened languages in the north-
west and in western Xinjiang, the westernmost province of China.
The local languages here are mainly Turkic and Mongolian; the
main Turkic language, Uyghur, has 6,000,000 speakers. Of other
Turkic languages, Kazak is also strongly represented with
1,000,000 speakers. Kirghiz has 100,000 speakers in Xinjiang. The
very large Turkic languages, Uzbek and Tatar, are only slightly
34
represented in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China. The small local speakers, the She language, also Miao-Yao, spoken by only 1,000
Turkic language, Western Yugur, is spoken in Kansu Province in of the 300,000 ethnic She, and others (see also the text of the
north-west China by less than 5,000 speakers in the neighbour- map of South-East Asia). The level of endangerment in southern
hood of Mongolian languages; it is potentially endangered. Next to China is not yet well known, in spite of ongoing research work. For
it is the small Mongolian Eastern or Yellow Yugur language with instance, the large Yi nationality, which was until very recently
even fewer speakers, also potentially endangered. In the western- believed to have four different languages, was found last year to
most part of Xinjiang Province, several Turkic, Mongolian and have a much larger number of small to very small languages, many
Tungusic languages are spoken. Most of the local people, but not of them probably threatened.
the Chinese living there, are multilingual in their own language, a
Turkic (Uyghur) and a Mongolian language (Oirat dialect), as well A considerable amount of work on endangered languages in
as in Chinese. The Tungusic Sibo-Manchu language is spoken only Yunnan has been carried out through the Nationality Languages
by the Sibo themselves, but they also speak every one of the Department of the Yunnan Institute of Nationalities, and by
languages known by the other non-Chinese-mother tongue scholars from outside China; still, a great deal of work remains to
speakers there. The number of speakers of the small, moribund be done on these languages. Similarly, scholars from inside and
Tungusic Orochen language is dwindling. outside China have undertaken extensive work on endangered
languages in north-east and north-west China and in Xinjiang, but
In southern parts of China such as Yunnan Province, there are a much remains to be done on certain languages.
large number of smallish, mainly Tibeto-Burman languages which
are related to Tibetan and Burman, and ultimately also to Chinese,
because all these languages belong to the vast Chino-Tibetan Himalayan Chain
group of languages. In the same areas, there are also other, often The threatened languages on the map of the Himalayan Chain
smallish, languages not related to the Tibeto-Burman languages, belong to the family of Tibeto-Burman, or its various branches. For
such as the so-called Miao-Yao languages, spoken mostly by people the term Tibeto-Burman, see the text on China. Tibeto-Burman
living in the mountains, also the so-called Kam-Tai languages languages are very widespread, and as can be seen from the inset
related to the Thai language of Thailand, and to the Austronesian map of India and Myanmar (former Burma), they occur (or occur-
languages of the Pacific area (see the text of the Pacific survey red) in those countries as well. One remarkable fact is that all
map), and also some of the so-called Austroasiatic languages Tibeto-Burman languages show inflections, i.e. grammatical
which are spoken mainly outside China in South-East Asia and changes in the words, whereas the related Chinese has virtually no
India. Some of these languages, especially small ones, are threat- such inflections. It is believed that thousands of years ago,
ened, e.g. the (Miao-) Yao language Bunu which has only 1,400 Chinese had such inflections, but lost them long ago, perhaps
35 Atlas of the
through simplification as a trade and contact language with Indian subcontinent Worlds Languages
in Danger
speakers of other languages, possibly ancestors of todays Thai On the Indian subcontinent, relatively few languages are in danger of Disappearing

languages, in the small area of ancient China. of disappearing in spite of the multiplicity of languages. Their
vitality may be explained by means of widespread egalitarian bi-
Of the languages shown on the map, Darmiya, Rangkhas, Tolcha and multilingualism. The languages which do appear to be in
and Chaudangsi/Byangsi in the west, on Indian territory, belong danger of disappearing are tribal and other relatively small
to the West Himalayish branch of Tibeto-Burman. Of the languages languages, which are losing speakers to the various larger
on Nepalese territory, Dura, Rohani, Chantel and Bhrahmu in the languages in the Indian subcontinent.
west belong to the so-called Bodish branch, and Hayu, Dumi,
Tilung, Bungla, Saam, Lumba and Chintang in central and eastern The extremely large number of languages on the Indian subconti-
Nepal to the so-called Kiranti/Rai branch. Dhimal in eastern Nepal, nent are Indo-Aryan in the centre and to some extent in the
Lepcha, Toto and Tahom on Indian territory and Pyu and Danan in north, Iranian languages in the north-west and especially in
Myanmar belong to other branches of Tibeto-Burman. Pakistan, Dravidian languages in the southern part of India,
Austroasiatic languages in the central eastern part, and Tibeto-
The potentially endangered, endangered, seriously endangered, Burman in the north. In addition, there are other languages in the
moribund or extinct status of the Himalayan Chain languages on far central north of India such as the isolate language Burushaski
the map is the result of pressure from dominant languages: in and languages of the Andaman isolated group on the Andaman
Nepal especially from Nepali, on Indian territory from relevant Islands Chain to the east of India, to name but a few.
languages in northern and north-western India, and in Myanmar
from Myanmar languages in the central and eastern parts of the Threatened languages on the Indian subcontinent are essentially
country. in the north-west, north, north-east, east and southern centre.
Those in the north-west are Indo-Aryan and Iranian, such as Dardi
A large amount of work has been done in endangered languages of and the seriously endangered Kohistani. Those in the north and
the Himalayan Chain and in Tibeto-Burman languages in general, north-west are largely Tibeto-Burman languages of which a few
mainly by linguists from Europe, especially the Netherlands and have already been mentioned in the text on the Himalayan Chain.
the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, but much There are also threatened Romany (Gypsy) languages in the far
further work remains to be done. north. Those in the southern centre are Dravidian, such as the
seriously endangered Kota and Toda languages. Kuvi is extinct
there. Those in the east are essentially Austroasiatic languages,
such as the seriously endangered Birhor and Parenga, and the
36
endangered Nahali. Several are extinct, such as Gorum, Bonda and (the border river between Tajikistan and Afghanistan) and its trib-
Gata. Among the threatened Tibeto-Burman languages several are utaries in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The languages are Shugni,
moribund, e.g. Kami, Khowar, Khami, Kawri and Tlangtlang; seri- with 50,000 speakers, formerly the lingua franca in the Pamir area.
ously endangered, such as Aimol, Aka (Hrusso), Gurung, Kagate, It has lost this role to Russian and Tajik by now. Closely related to
Mru and Purum; or endangered, including Chin, Jad, Kanashi, it are Rushan (16,000 speakers), Bartangi (2,000 speakers) and
Khampti, Khoirao, Langrong, Ralte and Tat. Oroshori (1,500 speakers). Pamir languages less closely related to
Shugni are Yazgulami (2,000 speakers) and Ishkashim (2,100
Of the ten languages of the Greater Andaman Islands, nine are speakers). Further south-east and east of those languages,
extinct and one is moribund. On the Little Andaman Island, nge another Pamir language, Wakhi, is spoken by 10,000 speakers in
still has over 100 speakers, and the Shompen language, on Afghanistan, 20,000 in Pakistan. A small number of its speakers
another island, about 70. overlap into China, where to the north, in the easternmost part of
Xinjiang Province, another small Pamir language, Sarikoli, is
A very large amount of work on the languages of the Indian spoken. In China, both Sarikoli and Wakhi are wrongly called Tajik,
subcontinent has been done over the years by Indian, British and which is an Iranian language very close to Persian, and the official
other scholars, however, relatively little attention was paid to the language of Tajikistan. It is only distantly related to the Pamir
small threatened languages, except for Tibeto-Burman languages, languages.
in which outside linguists have long been interested (see the text
on the Himalayan Chain). A great deal of work remains to be done The small Pamir languages Bartangi, Ishkashim, Oroshori and
on the numerous languages of the Indian subcontinent. Yazgulami are becoming potentially endangered, if not actually
endangered under pressure from Russian and Tajik. Sarikoli in
China is under pressure from Wakhi, the Turkic Uyghur, which is the
Central Asia: Pamir area main local contact language in Xinjiang, and from Chinese. The
Another area in Asia with a number of endangered and moribund moribund Mongol language in Afghanistan is called Moghol.
languages is the Pamir Mountains area in Central Asia with the
adjacent regions in Afghanistan and China. The languages in Much work has been done in the Pamir languages by Russian and
danger are Pamir Iranian languages; one Mongolian language in outside linguists, and on Sarikoli (Tajik) by Chinese scholars, but
Afghanistan is moribund. more remains to be done.

The threatened Pamir languages belong to the Iranian language


group. They are spoken mainly in the valleys of the Pyandzh River
37 Atlas of the
South-East Asia ened and extinct languages shown in the eastern part of India Worlds Languages
in Danger
On the Malaccan Peninsula in Malaysia and the Nicobar and appearing on the map, all are Tibeto-Burman in the close cluster of Disappearing

Andaman Islands in India, a number of languages are in danger of on both sides of the India-Myanmar border.
disappearing, largely under pressure from the major languages of
those countries. There are some signs of ethnic and linguistic Further north, Tai-Kadai languages occur. The threatened
revivalism. languages appearing in the section of Myanmar shown on the map
are all Tibeto-Burman, some of them sections of Tibeto-Burman
Linguistically, South-East Asia extends northward well into that are different from that to which Burmese, the dominant
southern China. It contains all the language types typical of those language of Myanmar, belongs. The threatened languages shown on
found in South-East Asian countries, namely, Tibeto-Burman the Thailand part of the map are also Tibeto-Burman and are unre-
languages, languages of various branches of Austroasiatic, and Tai- lated to the dominant Thai language of Thailand (Tai-Kadai). The
Kadai to which the varieties of the Thai language belong. Other threatened languages appearing on the Lao Peoples Democratic
sections of Tai-Kadai include the very large group of Austronesian Republic section of the map are Mon-Khmer Austroasiatic
languages in the Greater Pacific Area, which contains about 1,200 languages. However, the dominant language of Lao P.D.R., Laotian,
languages. Austronesian languages (of the so-called Chamic family) is a Tai-Kadai language closely related to Thai, and therefore
are found in China on Hainan Island, and in Viet Nam. The mix of unrelated to, and very different from, these threatened languages
language types and languages is different in the various South-East of Lao P.D.R. In Viet Nam, the dominant language, Vietnamese, is a
Asian countries, but the presence of many, mostly small to very Mon-Khmer Austroasiatic language, and therefore related to most
small languages of several kinds is typical everywhere. of the languages appearing in the southern part of Viet Nam on the
map and which are also Austroasiatic. Mang in the northern part of
The map of South-East Asia given in the Atlas comprises parts of Viet Nam is also Mon-Khmer, but the other threatened languages in
Viet Nam, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Thailand, Myanmar, the north of Viet Nam are Tai-Kadai. Most of the threatened
China and India. Further south, in Cambodia and Malaysia, outside languages in China shown on the map are Tibeto-Burman.
the area covered by the map, the situation found is comparable to
that shown in a sampling manner in the parts of the countries The endangerment and extinction of many small languages in
appearing on the map: one (or several in the case of India) large South-East Asia results from pressure on them from larger and/or
official, and dominant language(s) in each country, with usually dominant languages. Many of the small local languages still
many, smaller languages belonging to type(s) of languages manage to resist these pressures, especially in the light of
different from the dominant language(s) even if they may be re-awakening feelings of ethnic identity among speakers of small
distantly related to it (or them). So, for instance, of the threat- languages.
38
Linguists from Australia, Europe, the United States and universi- of the Solomon Islands and all of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji,
ties in South-East Asia have been carrying out a considerable Micronesia and Polynesia. They are all interrelated and form the
amount of work on the endangered languages of South-East Asia. largest group of related languages in the world, in terms of multi-
However, especially in view of the large number of small languages tude of languages. They are subdivided into four subgroups in
in the area, quite a few of which are endangered, much more Taiwan, and one huge group, called Malayo-Polynesian, that occu-
remains to be done. pies all of the other Austronesian language areas.

The second largest group, comprising about 800 languages, is the


Greater Pacific Area so-called family of Papuan languages, which occupy most of Irian
Jaya (West Papua) and Papua New Guinea, East Timor, the
The Greater Pacific Area comprises Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, northern part of the Halmahera Islands, some parts of West Timor
Insular Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon and some large islands to the west of Timor. There are also a few
Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Micronesia, Polynesia and Papuan languages in the Solomon Islands and in the Santa Cruz
Australia. Over two thousand living languages, about a third of the Archipelago, which lies to the east of the Solomon Islands. The
languages in the world, are located in this area. At the same time, Papuan languages do not form a single group of interrelated
until recently, the Greater Pacific Area has been the area least languages, but there is one very large group of nearly 500 related
affected by language endangerment in the world, with the excep- languages that occupies much of the island of New Guinea and the
tion of Australia, New Caledonia and Taiwan. This situation has Timor area; a group of about 100 related languages is located in
deteriorated during the last two decades, but it is still better than north-eastern Papua New Guinea; a group of about 50 languages is
in most other parts of the world. Details will be given for the located in northern Papua New Guinea; a group of about
various regions discussed below, but in general it may be pointed 30 languages is found in the northern three-quarters of the Birds
out that the total number of threatened languages in the Greater Head Peninsula of Irian Jaya and in northern Halmahera; and
Pacific Area excluding Australia is 304, with 49 languages recently another one of 34 languages is situated in eastern non-peninsular
extinct. Irian Jaya.

The indigenous languages of the Greater Pacific Area belong The remaining Papuan languages belong to a number of small,
almost exclusively to three quite different kinds. The largest cate- unrelated groups. The third group includes the interrelated
gory is the group of approximately 1,200 Austronesian languages Australian Aboriginal languages, which belong to a very large
that extend from Taiwan, across the Philippines, Insular Malaysia, family occupying the southern seven-eighths of Australia, with
most of Indonesia, many coastal areas of Papua New Guinea, most about 20 small related families in Arnhem Land (the northern
39 Atlas of the
Australian peninsula area), and in areas to the south-east of it. Taiwan Worlds Languages
in Danger
The long-extinct languages of Tasmania may or may not be related Of the twenty-three local languages spoken originally on Taiwan, of Disappearing

to Australian languages: the evidence is inconclusive. seven are threatened, six are in a moribund state, and only one is
endangered. Three languages have become extinct recently, eight
Other languages in the Greater Pacific Area are Japanese and Ainu are still fully functioning, and five became extinct a long time ago.
on Japan, and a southern Chinese (Min) and Mandarin Chinese on The reason for the extinction and endangerment of Austronesian
Taiwan the result of Min and Mandarin immigration. languages in Taiwan was pressure from the dominant Chinese
speakers and their language. Until a few years ago, attitudes and
policies towards the Austronesian languages were negative and
Japan discouraging. However, less than a decade ago, these attitudes
The Japanese language of Japan is one of the Altaic languages suddenly shifted completely, and now the languages are supported
(see Siberia), but with a very large number of loanwords from by the authorities.
Ancient Chinese, and some influence from Austronesian languages
(see above). The Ainu language is generally regarded as a Paleo-
Siberian isolate language, but some linguists have tried to link it Philippines
with the Altaic languages. It was spoken on northern Hokkaido Of the 165 languages on the Philippines, 13 are threatened and 4
Island of Japan, on Sakhalin Island to north of it, and on the Kuril became extinct recently. There is great tolerance towards small
Islands chain which links Sakhalin with the Kamchatka Peninsula languages, and there are no monolingual speakers of dominant
to the north. It became extinct on the Kuril Islands around the European languages or other comparable aggressive monolingual
early years of the twentieth century, and on Sakhalin Island in the speakers there today hence little language endangerment. The
late twentieth century. On Hokkaido it was officially neglected speakers of very large Philippine languages, such as Tagalog
until the late 1980s, when there were only eight elderly speakers (10 million first-language and 3040 million second-language
left. Then there was a sudden turnabout in attitude. The language speakers) are mostly monolingual, but usually bi- and multilingual
received strong support, teaching facilities were established, and a speakers of small Philippine languages simply add the knowledge
most impressive Ainu museum built on Hokkaido with language of Tagalog to their repertory of languages, without losing their
teaching facilities. A considerable number of semi-speakers who own languages in the process.
had feared to use the language were found, and encouraged to use
it again. A number of young Ainu have since learned the language,
which seems to show signs of reviving.
40
Malaysia Sumatra: of the thirteen languages on Sumatra, only two are
There are about 130 languages in insular Malaysia, i.e. Sarawak threatened, and one of them is perhaps extinct. The other
and Sabah on Borneo, all of them Malayo-Polynesian. Only three of languages are all large and functioning well.
them are regarded as endangered, although there are very likely
quite a few more, and one is extinct. Java: there is no language endangerment in the Java area.

Sulawesi: of the over 110 languages of Sulawesi, 36 are threatened


Indonesia and one is extinct.
There are large numbers of languages in Indonesia well over 400
Malayo-Polynesian and about 240 Papuan languages, a total of Maluku: of the over 80 languages of the Maluku area, 22 are
over 640 local languages. The only language used for all official threatened and 11 are extinct.
and public purposes, all educational pursuits, and all the media, is
Indonesian. There is no direct oppression of any other language, Timor-Flores and Bima-Sumba area: of the 50 or so Malayo-
as has been practised by monolingual speakers of dominant metro- Polynesian languages of this area, eight are threatened, none
politan, especially European, languages in Australia, the Americas, extinct. Of the 18 Papuan languages there, at least three are
etc. but there is some discouragement of speakers of local threatened. The now independent East Timor area is geographi-
languages in several parts of Indonesia. Because education is cally included in this region, with at least one of the Papuan
solely in Indonesian, children are conditioned to regard it as su- languages there seriously endangered or moribund.
perior to their own mother tongues, and use it at home and with
other family members in preference to their own languages, thus West Papua and Halmahera Island area: of the over 50 Malayo-
precipitating the potential endangerment of these latter Polynesian languages of this area, eleven are threatened, and
languages, which then progressively become endangered. one extinct. Of the about 250 Papuan languages, 56 are
threatened.
The endangerment situation in the various parts of Indonesia is as
follows:
Papua New Guinea
Kalimantan (southern Borneo): of some fifty languages in Papua New Guinea has about 820 or more local languages the
Kalimantan, only one is believed to be endangered, but the endan- highest number of languages in any area of comparable size in the
germent situation there is very little known; a much larger number whole world. Very few languages have tens of thousands of
of languages may be in danger. speakers, but a very great number of languages are small to very
41 Atlas of the
small, with a few hundred speakers or far less. Until two decades rather negative attitude towards local languages, which is an Worlds Languages
in Danger
ago or so, Papua New Guinea was the area least affected by obstacle for their maintenance. Large missionary and church of Disappearing

language endangerment in the world. The speakers of each languages exercise a dominant influence over small local
language were, and still are, fiercely proud of their language, languages. The English-based lingua franca Tok Pijin also puts
which they regard as the main symbol of their ethnic identity. pressure on small local languages. Of the 44 Malayo-Polynesian
However, there has been a very great increase in speaker mobility languages in the Solomon Islands, 12 are threatened and 2
since the late 1970s, resulting in a steadily increasing number of extinct. Of the 10 Papuan languages there, 1 is threatened and 3
marriages between speakers of different languages, many of them are extinct.
outside the range of the very widespread traditional multilin-
gualism in the country. In such cases, the family language has
usually become the national language Tok Pisin, an inter- Vanuatu
indiginous contact language and lingua franca spoken by over Many years of English-French condominium status as the former
80 per cent of all Papua New Guineans as a language of wider New Hebridies did not help the many small languages of Vanuatu,
intercommunication. It has a complicated Austronesian-type and since independence, the English-based lingua franca Bislama,
grammar and many English-derived words. The children are begin- which is similar to the Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea, has brought
ning to learn it as their first language, starting the chain of increasing pressure to bear on them. All of the about 110
potential endangerment. Also, only about 30 major languages are languages on Vanuatu are Malayo-Polynesian. Some 33 are threat-
used in education and by the media, thereby reducing the impor- ened, and 3 recently became extinct.
tance of many other, especially small, languages in the eyes of the
locals. The attitude of the government and authorities towards all
local languages is positive, but that does not help very much New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands
under these circumstances. Of the estimated 240 Malayo- In New Caledonia, the French language, as a dominant metropol-
Polynesian languages of Papua New Guinea, about 35 are threat- itan language spoken by monolinguals, has had a devastating
ened and 3 extinct. Of about 580 Papuan languages there, over 40 influence on the maintenance of the local languages. Of the
are threatened, and 13 extinct. 60,000 indiginous people, today, only some 20,000 or so still have
a knowledge of one or several local languages. Since the strong
awakening of ethnic-identity feeling among the local population a
Solomon Islands (including the Santa Cruz Archipelago) couple of decades ago, the language situation has been improving;
In the Solomon Islands, the government and senior authorities, also, the attitudes of the French authorities have softened, and
who are largely members of an English-educated lite, have a they have granted some concessions regarding other languages. Of
42
the 33 Malayo-Polynesian languages there, 13 are threatened and Australia
2 recently became extinct, with one of these two being revived. Australia has one of the worst records on language endangerment
and extinction in the world. Until about 1970, very harsh assimila-
tion policies were in vogue, especially the concentration of
Fiji and Rotuma speakers of different Aboriginal language backgrounds in camps
There are 2 Malayo-Polynesian languages here, both fully func- where they could not continue to use their own languages.
tioning. Children receiving education in standard Australian schools and
dormitories were forbidden to use their languages. Long before
this, Aborigines were dislocated through pastoral and agricultural
Micronesia activities by immigrant settlers, mining activities, and so on. Since
There are 22 Malayo-Polynesian Micronesian languages: 3 are the 1970s, there has been a complete turnabout towards
threatened, and 1 is extinct. Aborigines and their languages. In the north of Australia, where
some languages were still functioning well, bilingual education
was introduced (though this came under threat recently because of
Polynesia the attitude of the Northern Territory government), Aborigines
Of the Polynesian languages, Maori in New Zealand, Hawaiian on have been encouraged to maintain and reinvigorate their
Hawaii, and Rapanui on Easter Island became almost extinct some language, and a few extinct or near extinct languages have been
time ago. All 3 have been revived and are functioning quite well, revived. However, most of this has come too late. In the Language
but their long-term future is not certain. The Tahitian language in Atlas of the Pacific Area (Wurm and Hattori, 198183), well over a
the Society Islands had been receding rapidly before French, espe- hundred Australian languages were indicated as having one to ten
cially in the town of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, but surviving speakers, but almost all are now extinct.
has recovered very strongly during the last decade, and is now in
turn threatening other Polynesian languages in French Polynesia, The original number of Australian languages is unclear. About 600
especially Tuamotuan, and two languages in the Austral Islands, different forms of Aboriginal languages have been identified for
and is beginning to put pressure on Marquesan. There are 37 the past and present, many of these, especially those known only
Malayo-Polynesian Polynesian languages, of which seven to nine through scanty records from the past, are likely to be different
are regarded as threatened. dialects of one language. It seems fair to suggest that there may
have been around 400 or more Australian languages of which a
hundred or so became extinct over half a century, if not a century
or more ago. About 180 are known to have become recently or
43 Atlas of the
relatively recently extinct, about 120 are threatened at present Niger-Kordofanian: This very vast group covers most of the Worlds Languages
in Danger
many of these are in a moribund state, and only about 25 are still southern two-thirds of Africa except for a large area in the south- of Disappearing

more or less fully functioning. west. Its main branch is the Niger-Congo branch which contains
more than 1,000 languages with some 200 million speakers. The
A very large amount of work has been carried out on languages of well-known Bantu languages of central, eastern and southern
the Greater Pacific Area, including threatened and now extinct Africa constitute a sub-group of the Niger-Congo branch. They
ones, in the respective countries, including Indonesia, but espe- number about 500 and comprise more than 100 million speakers.
cially at the Australian National University in Canberra and other Well-known Bantu languages are Swahili in East Africa and Shona,
Australian institutions. However, considering the enormous and Xhosa and Zulu in South Africa. The Niger-Kordofanian group
number of languages in this vast area, much work remains to be has that name because another, though very small, main branch is
done. constituted by the Kordofanian languages. This group includes
about 30 languages with 300,000 speakers, spoken in the Sudan,
isolated from the other main branch, the Niger-Congo, by
Africa languages of the Afro-Asiatic group, and the Nilo-Saharan group
mentioned below.
The approximately 1,400 (or more) languages of Africa have been
classified in various ways. One fairly generally accepted classifi- Nilo-Saharan: This group of about 140 or more languages, with
cation defines four major groups of interrelated languages. perhaps 11 million speakers in widely scattered parts of Central
and East Africa, had been difficult to recognize because of the
Afro-Asiatic: This group of about 200 or more languages with about considerable differences between its members and their scattered
175 million speakers occupies the greater part of northern Africa, locations. They are surrounded by either Afro-Asiatic or Niger-
including the eastern horn of the continent, except for the Congo languges. Well-known members of this group are Masai and
central Sahara, and areas on the upper Nile. The well-known Nubian in East Africa.
Semitic languages belong to this group, of which Arabic, found on
the Arabian Peninsula as well, and ancient Egyptian. The Khoisan: This group of about 30 languages, with over 100,000
southernmost extension of the group is around Lake Chad. Well- speakers, is located in a large part of south-west Africa. Khoisan
known members of this group are Arabic (over 100 million languages are likely to have originally been spoken throughout
speakers), Hausa in West Africa, Amharic, and Somali, both in East most of southern Africa. However, the southward expansion of
Africa. Bantu speakers occupied much of their original area, and the
immigration of Dutch settlers from the south narrowed it down
44
further. Two related languages are spoken in northern Tanzania endangerment and extinction of languages in some areas, as also
obviously remnant languages in mountainous country, from the do extended droughts and resulting famines in some areas.
earlier, much more widespread Khoisan language area. Today, most
Khoisan languages are found in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana The survey map of African language endangerment and extinction
and Angola. The Hottentot and Bushman languages are well- in the Atlas is evidence of this patchiness of our knowledge. It
known members of the Khoisan group. One renowned feature of gives the location and status of 124 threatened languages
the Khoisan languages is their use of click sounds instead of ordi- (excluding potentially endangered ones) and a selection of 48
nary stop consonants p, t and k. Many of the Khoisan languages extinct languages in Africa. Taking into account the number of
have become endangered by pressure from the large Bantu languages in areas not surveyed recently to establish the number
languages the speakers of some of which borrowed a few click of threatened and extinct languages, more than twice these
sounds into their own languages from Khoisan languages, so for figures may have to be assumed for them, i.e. about 250 threat-
instance the Xhosa (Nelson Mandelas language) language ened and 50 extinct, giving a total of well over 400. If potentially
speakers (the Xh indicates a so-called lateral click articulation of endangered languages were included, a total of at least 500600
the side of the tongue against the inner right side back molars, would not be an unrealistic estimate.
with an h-sound aspiration following).
A large amount of work on endangered African languages has been
The endangerment of African languages, especially small ones, carried out by linguists from outside Africa, mainly from Europe
results from the pressure exerted by large African languages. The (e.g. from Germany), and also by linguists from institutions in
governments of most African countries favour large African African countries. With the multiplicity of endangered languages
languages, and have negative attitudes and language policies on the African continent, a very extensive amount of work remains
against small ones. Some governments even favour the ex- to be done.
colonial languages, especially English and Friench, and are against
the use of any African language of their countries for official
purposes. America

The language endangerment and extinction situation in Africa is Arctic North America East
only imperfectly and patchily known, because for quite a long This map in the Atlas gives information on the location and status
time, linguistic fieldworkers have been unable to make surveys in of the four threatened (and one extinct) forms of Inuit Eskimo in
quite a few parts of Africa because of continuing warfare and north-eastern Arctic Canada, and also on the seven now extinct
unsafe conditions. This factor also adds significantly to language Eskimo Pidgin languages in that area. The Eskimo languages
45 Atlas of the
belong to two different types: one very widespread type comprises Peninsula across the Bering Strait. The Yupik Eskimo languages Worlds Languages
in Danger
the forms spoken in western, eastern and northern Greenland, and include two closely related forms of Pacific Yupik in the south of Disappearing

all the forms of Eskimo spoken in northern Canada, as well as (Chugach and Koniag Eskimo), Central Alaskan Yupik, Bering Strait
those in northern Alaska. From Greenland to the Mackenzie Delta Eskimo in the Nome area (Kotzebue Sound Eskimo further north is
in far north-western Canada, this form is known as Inuit Eskimo, Inuit), and Asiatic Eskimo on the Chukchi Peninsula. Central
and in northern Alaska as Inupiaq Eskimo. The local variations in Siberian Yupik in the south had two languages, the Provideniya
these areas are so closely related that Inuit Eskimos from one of language and the Sirennitski language (which became extinct in
them can understand much of what speakers of other local varia- 1999 with the death of the last speaker). The northern language of
tions say, especially when they speak about matters of everyday Asiatic Eskimo is Naukanski. The map also gives information on the
occurrence. The other type is that of several Yupik Eskimo location and status of Eastern and Western Aleut on the Aleut
languages in southern and western Alaska, in the Bering Strait and Islands. Aleut is related to the Eskimo languages. The map also
in the extreme western part of the Chukchi Peninsula. They are not gives information on the location and status of Amerindian
mutually intelligible, nor are they mutually intelligible with Inuit languages in the interior of Alaska and a portion of north-western
Eskimo. They are shown on the Arctic North America West map. Canada. All of these belong to the widespread Athabaskan
languages, some of which, like Apache, are found as far south as
There are still several fully functioning forms of Inuit Eskimo in the United States and northern Mexico. The map also gives infor-
northern Canada. Attitudes and language policies in Canada were, mation on the location of former Eskimo Pidgins and trade
until recently, negative for the Eskimo (and Amerindian). However, languages in the area which it covers. All of these are now
they have now changed for the better here and in other parts of extinct.
the world. Endangerment and extinction of Eskimo languages in
Canada were the result of pressure from English and French, and of Reasons and circumstances for the endangerment of Eskimo, Aleut
adverse attitudes and policies in the past. The Pidgin languages and American Indian languages in the Canadian part of the map
simply fell into disuse and became extinct as a consequence. are similar to those given for the Arctic North America East. For
the Alaskan and Russian parts of the map, the reasons are similar
too, except that attitudes and policies of the United States relative
Arctic North America West to indigenous languages have not improved much, save that they
were less harsh in Alaska than elsewhere in the country. Russian
This map gives information on the distribution and status of the policies in the Chukchi Peninsula, and in Alaska under former
threatened Inuit Eskimo and Yupik Eskimo languages in western Tsarist Russian rule, have also left their mark.
Canada, Alaska and the extreme eastern part of the Chukchi
46
The Pidgin and trade languages on the map fell into disuse and United States
eventually became extinct. Before the arrival of the Europeans, about 200 or more languages
are believed to have been spoken in what is now the United States,
Work on some of the languages in danger has been carried out by but many more may have disappeared without a trace. Today less
Alaskan and Canadian linguists, and also by linguists from Europe than 150 remain, with all of them endangered to a varying extent,
(especially Denmark and the Netherlands), but much additional and many of them moribund. Even languages with many thousands
work is still needed. of speakers, such as Navajo, have hardly any children speakers,
and it is believed that almost half the Navajos do not speak their
own language. As far as the family membership of Amerindian
Canada languages in the United States is concerned, quite a few of the
Of the 121 Amerindian languages in Canada, only 6 (Naskapi, families mentioned in the text of Canada extend into, or have their
Attikamek or Tte-de-Boule-Cree, James Bay Cree or East Cree, largest part in, the United States, such as Algonquian f. (referred
Northern Plains Cree, Severn Ojibwe, and Montagnais) are still to as Algic family when including the Ritwan languages in
fully functioning. Some 10 are extinct (their family membership is California), Athabaskan f., Iroquoian f., Siouan f., Salishan f.,
given in parentheses): Huron, Petun, Neutral, Erie, St. Laurence, Wakashan f. and so on. Other families in the United States are
Wenro or Wyandot (all Iroquoian), Beothuk (isolate), Pentlach, Muskogean f., Caddoan f., Chimakuan f., Kiowa-Tanoan f., and
Tsetsaut (Salishan), and Nicola (Athabaskan). Of the mixed Uto-Aztecan f. Some are quite small; for instance the Chimakuan
languages, Cree-Assiniboine is extinct. All the other Indian family contains only two languages. There are also family-level
languages in Canada, a total of 104, are threatened to varying isolates, i.e. single languages constituting a family, for instance
degrees, with 19 of these moribund, and 28 seriously endangered. Zukogean f., Caddoan f., Chimakuan f., Kiowa-Tanoan f., and Uto-
Indian language families represented in Canada are the following Aztecan f. Some are quite small; for instance the Chimakuat of the
(quite a few of them also present in the United States): Beothuk Rocky Mountains, there are many more.
family-level Isolate, Algonquian f., Iroquoian f., Siouan f.,
Athabaskan (Na-Dene) f., Tlingit f.-Isolate, Kootenay f.-Isolate, Reasons for the endangerment and extinction of languages in the
Salishan f., Wakashan f., Tsimshian f., and Haida f.-Isolate. The United States are the same as those mentioned for Arctic North
reasons for the extinction and endangerment of the Indian America and Canada, except that for a long time, the treatment of
languages in Canada are the same as those given for Arctic North the Indians and their languages was much harsher in mainland
America East and West, but it should be pointed out again that United States than in Canada and Alaska, leading to the extinction
attitudes and policies towards indigenous languages in Canada of a larger number of languages there. Although some reversals of
changed from negative to positive a few years ago. negative attitudes and policies involving Indian languages were
47 Atlas of the
observed in the 1970s in the United States, there was a backlash Work by Lastra has produced a list of 54 extinct languages which Worlds Languages
in Danger
of conservatism and a strengthening of the English only policies cannot as yet be classified. In addition, another 65 extinct of Disappearing

in the 1980s that exacerbated the situation of the ongoing extinc- languages have been classified, giving a total of over 110 known
tion of Amerindian languages (Zepeda and Hill, 1991), and it is extinct languages. The extinction of languages continues today. At
still continuing unchecked. least two languages, Chiapanec (a member of the large
Otomanguean stock) and Cuitlatec have become extinct in Mexico
Canadian and United States linguists, as well as linguists from since the middle of the twentieth century, along with Mangue in
outside America (especially the Netherlands and Denmark), have Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica, a relative of Chiapanec.
worked very hard to study the dying languages in Canada and the
United States, often with the last few speakers, but there are still The slightly less than 100 living or recently extinct languages in
languages which have not been documented and are in urgent Mexico belong to 15 different groups. Some of them are very large,
need of study before they disappear completely. with several subgroups and sections such as Uto-Aztecan to which
Nahuatl, the important language of the Aztec, belongs. Other very
large groups are the Otomanguean, to which the important Mixtec
Mexico and Zapotekan languages belong, and the Mayan, to which the
Yucatn Maya and many other languages belong. Other groups are
The history and situation of Amerindian languages in Mexico is small to very small, some containing only one language each, such
characterized by a particularly high level of extinction. It is not as the Tarascan and Huave groups.
known how many languages existed here in the sixteenth century
in the period before the conquest of what is now Mexico, and in Quite a few Mexican languages are threatened, all because of
the area of the Mesoamerican culture which excludes a part of heavy pressure from other languages, mainly Spanish, which
northern Mexico and includes the areas of present-day Guatemala, accompanies oppressive domination of a speech community by
Belize and El Salvador, and parts of Honduras, Nicaragua and speakers of another language. At least 14 small languages are
Costa Rica in Central America. However, it is certain that the known to be seriously endangered or moribund, and four or five
conquest of much of Mexico by the Aztecs preceding the invasion languages with substantial numbers of speakers are also in danger
by the Spaniards, and the Spanish conquest itself, must have had of disappearing. Official attempts have been made to stem the tide
a catastrophic effect on the language situation. Considering that of disappearing languages.
between 1519 and 1605, the Indian population of Mexico dropped
from 25.3 million to 1 million (Garza Cuarn and Lastra, 1991), it Mexican linguists and others from the United States have carried
is clear that this must have meant the death of many languages. out studies on many Mexican languages, mainly large ones, and
48
there is still an urgent need for work on endangered small Until the 1970s, South American governments and societies were
languages and those that are dying. indifferent or hostile to Indian languages in their countries. Only
since 1970 has there been a growing awareness at the national
levels of the importance of indigenous cultural and linguistic
Central and South America heritage. In Peru and Bolivia the Indian languages were officially
The linguistic situation here is similar to that in the rest of the recognized, bilingual education was attempted, and academic
Americas. Many of the surviving languages have heavily reduced interest and concern increased markedly.
numbers of speakers. Others, which have large numbers of
speakers, function well in some of their area, but are threatened in Most of the languages still spoken today in South America, except
others. Adverse economic and social conditions play a part in this, in remote parts of the Amazon region, have received some scien-
as well as pressure from Portuguese, Spanish and some large tific attention. The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) has
indigenous languages. In some areas local Indians have developed carried out a series of studies of individual languages.
a strong sense of local identity, which may contribute to the
preservation of their languages. In Argentina, Indian languages survive today only in the north-
west, north-east, south and south-west. There are none left in the
The two maps in this Atlas give a balanced sampling of the threat- central areas. In the north-west, there are forms of the large
ened and recently extinct languages in most of Central America, Quechua language, in the north-east other language families, and
and in South America. A large Atlas of these languages in South in the south and south-west the Mapuches or Araucanians who
America is in an advanced stage of preparation as these lines are immigrated from Chile. There are a few seriously endangered or
written (Wurm (ed.), Adelaar and Crevels, forthcoming). moribund languages. Surviving languages number about 14.

South America is unusual in having a very large number of In Bolivia, the Quechua and Aymara languages dominate the high-
language families and isolates (estimated to be just below 120), lands. The situation in the lowlands is complicated, with a consid-
and a relatively small number of languages (Adelaar, 1991). Many erable number of isolates, and languages of other families, among
former languages have disappeared with only their names them the large Tupi-Guaran family. Indian languages in Bolivia
remaining, and whole populations were eliminated in eastern number about 35.
Brazil, most of Argentina and in all of Uruguay. Epidemic diseases,
violent acts of the European colonizers, slavery expeditions in Brazil has the largest number of surviving Indian languages, i.e.
Brazil, and racial and cultural intermixture favouring the European about 170, with a total of about 155,000 speakers. Somewhat
element have greatly reduced the number of languages. more than this figure probably became extinct over the past five
49 Atlas of the
centuries. The large groups of languages are the Tupi-Guaran, Ecuador. It has expanded and replaced many local languages. In Worlds Languages
in Danger
Macro-J, Carib and Arawak, plus nine other, smaller families. In eastern Ecuador, there are languages of several different families. of Disappearing

addition, there are ten language isolates. In the southern part, the languages of the Jivaroan family are
found. The number of Indian languages in Ecuador is 12.
Chile has one major language, Mapuche or Araucanian, with about
200,000300,000 speakers. Aymara is spoken in the north, while French Guiana has six languages. They belong to the Cariban,
in the south some small languages survive, such as Alakaluf or Arawakan and Tupian groups.
Qawesqar in the south-west and Yahgan on the islands south of
Tierra del Fuego. There are probably still six languages spoken in Guyana has ten living languages, belonging to the Arawakan and
Chile. Cariban groups.

In Colombia, many languages have now disappeared, leaving In Paraguay, the Paraguayan Guaran language is spoken by most
behind not much more than their names. Today the SIL is very Paraguayans. In eastern Paraguay, all minority groups speak a
active in Columbia, and the University of Los Andes in Bogot has Tupi-Guaran language or a dialect of Guaran. In the Gran Chaco
established a research institute and project for producing descrip- region of Paraguay, there are four different language groups, and
tions of all indigenous languages in Colombia. The Indians of the also two Tupi-Guaran languages. There are 14 Indian languages in
Colombian Andes have strong feelings of ethnicity and support Paraguay.
language studies. In the south of Colombia, and in the forests
extending along its Pacific coast, there are quite a few Indian Peru, like Bolivia and Ecuador, has an Indian population of several
languages. In the north, Chibchan languages prevail. These are million, mainly in the Andean highlands. The eastern lowlands of
related to those in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Quite a few Peru and the foothills have the largest tribal population of any
Indian languages are located in the eastern lowlands of Colombia. South American country (200,000221,000). Quechua and Aymara
The large Arawak family is represented, as are others. The are the largest languages in the Andean highlands. Quechua
Columbian Amazon region shows a complex linguistic picture. consists of two languages, central Peruvian and non-central
Many of the languages belong to the Tucanoan family. The total Peruvian; these are not simply dialects. The number of Quechua
number of languages in Colombia is around 65. speakers in Peru is about 4,400,000. The centre and south of the
Peruvian eastern lowland is inhabited mainly by speakers of the
Ecuador has one of the highest percentages of Indian population Arawakan and Panoan language families. In the northern half of
in South America. Most of these speak Quichua, a form of the large the Peruvian lowland, there are several language isolates and
Quechua language found in the Andean countries south of small families. Along the Colombian border, there are speakers of
50
the Tucanoan and a few other language groups. The number of languages in Venezuela is 38. Many Central American languages
Indian languages in Peru is between 50 and 60. belong to the Chibchan group. There are several isolate languages.

In Surinam, the coastal languages are Arawakan or Cariban. In the The original languages of the Caribbean Islands are now all
interior, the languages are Cariban. There are five Indian extinct.
languages in Surinam.
The total number of surviving languages in South America is 375,
In Venezuela, Indian languages have mainly been preserved in the many of which are threatened, and a good proportion of them are
south, the Amacuro Delta of the Orinoco River, and in the area to moribund.
the west of Lake Maracaibo. In the south, there are Cariban
languages, and those of other groups. In the Amazonas area, four As pointed out above, extensive studies have been made of South
languages of the Yamomami family are located. Several language American Indian languages by South American, American and
isolates are also found in the south. In the Amacuro Delta, there is European (e.g. Dutch and French) linguists. However, much still
mainly a large isolate language. To the west of Lake Maracaibo, remains to be done, especially concerning moribund isolate
there are Arawakan and Cariban languages. The number of Indian languages.
51 Atlas of the
Select bibliography Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

ADELAAR, W. F. H. 1991. The Endangered Languages Problem: South


America. In: R. H. Robins and E. M. Uhlenbeck (eds.), Endangered
Languages, pp. 4591. Oxford, Berg Publishers.

BRADLEY, D. (ed.). 2001. Language Endangerment and Language


Maintenance: An Active Approach. London, Curzon Press.

BRENZINGER, M. (ed.). 2001. Language Diversity Endangered. Berlin,


Mouton de Gruyter.

Comit International Permanent des Linguistes (CIPL), under the


auspices of the Conseil International de la Philosophie et des
Sciences Humaines (CIPSH). Linguistic Bibliography for the
Year/Bibliographie linguistique de lanne. M. Janse and S. Tol
(eds.). Martinus Nijhoff. (Annual publication.)

GARZA CUARN, B.; LASTRA, Y. 1991. Endangered Languages in Mexico.


In: R. H. Robins and E. M. Uhlenbeck (eds.), Endangered
Languages, pp. 93134.

MATZUMURA, K. (ed.). 1998. Studies in Endangered Languages. Tokyo,


Hituzi Syobo. (ICHEL Linguistic Studies, Vol. 1.)

Materials on Languages in Danger of Disappearing in the Asia-Pacific


Region, 1. 1997. S. A. Wurm (ed.), Some Endangered Languages of
52
Papua New Guinea: Kaki Ae, Musom, and Aribwatsa. Canberra. . Atlas of Endangered Languages in the Greater Pacific
(Pacific Linguistics, Series D-89.) Area.(Forthcoming.)

MOSELEY, C. (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Endangered Languages of the WURM, S. A.; HATTORI, S. 1981-83. Language Atlas of the Pacific Area.
World. London, Curzon Press. (Forthcoming.) Canberra. Australian Academy of the Humanities in colla-
boration with the Japan Academy. (Also as Pacific Linguistics,
ROBINS, R. H.; UHLENBECK, E. M. (eds.). 1991. Endangered Languages. Series C-66, 67.)
Oxford, Berg Publishers. (Diogenes Library, No. 1.)
WURM, S. A.; MHLHUSLER, P.; TRYON, D. T. (eds.). 1996. Atlas of
SCHMIDT, A. 1990. The Loss of Australias Aboriginal Language Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and
Heritage. Canberra, Aboriginal Studies Press. the Americas. 3 vols. Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter.

SHOJI, H.; JANHUNEN, J. (eds.). 1997. Northern Minority Languages: WURM, S. A. (ed.); ADELAAR, W.; CREVELS, M. Atlas of Endangered
Problems of Survival. Suita, Osaka, National Museum of Ethnology. Languages in Latin America. London, Curzon Press. (Forthcoming.)
(Senri Ethnological Studies, No. 44.)
ZEPEDA, O.; HILL, J. H. 1991. The Condition of Native American Lan-
WURM, S. A. 1997. Prospects of Language Preservation in the guages in the United States. In: R. H. Robin and E. M. Uhlenbeck
North. In: H. Shoji and J. Janhunen (eds.), Northern Minority (eds.), Endangered Languages, pp. 13555. Oxford, Berg
Languages, op. cit., pp. 3553. Publishers.
53 Atlas of the
Worlds Languages
in Danger
of Disappearing

Symbols used on the maps to indicate


the degree of endangerment of language
Potentially endangered language: decreasing numbers
of children learn the language (green)

Endangered language: the youngest speakers are


young adults (red)
Seriously endangered language: the youngest speakers
have reached or passed middle age (red)
Moribund language: only a few elderly speakers are
left (blue)
+ Extinct language: no speakers are left (black)
54
Europe

Potentially endangered Seriously endangered Moribund language (Not shown on map)


language language Akkala Smi, Livonian,
Belorussian, Catalan, Tatar Fr. Alpine Provenal, Pite Smi, Ter Smi, Endangerment status unclear
Auvergnat, Fr. Basque, Breton, Ume Smi, Votian Dalecarlian, Extremaduran,
Endangered language Channel Islands French, Latgalian, Scanian,
It. Alpine Provenal, Crimean Tatar, Cypriot Arabic, Probably extinct language Vru Estonian
Aragonese, Aromanian, Eastern Frisian, Italkian,
Asturian, Bashkir, Sp. Basque, Fr. Francoprovenal, Gagauz, Eastern Ukranian Karaim Languages that are
Campidanese, Chuvash, Gallo, Gardiol, Fr. Gascon, varieties of larger,
Corsican, Eastern Mari, Inari Smi, Ingrian, Istriot, Extinct language non-endangered or
Emilian, Erzya, Faetar, Istroromanian, Lithuanian Cornish, Dalmatian, potentially endangered
It. Francoprovenal, Friulian, Karaim, Kashubian, Gothic, Inorn, languages
Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Kildin Smi, Languedocian, Crimean (Uk.) Karaim, Albanian, Angloromani,
Galician, Gallurese, Leonese, Limousin, Kemi Smi, Manx, Mozarabic, Croatian, Algherese Catalan,
Sp. Gascon, Kalmyk, Karelian, Ludian, Lule Smi, Old Prussian, Polabian, Csng Hungarian,
Komi, Ladin, Ligurian, Meglenoromanian, Slovincian Ol languages (Champenois,
Logudorese, Lombard, Low Norman, Northern Frisian, Lorrain), Germanic-Italian
Saxon, Lower Sorbian, Picard, Plautdeitsch, (Cimbrian, Mcheno, Walser),
Moksha, Moldavian Gagauz, Poitevin-Saintongeais, Resian Slovene, Trukhmen
Nogai, North Smi, Provenal, Skolt Smi,
Olonetsian, Permyak, South Smi, Tsakonian, Extinct or nearly-extinct
Piedmontese, Romagnol, Vepsian, Western Mari, Jewish languages
Romansch, Romani, Rusyn, Yiddish Krimchak, Shuadit, Yevancic,
Sardinian, Sassarese, Scots, Zarphatic
Udmurt, Upper Sorbian,
Voivodena Rusyn, Walloon,
Welsh, Western Frisian
(For this area see inset)
20 0 20
LULE SMI KEMI SMI 40 N

60
60 55

N
ICELAND
KOMI
PITE SMI
UME SMI FINLAND PERMYAK
INSET KARELIAN
(same scale) LUDIAN
SOUTH SMI
OLONETSIAN UDMURT
KILDIN VEPSIAN
NORTH SMI TER NORWAY EASTERN MARI
SMI SKOLT SMI Helsinki St. Petersberg
SMI SHETLAND
SWEDEN
INGRIAN WESTERN MARI TATAR
INARI AKKALA SCOTTISH NORN Oslo Tallinn VOTIAN CHUVASH
SMI SMI GAELIC Stockholm BALTIC ESTONIA
BASHKIR
Moscow
SEA
HEBRIDES
LIVONIAN ERZYA
Riga MOKSHA
ATLANTIC OCEAN SCOTS LATVIA
NORTH SEA
Vilnius RUSSIAN FEDERATION
THE
50

DENMARK LITHUANIA
KALININGRAD
N

UNITED Copenhagen ENCLAVE KARAIM


IRELAND N

Volga
KINGDOM (RUS. FED.)
BELARUS 50
NORTHERN Gdansk
OLD PRUSSIAN
IRISH GAELIC
Dublin
MANX FRISIAN
WESTERN KASHUBIAN BELORUSSIAN YIDDISH
FRISIAN POLABIAN SLOVINCIAN
WELSH NETHERL. POLAND
EASTERN LOW Berlin Warshaw PLAUTDEITSCH
D. Haag
CORNISH FRISIAN SAXON LOWER SORBIAN KARAIM Kiev Dne
pr
London
UPPER SORBIAN UKRAINE

Rh
Brussels GERMANY
CHANNEL BELGIUM

ei
ISLANDS PICARD RUSYN

n
Prague REP.of
FRENCH WALLOON CZECH REP. SLOVAKIA
MOLDOVA
NORMAN
BRETON Paris Bratislava Chisinau CRIMEAN TATAR
GALLO NOGAI
FRANCE ROMAN Vienna
AUSTRIA Budapest
KARAIM NOGAI
SC GAGAUZ
IAN HUNGARY GOTHIC
DIN RIUL
POITEVIN- Bern ROMANIA
SAINTONGEAIS FRANCOPROVENAL SWITZ. LA FSLOVENIALjub. ROMANI KALMYK
H
LIMOUSIN ne Zagreb VOIVODENA RUSYN NOGAI BLACK SEA
LOMBARD CROATIA Bucharest e
AUVERGNAT
o

ISTRIOT ISTROROMANIAN
Rh

ub
40
PIEDMONTESE EMILIAN Dan GAGAUZ

de
N
Be l g r a

IA
GALICIAN LANGUEDOCIAN ALPINE DALMATIAN
BOSNIA &
HERZEGOVINA GAGAUZ 40
N

AV
LIGURIAN BULGARIA
ASTURIAN PROVENAL Sarajevo

SL
ROMAGNOL O Sofia
GAGAUZ
LEONESE BASQUE GASCON PROVENAL G
Skopje GAGAUZ
ITALY YU Istanbul Ankara
CORSICAN LADINO
*

20

Europe PORTUGAL ARAGONESE


Madrid
CORSICA
GALLURESE
Rome
FAETAR ALBANIA
Tirane MEGLENOROMANIAN TURKEY
Tapani Salminen, CATALAN
Lisbon
SPAIN SASSARESE AROMANIAN
co-ordinator LOGUDORESE SARDINIAN GREECE
CAMPIDANESE ITALKIAN Athens SYRIA
MOZARABIC GARDIOL CYPRIOT ARABIC
0 200 400
MEDITERRANEAN SEA TSAKONIAN Nicosia
kilometres SICILY
LEBANON
0 20

* Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)


56
Siberia

Potentially endangered Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


language language Amur Nivkh, Chulym, Forest Arman, Chuvan, Eastern
Dolgan, Eastern Buryat, Yakut Altai, Alyutor, Chuckchee Enets, Forest Yukagir, Hejen, Kamchadal, Kamas,
Proper, Ewen, Ewenki, Forest Hokkaido Ainu, Itelmen Khamnigan Mongol, Kott, Kuril
Endangered language Nenets, Hokkaido Ainu, Proper, Kerek, Khamnigan Ainu, Mator, Sakhalin Ainu,
Khakas, Siberian Tatar, Kamchatka Ewen, Ket, Mongol, Khanty, Mansi, Southern Kamchadal, Tundra
Tundra Nenets, Mongol Khanty, Koryak, Nanay, Negidal, Oroch, Orok, Selkup, Nenets, Yurats
[south-western Khamnigan] Nganasan, Sakhalin Evenki, Tofa, Tundra Enets, Tundra
Sakhalin Nivkh, Selkup, Shor, Yukagir, Udege, Ulcha, Yug
Teleut, Tundra Nenets,
Western Buryat
57
Siberia Wrangel I.
St. Lawrence I.

Juha Janhunen, co-ordinator Ra


nge
y
ki
0 300 600 o ts
kilometres uk
EAST SIBERIAN h
CHUCKCHEE BERING SEA

C
SEA PROPER Anadyr
KEREK
BARENTS SEA
Severnaya Zemlya
CHUVAN
Novaya Zemlya LAPTEV SEA
Kotel'nyy I. Nizhnekolymsk
KARA SEA
TUNDRA KORYAK
YUKAGIR mo
EWEN

O
In d i
lon
Kolyma Plain

gir
a

Kol y

ge
k

Ran
ma
Yamal Verkhnekolymsk
NGANASAN Zashiversk

Kolyma
Peninsula
FOREST ALYUTOR Bering I.

Y an
TUNDRA NENETS North Siberian
Khatanga
Plain
YUKAGIR

Ch
a
Nizhnekamchatsk
TUNDRA ENETS

er
sk
K
Dudinka DOLGAN Verkhoyansk Kamchatka
EASTERN KAMCHADAL

O le n e k
YURATS

iy
Salekhard otu
y

R
FOREST ENETS Magadan ITELMEN Peninsula

an
ge
Olenek ARMAN PROPER

V
Petropavlovsk

er
kh
oy
ge KAMCHATKA EWEN Kamchatskiy
FOREST NENETS
ans
Ran SOUTHERN
MANSI

k
Turukhansk EWENKI Ust'-Bol'sheretsk KAMCHADAL
az

Le
T na
Okhotsk

A ld
Y A K U T

ur Range
uy

an
ily
ey

West Siberian Plain


Surgut

V
n is

Ni z h Central Siberian
. T
Tura Yakutsk
Ye

u ng
KHANTY KET
usk SEA OF OKHOTSK
a

ugdzh
Ob
SELKUP
'
Plateau
Tobol'sk Olekminsk

Dzh
YUG Nikolayevsk
-na-Amure SAKHALIN NIVKH
Narym R U S S I A N F E D E R A T I O N AMUR NIVKH SAKHALIN EVENKI
Vitim ULCHA OROK
Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinskiy
Kuril

SIBERIAN Yeniseysk NEGIDAL KURIL


AINU
Oi

TATAR CHULYM
ek
ma

Sakhalin

Omsk Tomsk KOTT Kirensk


SAKHALIN
Islands

AINU
V it

E W E N K I
m
i

Bratsk
Krasnoyarsk
Zey
NANAY OROCH
I rty

a
Ang

Lake Am
sh

a
ur
KAMAS
Baykal
ara

Burey
ng

Khabarovsk
SHOR
Ra

Minusinsk TOFA Blagoveshchensk Hokkaido


WESTERN
A r gun

Biysk y
HOKKAIDO AINU
BURYAT
y
TELEUT KHAKAS E a s t e r n on
ovChita
C H I N A Sapporo
ALTAI HEJEN
Irkutsk EASTERN
l
Semipalatinsk MATOR
Sa
y
BURYAT
Y ab
KHAMNIGAN MONGOL UDEGE JAPAN
an
58
North-east China

Potentially endangered Endangered language Seriously endangered Moribund language


language Dagur (Nonni), Dagur language Dagur (Amur), Manchu,
Dagur (Hailar), Eastern (Qiqihar), Khamnigan Ewenki, New Bargut, Ewenki Proper, Manchu (Amur), Manchurian
Chinese Buryat or Buriat, Khamnigan Mongol eastern Solon, Old Bargut Kirghiz (Fu Y), Manchurian
western Solon lt, Orochen, Orochen

Extinct language
Manchu, Udege (Qiakala)
<> = < =

North-east China
Amur
Kamchatka 59
3&&*! 43*(5! Peninsula
Sea of Okhotsk

Juha Janhunen, co-ordinator

Ze
ja
3&&*!
EWENKI PROPER
Sakhalin
m

A
ur

He
@ = 43*(5! @ =
3&&*!

un
Erg
5!"5,* OROCHEN B ur
eja

  43*(5!
Hokkaido MANCHU
 8 (Amur)
2 ' 1 6
3 '%#  KHAMNIGAN EWENKI SOLON DAGUR
  53*
2))
Sea
of OLD BARGUT KHAMNIGAN (Amur) % 0 
*2*! MONGOL

N u o mi
Japan

& 
DAGUR (Nonni) OROCHEN
3 '8 6  DAGUR (Hailar)

n H
Hulun Nur
o
H

 53*
ng
EASTERN BURIAT

e
H ua ()
Yellow NEW BARGUT IN CHINA  1 A m ur
!* Sea SOLON 
 MANCHU +#
OROCHEN MANCHURIAN
 
MANCHURIAN
tze

g
KIRGHIZ (FU Y)

l i J i a ng
an
Y Buir Nur LT -$ ng

Ji a
 
DAGUR

Wu su
5!"5,* (Qiqihar)

hua
!*

&

Song
? = MANCHU $
-


Ne
(*9*! :!*; ? =

n J


iang
  
+*! *3  % .
Xingkai
,*5
28838
PACIFIC OCEAN #  UDEGE (Qiakala) Hu

M / Luzon 

eko

(*,*! & 
( !
ng

 
* 5*
!*
*

#
South 2,22!&
China /0

Sea 
Mindanao ( +
,)
&'

 ,' *,*+&*



&' (
Sumatra  
Borneo & ) SEA

He
Lu OF

Liao
Sulawesi a
JAPAN
n

g
 =
* 

an
He

 =

MANCHU

Ji
Irian

 Jaya Ya
lu  # 
#6
 
+
2 ' 7 6
Java  !  5 !  &  *  
3 '%# 


INDIAN OCEAN  53*
Timor  !"
<> = < =
60
Himalayan Chain

Potentially endangered Endangered language Seriously endangered Moribund language


language Dhimal, Dumi, Dura, Lepcha, language Bungla, Rangkhas, Saam
Ahom, Chantel, Tilung, Toto Chintang, Hayu
Chaudangsi/Byangsi, Darmiya, Extinct language
Lumba, Rohani Bhramu, Tolcha
80 82 84 86 88 90
61
Himalayan Chain
David Bradley,
30 DARMIYA C H I N A co-ordinator 30

RANGKHAS CHAUDANGSI /
BYANGSI 0 200 400
kilometres
TOLCHA
B ra hm aputra

N
CHANTEL
ROHANI
Ga
ng E DURA
es Pokhara
Ch

28 28
au

I N D I A BHRAMU
ka

Rapti
P
Kathmandu
HAYU Thimbu
BUNGLA
A DUMI
SAAM B H U T A N
80 82 84
L LUMBA
LEPCHA
PAKISTAN CHINA TILUNG CHINTANG

Ga
NE TOTO

nd
Delhi PAL k
DHIMAL

a
BHUTAN
Kathmandu
AHOM
Karachi BANGLA-

Ko
DESH MYANMAR VI
ET

si
26 26
Calcutta NA
INDIA LAO M
P.D.R.
Ganges
Bombay Rangoon THAILAND Patna Ga

tra
ng
Bangkok

Brahmapu
es
Phnom n
So

Penh
Bay of Bengal
B A N G L A D E S H
Indian
Ocean
I N D I A
Colombo
24 24
0 1000
Dhaka
kilometres 86 88 90
62
South East Asia

Potentially endangered Endangered language Moribund language Extinct language


language Bisu, Lai, Pupeo, Laomian, Danan, Hpun, Phalok, Kolhreng, Sengmai/Sekmai,
Arem, Bana, Bit, Chawte, Kadu, Ganan, Taman, Aiton, Purum Andro/Phayeng, Tarao,
Gazhuo, Hung, Kathu, Lachi, Phake Chairel/Chakpa, Aimol, Pyu,
Laha, Lalo, Lamgang, Malin, Ahom
Langrong, Lavua, Mang, May, Seriously endangered
Mayol, Mlabri, Mpi, Pakatan, language
Phonsung, Ruc, Sach, Sak, Gelao, Ayizi, Samei, Samatau,
Sila, Tanglang, Tha Vung, Sanyi, Idu, Khamyang, Lamu
Zaozou
Dibrugarh Zhaotong

ra
PHAKE 63

ut
AHOM Jaipur

ap
a hm KHAMYANG Liupanshui Guiyang
Br Anshun

Nu
Tezpur Jorhat
AITON Makaw Bijiang
Dukou
e
South East Asia
ZAOZOU gtz
Yongren Ya
n
David Bradley, co-ordinator
Lumding
4100 TANGLANG Dongchuan 0 100 200
Sarameti
3826 LAMU
Kohima Er Hai kilometres

La
Japvo

nca
ui
I N D I A 3014
Myitkyina Dali gsh
on

ng
LALO Kunming Xingyi H
CHAIREL / CHAKPA
3404
Chuxiong SAMEI
TAMAN Nanjian SANYI
ANDRO / PHAYENG MALIN Tengchong Baoshan SAMATAU
Silchar Imphal Dian Chi
AIMOL SENGMAI / SEKMAI AYIZI from Guizhou
PURUM LANGRONG GANAN Fuxian Hu n LAI
TARAO HPUN Yuxi np
a
KOLHRENG MAYOL KADU Bhamo Longchuan KATHU Bose

Na
LAMGANG CHAWTE GAZHUO

Ba
Pinlebu Inywa

bia
LAOMIAN Lincang
C H I N A

n
2359
Kaiyuan
Yu
an
Gejiu Wenshan
Kunlong
Kalewa
PUPEO
Ha Giang
Simao
PURUM LACHI GELAO
Ch

Lao Cai
ind

MANG Pingxiang
M Y A N M A R Lancang Ho
win

SILA ng
Monywa Lai Chau
Mandalay

H
SAK

a
migrated LAHA Son V I E T N A M
(1850s?) Phong Sali gD
Viet Tri
Mengla Son La a
Myingyan
Dien Bien Phu

Na
( B U R M A ) HANOI Hai Phong

m
O
Nansang

u
BIT
Chauk
Taunggyi Xam Nua Nam Dinh
Meiktila BANA
Houayxay
Yenangyaung n Thanh Hoa
Sittwe Loikaw ee
Salw Louangphabang
Chiang Rai
Irra

Pyinmana Gulf
BISU
waddy

Xiang Khoang of
Mae Hong Son PHALOK IDU Tonkin
L A O People's Dem. Rep. Vinh
PYU Toungoo HUNG
Bay T H A I L A N D
Prome Chiang Mai
of MLABRI Mekong THA VUNG
DANAN AREM
Bengal LAVUA Lampang PHONSUNG MAY
MPI VIENTIANE RUC
Phrae SACH
PAKATAN
120oE
164E INSET B 140W 167oE 169oE 65
INSET A TAIWAN INSET C
NEW CALEDONIA HAWAII FRENCH POLYNESIA
Pagan
Marquesas
INSET D
20N Kauai
MARIANA VANUATU
Wala Niihau
Oahu
10S IS 10S
Molokai
Honolulu
20S 20S Lanai Maui Saipan Torres Is Ureparapara
Loya 20N 0 50 Penrhyn Guam
lt y kilometres
I sl 14oS 14oS
an 158W Hawaii
SOCIETY IS Gaua
TUAMOTU

ds
ARCHIPELAGO Espiritu
Luzon Papeete Santo
CORAL PHILIPPINES Tahiti Pentecost
Manila 16oS 16oS
COOK IS
22S SEA 22S Malekula
Mindoro 20S
Isle of 20S
Noumea Pines
0 50 100
kilometres AUSTRALS Mangareva I Efate
Palawan
164E 166E 168E 18oS Port Vila 18oS
Negros
Rapa 0 500 Ngalik Erromango
kilometres
0 50 100
150W 140W
BRUNEI kilometres
MALAYSIA Sabah 140oE 20S 20S
167oE 169oE
Sarawak
160oE
Mapia INSET E
Halmahera NEW ZEALAND
0 0
Sumatra Sulawesi Admiral
Kalimantan Salawati Biak ty I sl a Mussau Nauru
Bangka nd
s Tench 40S

New Ireland 0 500


PAPUA
Buru NEW kilometres
Seram Irian
INDONESIA GUINEA
Enggano Jakarta Bougainville 180
Jaya
New Britain SOLOMON IS
( see inset G)
Choiseul Kisar Port
Moresby Santa Cruz Is
Timor (see inset F)

Santa Isabel 120oE


8S 8S
162E VANUATU
(see inset D)
Duff Is.
Pacific, General Overview
New Georgia 10S
Islands Malaita Reef Is. 168E
140oE Stephen A. Wurm, co-ordinator
Russell Is. Ndende
Honiara
INSET G Maramasike INSET F Each symbol indicates one or several
SOLOMON ISLANDS SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS 20S
languages at the same level of endangerment. 20S
10S Guadalcanal 10S Utupua
0 50 100 0 50 100 Anuta
Easter I
kilometres Vanikoro kilometres 0 500 1000
San 2710' S NEW
12S Fataka CALEDONIA
Cristobal kilometres
156E 158E 160E 166E 168E 170E 10920' W (see inset A)
160oE
66
Australia

Potentially endangered Endangered language Seriously endangered Moribund language


language Adnyamathanha, Baadi, language Antakarinya, Badala,
Anindilyakwa, Arrente, Bunaba, Garawa, Guguyimidjir, Alawa, Antakarinya, Boodi, Banjalang, Dhargari, Djingili,
Dhangu Dialects, Djinang, Kitja, Kuuku Ya'u, Marithiel, Bunaba, Djamindjung, Duungidjawu, Dyirbal,
Gunwinggu, Gupapuyngu, Nakara, Narluma, Ngarinman, Gugubera, Gunian, Guragone, Gadjerawang, Gagadu,
Gurindji, Iwaidja, Kala Lagaw Ngarinyin, Nyamal, Jawony, Kunbarlang, Kunjen, Gangalida (Yukulta),
Ya, Kuku Yalanji, Maung, Rembarrunga, Walmajarri, Kurrama, Mangarayi, Guragone, Gurdjar, Karajarri,
Meriam Mir, Ngankikurungkurr, Wardaman, Warumungu, Wik Maringarr, Miriwoong, Kayardild, Lardil, Madngele,
Ngarinman, Nunggubuyu, Ngathana, Yanyuwa, Yeidji Mudbura, Ngalkbun, Nyamal, Mangarla, Maridjabin, Marrgu,
Nyangumarta, Ritarungo, Tiwi, Nyigina, Panytyima, Umpila, Miriwoong, Mullukmulluk,
Warlpiri, Western Desert, E., Wageman, Wanman, Ngalakan, Ngaliwuru, Ngandi,
Western Desert, W., Wik Wardaman, Watjarri, Wik Ngardi, Ngarla, Ngarla,
Mungkan Ngenchera, Worrorra, Yeidji, Waanyi, Wambaya,
Yir Yoront Wangaaybuwan-Nyiya,
Wiradhuri, Wunambal
79 89 17 87 13
1 WALMAJARRI 0 500 1000
83 29
7 4 41 Australia 67
Darwin
2 GUGUYIMIDJIR
3 NUNGGUBUYU
kilometres 68 80 22
67 15 19 6 62
81 Updated and enlarged from
4 DHANGU Dialects 43 45 90 86 27 Annette Schmidt, 1990,
5 KITJA
24 28 69
Katherine
63
3
Gulf of
82 Carpentaria 21 with corrections and additions
6 RITARUNGO 53 16 compiled by
7 DJINANG Wyndham 46 14 2
8 GURINDJI 58 35 60 44 36 Stephen A. Wurm
9 GARAWA 23 47 39
12 57 50 32 88
10 WAMBAYA 26 65 31 37
11 WARUMUNGU Indian Ocean 18 40 38 Cairns
12 BAADI Fi Or
d
61 10 9 91
13 MERIAM MIR
tzr 30 8 49 Coral Sea
Broome oy
51
14 WIK NGATHANA Halls 11 Tennant Creek 92
15 JAWONY 48 5 Creek Townsville
16 NGALKBUN 56
17 IWAIDJA 1 NORTHERN TERRITORY
18 NGARINMAN Port Hedland 84 64 52 76 Mount Isa Hughenden
19 REMBARRUNGA 66
20 NARLUMA 20 25
21 WIK NGENCHERA 59
22 KUNBARLANG 42
23 NGALIWURU As 34 75 Alice Springs
24 MARIDJABIN h bu Longreach

na
rton 70 Rockhampton
25 GUNIAN Emerald

n ti
26 NGARINYIN 71 77

ma
Fi
nk
27 UMPILA 85 78 QUEENSLAND

ia
e D
Gascoyne Bundaberg
28 NGANKIKURUNGKURR Carnarvon 72 Birdsville
29 NAKARA Charleville 93
30 BUNABA Roma 94
31 KAYARDILD WESTERN AUSTRALIA Oodnadatta

o
r
32 YANYUWA

pe

Warreg
33 WATJARRI 33 Co
o
Brisbane
34 PANYTYIMA SOUTH AUSTRALIA
35 YEIDJI 54
36 GUGUBERA Geraldton Bourke Moree 55
37 KUNJEN Kalgoorlie Grafton
38 YIR YORONT ng
39 LARDIL ar li 73
40 MUDBURA Ceduna D Port Macquarie
Dubbo
41 KUUKU YA'U Perth Whyalla NEW SOUTH WALES Taree
42 KURRAMA Bathurst
43 MARITHIEL Adelaide Lac Newcastle
44 MARINGARR Esperance Griffith hlan
45 WAGEMAN Port Lincoln Sydney
46 MANGARAYI 74 Goulburn

Mu
Albany Wagga
47 WARDAMAN ay Wagga Canberra

rr
48 NYIGINA Echuca Albury
49 DYIRBAL VICTORIA
50 ALAWA Melbourne
51 WAANYI 62 GURAGONE 73 WANGAAYBUWAN-NYIYA 84 NYANGUMARTA
52 NGARDI 63 NGALAKAN 74 WIRADHURI 85 WESTERN DESERT, W.
53 DJAMINDJUNG 64 MANGARLA 75 WANMAN 86 WIK MUNGKAN
54 ADNYAMATHANHA 65 MIRIWOONG 76 WARLPIRI 87 KALA LAGAW YA Tasman Sea
55 BANJALANG 66 NGARLA 77 ARRENTE 88 KUKU YALANJI
56 KARAJARRI 67 MADNGELE 78 WESTERN DESERT, E. 89 MARRGU
57 WORRORRA 68 GAGADU 79 TIWI 90 NGANDI
58 WUNAMBAL 69 MULLUKMULLUK 80 GUNWINGGU 91 GANGALIDA (YUKULTA) Launceston
59 NYAMAL 70 NGARLA 81 GUPAPUYNGU 92 GURDJAR TASMANIA
60 GADJERAWANG 71 DHARGARI 82 ANINDILYAKWA 93 DUUNGIDJAWU
61 DJINGILI 72 ANTAKARINYA 83 MAUNG 94 BADALA Hobart
68
Africa

Endangered language Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


Ahlo, Alagwa, Amba, Baga, language Akei, Argobba, Bati, Baldamu, Aasax, Ajawa, Anfillo,
Baga Fore, Baiso, Binari, Aceron (Gurme), Animere, Beeke, Bete, Birgid, Bubbure, Anyokawa, Baga Tsitemu,
Bondei, Boni, Bowili, Aougila, Arzew, B. Snous, Buy, Camo, Deti, Fali of Basa-Gumna, Basa-Kontagora,
Burunge, Dahalo, Dimme, El Birri, Bongo, Bong'om, Buga, Baissa, Fam, Fumu, Gri, Gule, Boro, Bung, Cena, Coptic,
Hugeirat, Gana, Ganjule, Dahlik, Defaka, Deleny Gweno, Holma, I'anni, Kaande, Elmolo, Gafat, Gey, Guanchen,
Gats'ame, Hadza, Haro, (Dilling), Dongo-Ko, Duli, +Khomani, Korana, Kudu, Gwara, Hamba, Iing, Iixegwi,
Kamdang, Karko, Kumam, Ebang, Eliri, Fyam, Homa, Kwadi, Kwisi, Li-Ngbee, Isuwu, Ixam, Jebel Haraza,
Kupto, Laro, Logba, Nayi Ilue, Jala, Jeri, Ju, Kamdang, Mbaru, Ndai, Nyang'i, Odut, Kalum (ex) Sorbane?, Kasabe
(Na'o), Ndungo, Nyango-Tafi, Kanga, Katcha, Kazibati, Omo Murle, Omotik, Ongamo, (Luo), Kinare, Kore, Kw'adza,
Obulom, Pajade (Badiar), Keiga, Kidie Lafafa, Kiong, !Ora, Shan, Sheni, Sogoo, Kwankwa, Lorkoti, Mindari
Phuthi, Poko, Rugungu, Kotoko De Koosseri, Kubi, Undu Rishi, Yangkam, Ziriya (dialect of Timme), Mo'e,
Santrokofi, Sarwa, So, Suba, Kufa, Kwegu-Mugudi, Lere Napore, Ngong, Njanga,
Viri, Yahuma, Zaramo, Zay Cluster (Gana, Simiri, Takaya), Oropom, Qwarenya (emigra-
(Zway) Lumun/Lomon, Luri, Maslam tion to Israel in 1991), Ruhu,
(Maltam), Mbara, Mmani Segeju, Shiranci, Tonjon
(Bul(l)on), Muuke, Nagumi, (dialect of Jeri), Yaaku,
Nalu, Ngbinda, Ngwaba, Zumaya
Njerep, Okorogbana, 'Ongota
(Birale), Pana, Qemant,
Shabo, Shiki, Siwa, Somyer,
Tenet, Terik, Thuri, Twendi
(Cambap)
69
Endangered (excluding potentially endangered) 1

and extinct languages of Africa 2


 !" #$%&!%'$#( )*+*#,!%*#


4
   5
3
1 ARZEW 61 SARWA    6
2 B.SNOUS 62 MBARA   
3 GUANCHEN 63 KOTOKO DE KOOSSERI  
4 AOUGILA 64 MASLAM (MALTAM)
5 SIWA 65 ZUMAYA
6 COPTIC 66 MUUKE
7 BUY 67 BALDAMU
8 PAJADE (BADIAR) 68 MO'E  
9 NALU 69 GEY
10 BAGA FORE, BAGA, 70 DULI 
BINARI 71 NDAI   90 121
11 BAGA TSITEMU, 72 NGONG
KALUM (ex) 73 KASABE (LUO)    ERITREA
SORBANE?, MINDARI 74 BUNG (see inset) 91
(dialect of TIMME) 75 NJEREP  8  122
12 MMANI (BUL(L)ON) 76 NJANGA 7   61
13 
92 123
13 PANA 77 TWENDI (CAMBAP)  10 62 125 DJIBOUTI
14 JERI 78 NAGUMI 125 ARGOBBA 9  93 94 95 96
15 TONJON
 16 24 97 113
79 BATI 126 ANFILLO 11 12 25 98 99 124
(dialect of JERI) 80 ISUWU 127 SHABO 14 17 100 102 126 128
  15 21 23    84 103 130
16 BORO 81 POKO 128 NAYI (NA'O) 
 18 101
17 ANIMERE 82 KAANDE 129 DIMME  19 22 106 127 129  

18 BOWILI 83 FUMU 130 ZAY (ZWAY) 
    104 105 108 133 134 131
  20
     107109 110 112
19 SANTROKOFI 84 VIRI 131 BAISO 135 132
20 NYANGO-TAFI 85 NGBINDA 132 GANJULE, 

85 111 118 

21 AHLO 86 BEEKE GATS'AME, HARO  88 115
136
116 119
22 LOGBA 87 KAZIBATI 133 KWEGU-MUGUDI

 87 89 120 
23 BASA-GUMNA 88 LI-NGBEE 134 'ONGOTA (BIRALE)  82 117 140
24 ANYOKAWA 89 DONGO-KO 135 OMO MURLE 83

86   138 141
25 BASA-KONTAGORA 90 JEBEL HARAZA 136 ELMOLO 114 139 142
137
26 SHIRANCI 91 BIRGID 137 BONG'OM 
 147 146 143
27 AJAWA 92 EL HUGEIRAT 138 TERIK 
  RWANDA 145
28 ZIRIYA 139 KINARE 153 148 150 144
93 DELENY (DILLING) SOUTH 
    BURUNDI
29 GANA 94 EBANG 140 LORKOTI 154
30 UNDU RISHI 141 YAAKU

149
95 KARKO ATLANTIC
155 151 152
31 SHIKI 96 KIDIE LAFAFA 142 BONI
32 KUDU 97 KATCHA 143 KORE OCEAN 156 157
33 CAMO 98 LARO 144 DAHALO UNITED 158
INDIAN
34 SHENI 99 KANGA 145 SOGOO REPUBLIC OF
35 MBARU 100 BUGA 146 OMOTIK OCEAN
36 KUBI 101 KEIGA 147 SUBA
TANZANIA
159
37 JU 102 ACERON (GURME) 148 ONGAMO  
38 SHAN 103 KUFA 149 AASAX 

39 RUHU 104 MIRI 150 GWENO 61


26 27
40 BUBBURE 105 KAMDANG 151 BONDEI 63 


60 162
41 JALA 106 LUMUN / LOMON 152 SEGEJU 28 29 30 31 160


59 64 163
42 NGWABA 107 HOMA 153 HADZA 33 62 
43 LERE CLUSTER
SI, GANA, TAKAYA
108 BIRRI 154 ALAGWA 32 34 58 65
66 161  
109 THURI 155 BURUNGE 35 36 37 38  


44 FYAM 110 ELIRI 156 KW'ADZA 164 

 
45 YANGKAM 111 BONGO 157 AKEI 39 41 42 68 67 165
   43 40 

 
46 LURI 112 TENET 158 ZARAMO
47 OBULOM 113 GULE 159 HAMBA 46 57 69




48 DEFAKA 114 AMBA 160 KWADI 44 45 55 70 
49 ILUE 115 NYANG'I 161 KWISI 56 72
50 KIONG 116 RUGUNGU 162 NDUNGO 54 73 71 169
51 ODUT 117 KUMAM 163 YAHUMA 76 74 166
52 OKOROGBANA 118 NAPORE 164 KWANKWA 53
75

53 FALI OF BAISSA 119 SO 165 DETI 47 52 168
54 BETE 120 OROPOM 166 I'ANNI 78 77 167 170
51 


55 FAM 121 DAHLIK 167 +KHOMANI


48
CAMEROON INSET
56 SOMYER 122 QEMANT 168 KORANA, !ORA, GRI 80 79
57 HOLMA 123 GAFAT 169 IIXEGWI 49 50 0 200 
    0 1000
58 KUPTO 124 QWARENYA 170 PHUTHI 172 171
59 GWARA (emigration to 171 IING 81 kilometres kilometres
60 CENA Israel in 1991) 172 IXAM
70
East Africa

Potentially endangered Endangered language Seriously endangered Extinct language


language Amba, Burji, Dahalo, Hadza, language Aasax, Elmolo, Hamba, Kinare,
Alagwa, Bondei, Boni, Omo-Murle, Rugungu, Tenet Bong'om, Kwegu, Omo-Murle, Kore, Kw'adza, Lorkoti,
Burunge, Kumam, Zaramo So, Suba, Terik Napore, Omotik, Oropom,
Segeju, Suba, Yaaku
Moribund language
Akie, Gweno, Nyang'i,
Ongamo, Sogoo, Suba
71
  
 % '  # L. Abaya
KWEGU " ( /  * 
Sh
ib 11 
? #
el
i
231 OMO-MURLE

Gi
TENET L. Chew Bahir

ub
a
NAPORE

Ni
 

le
#  Lake
Turkana      
NYANG'I
Indian
    
ELMOLO BURJI
 
RUGUNGU SO 1 
L. Albert OROPOM   3
Ocean
'"+)( + . KUMAM
3 
)"*% + Mt Elgon ! 
! " # $ 
4321
, (/" % &  # ' 
BONG'OM YAAKU LORKOTI
+#& Mt Stanley AMBA ! 6

TERIK
East Africa
5120
#43
 ! 3 3 
L. Edward  #33 & 
SUBA KINARE          
Lake
SOGOO
Victoria OMOTIK ? #  1   
BONI 
 
! 

L. Kivu )0#' DAHALO KORE 

13 373  3
Me
5 dite
rrane
an Sea
%)%#' Kilimanjaro

383 13 L. Manyara 3


5895
ONGAMO 


 4
HADZA GWENO
ALAGWA AASAX
  1 

BURUNGE BONDEI SEGEJU ,) +


%8 8
AKIE

Ni
(1  (

Nile
!  

ge
r
!1
KW'ADZA '   - 1 o
L. Tanganyika %# ("' )"*% + ,

g
Con
+( #
(  # -  #  '  
 "( ,) + *

  Ru ZARAMO
ah Atlantic
L. Rukwn   a
b
  Z am e s i
Ocean
'&+
1 4
L. Nane 1

L. Mweru

-      5
HAMBA

L. Nyasa
  
72
Arctic North America East

Potentially endangered Endangered language Seriously endangered Extinct language


language Copper Eskimos, East language Eskimo Danish Pidgin,
Arctic Quebec Inuit, Baffin Greenlanders, Labrador Inuit, Mac. Delta Eskimos Eskimo Pidgin used by the
Land Inuit, Caribou Eskimos, Mackenzie Delta Eskimos, Netsilik Eskimos, Eskimo-Cree/
East Greenlanders Netsilik Eskimos, Polar Montagnais Indian/Eskimo-
(2 locations), Iglulik Eskimos, Eskimos English Contact Pidgin,
Netsilik Eskimos, Polar Eskimo-English of Northern
Eskimos, West Greelanders Quebec, Eskimo-French Pidgin
in Labrador, Eskimo-Gwich'in
(Loucheux) Indian Contact
Pidgin, Northeast Greenlandic,
Sallirmuit, West Greelandic
Eskimo Germanic Pidgin
140 120 100 80 60 40 20
Clavering I.
73
NORTHEAST GREENLANDIC
Beaufort Sea Eureka
Mould Bay
POLAR
ELLESMERE Etah ESKIMOS
GREENLAND
Tuktoyaktuk ISLAND
Thule Scoresbysund
BANKS ISLAND MELVILLE ISLAND

Dundas
EAST
MACKENZIE DELTA GREENLANDERS
ESKIMOS Resolute
DEVON ISLAND
5 Holman ICELAND
VICTORIA
SOMERSET
PRINCE OF ISLAND
WALES
ISLAND ISLAND
Upernavik Reykjavik
COPPER NETSILIK
ESKIMOS ESKIMOS WEST
nzie

Pond Inlet
Norman
Wells
GREENLANDERS
Macke

Waigat Ritenbenk
Echo Bay IGLULIK ESKIMOS Clyde 2 Klokkerhuk
Rode Bay EAST
6 Godhavn Christianshb GREENLANDERS
BAFFIN
Ammassalik
Gjoa
Haven
6 2
ISLAND
60

Delftsehaven

7
60
2 1
Baker Lake Nuuk (Godthb)
BAFFIN LAND
SOUTHAMPTON INUIT
ISLAND
CARIBOU Iqaluit
Frederikshb
Narssarssuaq
ESKIMOS 7
SALLIRMUIT
Julianehb Cape Farewell
Lake Harbour Labrador Sea 2
1 ESKIMO - DANISH PIDGIN
ARCTIC 2 WEST GREENLANDIC ESKIMO - GERMANIC PIDGIN
QUEBEC 3 ESKIMO-ENGLISH OF NORTHERN QUEBEC
Churchill
Hudson Bay INUIT 4 ESKIMO-FRENCH PIDGIN IN LABRADOR
3 5 ESKIMO-GWICH'IN (LOUCHEUX) INDIAN CONTACT PIDGIN
6 ESKIMO PIDGIN USED BY THE NETSILIK ESKIMOS
Inukjuak 7 ESKIMO-CREE & MONTAGNAIS INDIAN
Nelson Fort & LATER ESKIMO-ENGLISH CONTACT PIDGIN
Chimo
Flin Flon
Sa s k a t c h ewan LABRADOR
INUIT Nain
Saskatoon

Sev
ern 4 Arctic North America East 50

Great Whale
50 C A N A D A River
Regina Fort Goose Bay Hein van der Voort, co-ordinator
George Battle
Harbour

0 300 600
Winnipeg
Moosonee
kilometres
U. S. A. 100 Sioux Lookout 80 60
74
Arctic North America West

Potentially endangered Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


language language Aleut, Eyak, Han, Western Central Siberian Yupik Pidgin,
Kotzebue Sound Eskimo, Aleut, Ahtna, Bering Strait Aleut Eskimo-Athabaskan Sign
Central Alaskan Yupik Eskimo including Qawiaraq, Language, Eskimo-Athabaskan
Eastern Aleut, Holikachuk, Trade Language also Indian
Endangered language Ingalik, Kolchan or Upper Russian Contacts, Eskimo-
Aleut, Asiatic Eskimo, Bering Kuskokwim, Kodiak Eskimo, Chukchi-English Contact
Strait Eskimo including Koyukon, Mackenzie Delta Pidgin, Eskimo-English
Qawiaraq, Central Alaskan Inuit, Naukanski, Pacific Herschel Is. Trade Jargon,
Yupik, Central Siberian Yupik, Yupik, Tanacross, Tanaina, Eskimo-English Trade Jargon
Chugach Eskimo, Eastern Tanana, Upper Tanana (Yukon Delta), Eskimo-
Aleut, Gwich'in, Kodiak Gwich'in (Loucheux) Indian
Eskimo, Kotzebue Sound Contact Pidgin, Indian-Rusian
Eskimo including Malimiut, Contacts, Kotzebue Eskimo
Mackenzie Delta Inuit, North Pidgin, Sirenikski
Slope Inupiaq
180 160 140 120
Banks I. 75
ARCTIC OCEAN
Barrow

Wrangel I. 8 Beaufort Sea


MACKENZIE DELTA INUIT
5

Chukchi Sea NORTH SLOPE INUPIAQ 8


Tuktoyaktuk
C o l v ill e Paulatuk

B
R O OKS RA
10 NGE
RUSSIAN GWICH'IN
KOTZEBUE SOUND ESKIMO
including Malimiut Fort McPherson
Kotzebue 10
KOYUKON 5
Naukanski k on
14 9 ku Allakaket Yuk Fort Yukon
FEDERATION 14 Uelen Ko
yu
ASIATIC ESKIMO 12
Fort Good Hope
U S A Ma
cke
Tanana nz
13 Galena HAN
13

ie
12 Fort Norman

on
Sirenikski HOLIKACHUK TANACROSS Dawson CANADA Great Bear Lake

Yuk
Provideniya Golovin TANANA
Central Siberian Yupik Unalakleet Tanacross
R
St. Lawrence I.
Alakanuk KOLCHAN or UPPER O
KUSKOKWIM AHTNA C
Further languages in this area
are shown on the map
BERING STRAIT ESKIMO 11 TANAINA
Yu
k 'Canada and part USA'
including Qawiaraq 12 Holy Cross Carmacks Ross River K

on
INGALIK UPPER TANANA Fort Simpson

Y
Omeleut Anchorage
Valdez
5 ESKIMO-GWICH'IN (LOUCHEUX) EYAK
INDIAN CONTACT PIDGIN Whitehorse
Fort Liard
8 ESKIMO-ENGLISH HERSCHEL IS.

M
60 Homer Skagway Watson Lake 60
TRADE JARGON CENTRAL ALASKAN YUPIK Chugach

O
Yakutat
9 KOTZEBUE ESKIMO PIDGIN Eskimo

U
10 ESKIMO-ATHABASKAN SIGN LANGUAGE PACIFIC YUPIK Fort Nelson

N
11 ESKIMO-ATHABASKAN TRADE LANGUAGE, Dease Lake
ALSO INDIAN-RUSSIAN CONTACTS

T
Kodiak
12 ESKIMO-ENGLISH TRADE JARGON, YUKON DELTA Gulf of Alaska

A
13 ESKIMO-CHUKCHI-ENGLISH CONTACT PIDGIN Kodiak I.

I N
14 CENTRAL SIBERIAN YUPIK PIDGIN Petersburg
Kodiak Bear Lake
Bering Sea
Eskimo Dawson

S
Western Aleut Creek

Arctic North America West Prince Rupert

ALEUT
Dutch Harbor Hein van der Voort, co-ordinator Prince George
Eastern Aleut
Peter Bakker, co-ordinator for Alaskan Indian languages
s Bella Coola
I sla nd
Ale u 0 250 500
ti a n
kilometres
180 160 140 120
76
Canada and part of USA

Potentially endangered Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


language language Bungee, Chinook Jargon, Beothuk, Cree-Assiniboine,
Algonquin, Chipewyan, East Assiniboine, Beaver, Bella Haida, Lakota, Michif, Munsee Eastern Abenaki, Erie, Huron,
Swampy Cree, Malliseet, Coola, Cayuga, Comox, Dakota, Delaware, Nitinaht, Sarcee, Neutral, Nicola, Nooksack,
Micmac, Moose Cree, Northern Hare, Haisla, Inland Tlingit, Sechelt, Seneca, Southern Pentlatch, Plateau Sign
Plains Cree, Northwestern Kaskar, Kutenai, Lillooet, Tsimshian, Squamish, Straits Language, St Lawrence
Ojibwe, West Swampy Cree, Okanagan, Oneida, Onondaga, Salish, Tagish, Tuscarora, Iroquoian, Tsetsaut, Unami
Woods Cree/Rock Cree Potawatomi, Sekani, Sliammon Western Abnaki Delaware, Wenro
Comox, Southeastern Plains
Endangered language Cree, Stoney, Tahltan,
Blackfoot, Carrier, Central Thompson
Ojibwe, Chilcotin, Coast
Tsimshian, Dogrib, Eastern
Ojibwe, Halkomelem, Heiltsuk,
Kwakiutl, Mohawk, Mountain,
Nass-Gitksan, Nootka, North
Slavey, Northern Tutchone,
Ottawa Ojibwe, Saulteaux,
Shuswap, South Slavey,
Southern Tutchone, Tlingit
140 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 N
ALASKA HARE 60 77
60

Ma
N
NORTHERN Great Bear

ckenzie
TUTCHONE Lake
Canada and part of USA
SOUTHERN
TUTCHONE MOUNTAIN DOGRIB Peter Bakker, co-ordinator
TAGISH NORTH SLAVEY
140W KASKAR
TLINGIT Great Slave
Lake
INLAND TLINGIT
TAHLTAN C A N A D A Labrador Sea
HAIDA SOUTH SLAVEY
TSETSAUT NORTHERN CHIPEWYAN
NASS-GITKSAN PLAINS CREE Hudson Bay
HAIDA BEAVER
HAISLA SEKANI 108

sca
111
50
COAST TSIMSHIAN NORTHERN NASKAPI

ba
SOUTHERN PLAINS CREE WEST

ha
CARRIER At SWAMPY CREE
TSIMSHIAN
50 HEILTSUK BELLA COOLA
N
KWAKIUTL CHILCOTIN STONEY WOODS CREE / 121
EAST
SLIAMMON COMOX SHUSWAP ROCK CREE BEOTHUK
MONTAGNAIS
SECHELT SARCEE SWAMPY CREE 110
COMOX LILLOOET 112 JAMES
PENTLATCH SQUAMISH BLACKFOOT SOUTHERN SEVERN OJIBWA BAY CREE
NOOTKA THOMPSON PLAINS CREE
NITINAHT NICOLA KUTENAI Lake Winnipeg
NOOKSACK OKANAGAN
W

CREE-ASSINIBOINE MOOSE CREE


0

HALKOMELEM STRAITS SALISH PLATEAU SIGN MICMAC


13

CHINOOK LANGUAGE SOUTHEASTERN PLAINS CREE

er
MICHIF NORTHWESTERN

Riv
JARGON ASSINIBOINE BUNGEE OJIBWE 109
ATTIKAMEK MALLISEET
CENTRAL ST LAWRENCE
OJIBWE IROQUOIAN

ce
SAULTEAUX

n
re
ALGONQUIN EASTERN

aw
Pacific
St
L
ABENAKI
Lake Huron EASTERN WESTERN
Ocean
Lake Superior OJIBWE ABENAKI
POTAWATOMI HURON 40
MOHAWK
OTTAWA OJIBWE ONONDAGA
40
DAKOTA
WENRO ONEIDA
N
LAKOTA NEUTRAL
Lake Mitchigan
SENECA
CAYUGA
Lake Erie MUNSEE DELAWARE
M iss

UNAMI DELAWARE
U S A ERIE
i s si
pp
i

o Atlantic Ocean
O hi
0 500 1000
kilometres

TUSCARORA
120 110 100 90 80 70
78
Central America

Potentially endangered Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


language language Au, Bar, Boruca, Kuiva, Island Carib, Matagalpa,
Aruaco, Cogui, Cuna, Embera, Achagua, Akawaio, Baniwa, Mako, Opon-Carare, Puinave, Muysca, Wanai, Duit, Lenca
Garfuna, Guajiro, Guaymi, Carijona, Chimila, Emerillon, Saliba, Sape, Tinigua, Uruak,
Hiwi, Hodi, Miskito, Oayana, Guatuso, Kari'a, Lokono, Warekena, Xinca, Yawarana
Patamona, Pume, Sumo, Trio, Palikur, Paya, Pipil, Rama,
Waiwai, Wapishana, Waunana, Yeral
Yukpa

Endangered language
Bari, Bribri, Jicaque,
Kurripako, Piapoko, Tunebo,
Yanomam
79

USA
Central America
Marie-Claude Mattei-Muller
GULF OF MEXICO
BAHAMAS and Jon Landeburu,
co-ordinators
0 250 500
kilometres

ATLANTIC OCEAN
CUBA
Turks Is.

Cayman Is.
Virgin Is. Anguilla
HAITI DOMINICAN St. Martin
REPUBLIC Antigua

MEXICO PUERTO
RICO
Montserrat

Guadeloupe

BELIZE
JAMAICA ISLAND Dominica

Bay Islands
CARIB Martinique
GARFUNA St. Lucia
GUATEMALA
XINCA JICAQUE PAYA CARIBBEAN SEA
HONDURAS MISKITO
St. Vincent
Barbados
LENCA
PIPIL
EL SALVADOR SUMO Providencia
Grenada
Aruba
NICARAGUA Bonaire Tobago
MATAGALPA San Andrs Curaao
RAMA GUAJIRO Trinidad

AU
GUATUSO COGUI AU
COSTA RICA YUKPA KARI'A
BRIBRI VENEZUELA
CUNA ARUACO BARI o
KAR LOKONO
BORUCA inoc
GUAYMI Or I'A
PANAMA CHIMILA
KUIVA PUME WANAI
OPON-CARARE AKAWAIO
WAUNANA SALIBA HODI PATAMONA FRENCH
TUNEBO SAPE PALIKUR
YAWARANA SURINAME GUIANA
DUIT
EMBERA ACHAGUA PIAPOKO URUAK OAYANA
MUYSCA PUINAVE MAKO WAIWAI TRIO
HIWI BANIWA
na

PACIFIC OCEAN YANOMAM EMERILLON


ale

KURRIPAKO WAPISHANA
Magd

WAREKENA
TINIGUA BANIWA BAR

Branco
COLOMBIA BRAZIL
YERAL
CARIJONA Negro
GUYANA
80
South America

Endangered language Seriously endangered Moribund language Extinct language


Achuar, Andoke, Cams, language Akutsu, Arikapu, Atacameo, Atacameo, Apolista, Chol,
Candoshi-Shapra, Cayapa, Aikana, Arabela, Arikapu, Awak, Bar, Botocudo, Culle, Gnna Kne, Mochica,
Chipaya, Chiquitano, Arua, Aweti, Ayuru, Barasna, Callahuaya, Canichana, Ona, Pataxo, Pijao, Puquina,
Chiriguano, Chorote, Cinta Carijona, Cocama-Cocamilla, Cayuvava, Chamicuro, Diahi, Uru, Vilela
Larga, Colorado, Cuaiquer, Galibi De Oiapoque, Huilliche, Guat, Itonama, Kano,
Fulni, Gavio, Guambiano, Jebero, Jurit, Karapan, Karipuna, Katawixi, Juma,
Harakmbut, Huitoto, Jaqaru, Karara, Karitiana, Katukina, Leco, Mku, Munichi, Omagua,
Kiangang, Mak, Mapuche, Krenj, Kwaza, Latund, Oro Win, Purubor, Resgaro,
Maxakali, Mocov, Mosetn, Lengua, Makurap, Matipu, Salami, Surina, Taushiro,
Pez, Pilag, Secoya, Shipibo- Mekens, Mirit, Movima, Ofay, Tehuelche, Tinigua, Xet,
Conibo, Suru, Toba, Wari, Panar, Qawasqar, Shikuyana, Yahgan, Zparo
Yuracar Tapayuna, Trumai, Yuki
NICARAGUA
Caracas TRINIDAD 81
& TOBAGO
COSTA Panama VENEZUELA
South America RICA
PANAMA rin
oco
Georgetown North Atlantic Ocean

O
Mily Crevels and Willem Adelaar, Bogota
GUYANA Paramaribo
Cayenne
co-ordinators COLOMBIA
SURINAM FRENCH
GUIANA
56
0 500 1000 55 9
57 10

o
Brazil

Branc
kilometres 60 54 53 52 6 Negro
5 8
1 KATUKINA 59 Quito 63 51
4 7 11
as
2 SURINA ECUADOR 5865 64
50
3 Am
azon
3 MIRIT 66 62 2

os

Xingu
4 KARAPAN 67 68 61 12

aj
5 JURIT 70 ira p
71 1 de Ta
6 BARASNA

a
76 72 69 B R A Z I L 13

ru

a
41 25
7 BAR

M
74 73 Ju
42 40
8 MKU

Tocantins
75 26

Uc
9 AWAK 44 43 sco
27 24 nci

aya

ai
10 GALIBI DE OIAPOQUE Bolivia 39 28 23 ra
46

Aragu
45

Sao F
li
11 SHIKUYANA 48 38 33 29
12 KRENJ Colombia 80 URU Lima PERU 77 83 47 49 36
37 32
30
22
13 FULNI 81 CALLAHUAYA 78 82 31 21 Brasilia
84 85 35
14 MAXAKALI 50 CAMS 82 APOLISTA 86 34
15 PATAXO 51 ANDOKE 83 CAYUVAVA 81
88
87 20 14
16 BOTOCUDO 52 CARIJONA 84 MOVIMA 79
80 89 90

Paragu a y
85 ITONAMA 19 15
17 XET 53 PEZ 92
18 KIANGANG 54 CUAIQUER 86 CANICHANA BOLIVIA
19 OFAY 55 GUAMBIANO 87 MOSETN 91 16

a
88 LECO 93

an
20 GUAT 56 PIJAO 108

ar
21 AWETI 57 TINIGUA 89 YURACAR PARAGUAY P
22 MATIPU 90 YUKI CHILE 95
23 TAPAYUNA Ecuador 91 CHIPAYA 97 Rio de Janeiro
92 CHIQUITANO 96 98 94 17
24 TRUMAI 99
25 KARARA 58 ZPARO
Paraguay Pacific Ocean 100
26 PANAR 59 COLORADO 18
27 GAVIO 60 CAYAPA

rana
28 SURU 93 LENGUA ARGENTINA
29 CINTA LARGA Peru 94 MAK

Pa
30 SALAMI
61 HUITOTO Argentina Santiago URUGUAY
31 AIKANA
32 KWAZA 62 RESGARO Buenos Aires
63 SECOYA 95 CHIRIGUANO Montevideo
33 LATUND
~ ~
34 AKUTSU 64 ARABELA 96 CHOROTE
35 KANO 65 ACHUAR 97 PILAG Co
36 MEKENS 66 TAUSHIRO 98 TOBA 107 lora
do
37 MAKURAP 67 CANDOSHI-SHAPRA 99 VILELA
38 ARUA 68 OMAGUA 100 MOCOV 106
101 GNNA KNE 101
39 PURUBOR 69 CHAMICURO
40 DIAHI 70 COCAMA-COCAMILLA 102 TEHUELCHE South Atlantic Ocean
41 JUMA 71 JEBERO 103 ONA
42 KATAWIXI 72 MUNICHI
43 KARITIANA 73 SHIPIBO-CONIBO Chile
44 KARIPUNA 74 CHOL
45 WARI 75 CULLE 104 YAHGAN
46 ORO WIN 76 MOCHICA 105 QAWASQAR 102
106 HUILLICHE 105
47 ARIKAPU 77 HARAKMBUT
48 ARIKAPU 78 JAQARU 107 MAPUCHE 103
49 AYURU 79 PUQUINA 108 ATACAMEO
104
83
Index
Alphabetical list of the languages represented on the maps

The languages mentioned from pp. 5481 are listed here in


alphabetical order. They are followed by the symbol indicating

Aiton, , 63
Ajawa, +, 69
Anyokawa, +, 69

Aougila, , 69
their degree of endangerment and the page number(s) of the
Akawaio, , 79 Apolista, +, 81
corresponding map(s). Certain European languages, not Akei, , 69; 71
Arabela, , 81
represented on a map, are followed simply by a page number; Akutsu, , 81
Arabic, Cypriot, , 55
their endangerment status is explained briefly on p. 54.


Alagwa, , 69; , 71
Alawa, , 67

Aragonese, , 55
Arem, , 63
Examples: Albanian, 54 Argobba, , 69


Dahalo, , 69; 71

Aleut, Eastern, / , 75
Arikapu, /, 81

Dahlik, , 69

Aleut, / , 75 Arman, +, 57

Dakota, , 77 Aleut, Western, , 75

Aromanian, , 55
Dalecarlian, 54 Algonquin, , 77 Arrente, , 67

Alpine Provenal, French, , 55
Arua, , 81
Dahalo appears on two different maps; Dalecarlian is not shown
on a map, but is listed on p. 54.
Altai, , 57

Alpine Provenal, Italian, , 55 Aruaco, , 79

Arzew, , 69

Alyutor, , 57
Assiniboine, , 77


Amba, , 69; 71

Asturian, , 55
Aasax, +, 69; 71
Abenaki, Eastern, +, 77
Ahom, , 61; +, 63

Ahtna, , 75

Andoke, , 81
Andro/Phayeng, +, 63
Atacameo, +, 81

Auvergnat, , 55
Abenaki, Western, , 77
Aikana, , 81 Anfillo, +, 69 Awak, , 81

Aceron (Gurme), , 69 Aimol, +, 63 Angloromani, 54
Aweti, , 81

Achagua, , 79 Ainu, eastern Hokkaido, , 57
Animere, , 69
Ayizi, , 63


Achuar, , 81 Ainu, Kuril, +, 57 Anindilyakwa, , 67
Ayuru, , 81


Adnyamathanha, / , 67 Ainu, Sakhalin, +, 57


Antakarinya, / , 67
B. Snous, , 69


Ahlo, , 69 Ainu, western Hokkaido, , 57 Au, , 79

Baadi, / , 67
84
Badala, /+, 67

Blackfoot, , 77

Candoshi-Shapra, , 81 Cogui, , 79


Baga Fore, , 69
Baga Tsitemu, +, 69

Bondei, , 69; , 71
Bongo, , 69
Canichana, , 81

Carijona, , 79; 81
Comox, , 77

Colorado, , 81


Baga, , 69
Bong'om, , 69; 71

Carrier, , 77
Comox, Sliammon, , 77


Baiso, , 69
Baldamu, , 69

Boni, , 69; , 71
Boro, +, 69
Catalan, , 55
Catalan, Algherese, 54
Coptic, +, 69
Cornish, +, 55
Bana, , 63

Baniwa, , 79
Boruca, , 79
Botocudo, , 81

Cayapa, , 81
Cayuga, , 77

Corsican, , 55
Cree, East Swampy, , 77
Banjalang, , 67

Barasna, , 81

Bowili, , 69
Breton, , 55
Cayuvava, , 81
Cena, +, 69
Cree, Moose, , 77
Cree, Northern Plains, , 77
Bar, , 79; 81

Bribri, , 79 Chairel/Chakpa, +, 63
Cree, Southeastern Plains, ,77


Bari, , 79 Bubbure, , 69 Chamicuro, , 81
Cree, Southeastern Plains, ,77
Basa-Gumna, +, 69
Buga, , 69 Chantel, , 61 Cree, West Swampy, , 77
Basa-Kontagora, +, 69

Bunaba, / , 67 Chaudangsi/Byangsi, , 61 Cree, Woods/Rock, , 77


Bashkir, , 55

Bung, +, 69 Chawte, , 63 Cree-Assiniboine, +, 77
Basque, French, , 55 Bungee, , 77

Chilcotin, , 77

Croatian, 54
Basque, Spanish, , 55
Bati, , 69
Bungla, , 61
Buriat (also Buryat), Eastern,
Chimila, , 79

Chintang, , 61

Cuaiquer, , 81
Culle, +, 81

Beaver, , 77 in China, , 59

Chipaya, , 81 Cuna, , 79
Beeke, , 69


Burji, , 71 Chipewyan, , 77 Dagur, Amur, , 59
Bella Coola, , 77

Burunge, , 69; , 71

Chiquitano, , 81 Dagur, Hailar, , 59
Belorussian, , 55 Buryat (also Buriat),

Chiriguano, , 81

Dagur, Nonni, , 59
Beothuk, +, 77 Eastern, , 57 Chol, +, 81

Dagur, Qiqihar, , 59
Bete, , 69
Bhramu, +, 61
Buryat (also Buriat),

Western, , 57

Chorote, , 81

Chuckchee Proper, , 57

Dahalo, , 69; 71
Dahlik, , 69


Binari, , 69 Buy, , 69 Chulym, , 57
Dakota, , 77
Birgid, , 69 Callahuaya, , 81 Chuvan, +, 57 Dalecarlian, 54

Birri, , 69 Camo, , 69

Chuvash, , 55 Dalmatian, +, 55


Bisu, , 63 Campidanese, , 55

Cinta Larga, , 81 Danan, , 63
Bit, , 63

Cams, , 81 Cocama-Cocamilla, , 81 Darmiya, , 61

Defaka, , 69 Erie, +, 77 Estonian, Vru, 54 Gagauz, Western
85

Delaware, Munsee, , 77

Erzya, , 55
Ewen, , 57
Bulgarian, , 55
Delaware, Unami, +, 77 Eskimo Pidgin used by the
Ewen, Kamchatka, , 57 Gaguaz, Moldavian, , 55


Deleny (Dilling), , 69 Netsilik Eskimos, +, 73
Ewenki Proper, , 59
Galibi De , 81
Deti, , 69

Eskimo, Asiatic, , 75
Ewenki, , 57

Galician, , 55
Dhangu Dialects, , 67 Eskimo, Bering Strait including

Ewenki, Khamnigan, , 59
Gallo, , 55
Dhargari, , 67

Qawiaraq, / , 75
Ewenki, Sakhalin, , 57

Gallurese, , 55


Dhimal, , 61 Eskimo, Caribou, , 73 Extremaduran, 54 Gana (Lere Cluster), , 69
Diahi, , 81

Eskimo, Chugach, , 75 Eyak, , 75

Gana, , 69


Dimme, , 69
Djamindjung, , 67

Eskimo, Copper, , 73
Eskimo, Iglulik, , 73

Faetar, , 55
Fali of Baissa, , 69

Ganan, , 63
Gangalida (Yukulta), , 67
Djinang, , 67

Eskimo, Kodiak, / , 75 Fam, , 69


Ganjule, , 69
Djingili, , 67 Eskimo, Kotzebue Sound, Francoprovenal, French, , 55

Garawa, , 67


Dogrib, , 77 including Malimiut,

Francoprovenal, Italian, , 55 Gardiol, , 55
Dongo-Ko, , 69
Duit, +, 79

/ , 75
Eskimo, Mackenzie Delta,
French, Channel Islands, , 55

Frisian, Eastern, , 55
Garfuna, , 79
Gascon, French, , 55

Duli, , 69
/ , 73
Frisian, Northern, , 55

Gascon, Spanish, , 55


Dumi, , 61

Eskimo, Polar, / , 73

Frisian, Western, , 55

Gats'ame, , 69


Dura, , 61 Eskimo-Athabaskan

Friulian, , 55

Gavio, , 81
Duungidjawu, /+, 67
Dyirbal, , 67
Sign Language, +, 75
Eskimo-Athabaskan

Fulni, , 81
Fumu, , 69
Gazhuo, , 63

Gelao, , 63

Ebang, , 69 Trade Language,
Fyam, , 69 Germanic-Italian (Cimbrian,



El Hugeirat, , 69 also Indian-Russian Gadjerawang, , 67 Mcheno, Walser), 54
Eliri, , 69 Contacts, +, 75

Gaelic, Irish, , 55 Gey, +, 69
Elmolo, +, 69; 71 Eskimo-English Herschel Is.

Gaelic, Scottish, , 55 Gothic, +, 55
Embera, , 79

Emerillon, , 79
Trade Jargon, +, 75
Eskimo-English of Northern
Gafat, +, 69
Gagadu, , 67
Greenlanders, East, / , 73
Greenlanders, West, , 73


Emilian, , 55 Quebec, +, 73
Gagauz,Eastern Bulgarian, ,55 Greenlandic, North Slope, +, 73
Enets, Forest, , 57 Eskimo-English Trade Jargon
Gagauz, Macedonian, , 55 Gri, , 69
Enets, Tundra, , 57 (Yukon Delta), +, 75
Gagauz, Turkish, , 55 Guajiro, , 79
86

Guambiano, , 81 Hiwi, , 79 Itelmen Proper, , 57
Karaim, Lithuanian, , 55
Guanchen (Guanchi), +, 69 Hodi, , 79 Itonama, , 81 Karajarri, , 67
Guat, , 81 Holikachuk, , 75 Iwaidja, , 67
Karapan, , 81

Guatuso, , 79 Holma, , 69 Ixam, +, 69
Karara, , 81
Guaymi, , 79
Homa, , 69
Jala, , 69

Karelian, , 55

Gugubera, , 67 Hpun, , 63

Jaqaru, , 81
Kari'a, , 79


Guguyimidjir, , 67
Huilliche, , 81 Jargon, Chinook, , 77 Karipuna, , 81
Gule, , 69

Huitoto, , 81
Jawony, , 67
Karitiana, , 81

Gunian, , 67 Hung, , 63 Jebel Haraza, +, 69

Karko, , 69
Gnna Kne, +, 81 Hungarian, Csng, 54
Jebero, , 81 Kasabe (Luo), +, 69
Gunwinggu, , 67 Huron, +, 77
Jeri, , 69 Kashubian, , 55
Gupapuyngu, , 67 I'anni, , 69

Jicaque, , 79
Kaskar, , 77

Guragone, / , 67
Idu, , 63
Ju, , 69 Katawixi, , 81
Gurdjar, , 67 Iing, +, 69 Juma, , 81
Katcha, , 69
Gurindji, , 67 Iixegwi, +, 69
Jurit, , 81 Kathu, , 63
Gwara, +, 69
Ilue, , 69 Kaande, , 69
Katukina, , 81
Gweno, , 69; 71
Ingalik, , 75

Kadu, , 63 Kayardild, , 67


Gwich'in, , 75
Ingrian, , 55 Kala Lagaw Ya, , 67
Kazibati, , 69


Hadza, , 69; 71 Inuit, Arctic Quebec, , 73

Kalmyk, , 55
Keiga, , 69
Haida, , 77 Inuit, Baffin Land, , 73 Kalum (ex) Sorbane?, +, 69 Kerek, , 57

Haisla, , 77 Inuit, Labrador, , 73
Kamas, +, 57
Ket, , 57


Halkomelem, , 77 Inuit, Mackenzie Kamchadal, Eastern, +, 57 Khakas, o, 57
Hamba, +, 69; 71

Delta, / , 75 Kamchadal, Southern, +, 57 Khamyang, , 63
Han, , 75

Inupiaq, North Slope, , 75 Kamdang, , 69

Khanty, eastern and


Hare, , 77

Harakmbut, , 81 Iroquoian, St Lawrence, +, 77
Island Carib, +, 79
Kanga, , 69
Kano, , 81
central, , 57
Khanty, western, , 57


Haro, , 69
Istriot, , 55 Karaim, Crimean, +Khomani, , 69
Hayu, , 61 Istroromanian, , 55 Ukranian, /+, 55

Kiangang, , 81


Heiltsuk, , 77
Hejen, , 57
Isuwu, +, 69
Italkian, /+, 55
Karaim, Eastern
Ukranian, , 55
Kidie Lafafa, , 69
Kinare, +, 69; 71

Kiong, , 69 Kwankwa, +, 69
Limousin, , 55
Mari, Western, , 55
87


Kitja, , 67
Kwaza, , 81 Li-Ngbee, , 69 Maridjabin, , 67
Kolchan or Upper
Kwegu, , 71 Livonian, , 55
Maringarr, , 67

Kuskokwim, , 75 Kwegu-Mugudi, , 69
Logba, , 69

Marithiel, , 67
Kolhreng, +, 63 Kwisi, , 69 Logudorese, , 55

Marrgu, , 67


Komi, , 55 Lachi, , 63 Lokono, , 79 Maslam (Maltam), , 69
Korana, , 69
Kore, +, 69; 71

Ladin, , 55
Laha, , 63

Lombard, , 55
Lorkoti, +, 69; 71
Matagalpa, +, 79

Matipu, , 81

Koryak, , 57

Lai, , 63
Ludian, , 55 Mator, +, 57

Kotoko De Koosseri, , 69 Lakota, , 77 Lumba, , 61 Maung, , 67
Kott, +, 57 Lalo, , 63 Lumun/Lomon, , 69
Maxakali, , 81

Koyukon, , 75 Lamgang, , 63
Luri, , 69 May, , 63

Krenj, , 81
Lamu, , 63 Madngele, , 67 Mayol, , 63
Krimchak, 54 Langrong, , 63

Mak, , 81
Mbara, /, 69

Kubi, , 69 Languedocian, , 55 Mako, , 79 Meglenoromanian, , 55
Kudu, , 69

Laomian, , 63 Mku, , 81
Mekens, , 81

Kufa, , 69 Lardil, , 67
Makurap, , 81 Meriam Mir, , 67
Kuiva, , 79
Kuku Yalanji, , 67

Laro, , 69
Latgalian, 54
Malin, +, 63
Malliseet, , 77
Michif, , 77
Micmac, , 77


Kumam, , 69; , 71
Latund, , 81 Manchu, /+, 59 Mindari (dialect of
Kunbarlang, , 67 Lavua, , 63 Manchu, Amur, , 59 Timme), +, 69

Kunjen, , 67 Leco, , 81 Manchurian Kirghiz
Miri, , 69


Kupto, , 69 Lenca, +, 79 (Fu Y), , 59
Mirit, , 81
Kurrama, , 67
Lengua, , 81 Mang, , 63
Miriwoong, / , 67


Kurripako, , 79
Leonese, , 55
Mangarayi, , 67 Miskito, , 79

Kutenai, , 77

Lepcha, , 61 Mangarla, , 67 Mlabri, , 63


Kuuku Ya'u, , 67 Lere Cluster (Gana, Si, Mansi, , 57
Mmani (Bul(l)on), , 69
Kwadi, , 69
Takaya), , 69 Manx, +, 55 Mochica, +, 81
Kw'adza, +, 69; 71

Ligurian, , 55


Mapuche, , 81

Mocov, , 81


Kwakiutl, , 77 Lillooet, , 77

Mari, Eastern, , 55 Mo'e, +, 69
88

Mohawk, , 77 Negidal, , 57
Norman, , 55
'Ongota (Birale), , 69


Moksha, , 55 Nenets, central Tundra, +, 57 Norn, +, 55
Onondaga, , 77
Mongol, eastern

Nenets, eastern Tundra, , 57

Nunggubuyu, , 67 Opon-Carare, , 79


Khamnigan, , 57 Nenets, Forest, , 57


Nyamal, / , 67 !Ora, , 69


Mongol, Khamnigan, , 59 Nenets, western Tundra, , 57 Nyang'i, , 69; 71 Oro Win, , 81
Mongol, north-western
Khamnigan, , 57 Neutral, +, 77

Netsilik Eskimos, / , 73

Nyango-Tafi, , 69
Nyangumarta, , 67
Oroch, , 57
Orochen, , 59
Mongol, southern
New Bargut, , 59
Nyigina, , 67 Orok, , 57
Khamnigan, +, 57 Ngalakan, , 67 Oayana, , 79 Oropom, +, 69; 71


Mosetn, , 81 Ngaliwuru, , 67


Obulom, , 69 Pacific languages, 65



Mountain, , 77 Ngalkbun, , 67

Odut, , 69


Pez, , 81
Movima, , 81
Mozarabic, +, 55
Nganasan, , 57
Ngandi, , 67
Ofay, , 81

Oiapoque, , 81 Pakatan, , 63

Pajade (Badiar), , 69

Mpi, , 63 Ngankikurungkurr, , 67 Ol (Champenois, Lorrain), 54


Palikur, , 79

Mudbura, , 67 Ngardi, , 67

Ojibwe, Central, , 77
Pana, , 69
Mullukmulluk, , 67

Ngarinman, / , 67

Ojibwe, Eastern, , 77
Panar, , 81
Munichi, , 81

Ngarinyin, , 67 Ojibwe, Northwestern, , 77
Panytyima, , 67

Muuke, , 69 Ngarla, , 67

Ojibwe, Ottawa, , 77 Patamona, , 79
Muysca, +, 79
Ngbinda, , 69 Okanagan, , 77 Pataxo, +, 81

Nagumi, , 69 Ngong, +, 69
Okorogbana, , 69
Paya, , 79


Nakara, , 67
Ngwaba, , 69
Old Bargut, , 59 Pentlatch, +, 77

Nalu, , 69 Nicola, +, 77 Old Prussian, +, 55

Permyak, , 55

Nanay, , 57 Nitinaht, , 77

Olonetsian, , 55

Phake, , 63
Napore, +, 69; 71 Nivkh, Amur, , 57 lt, Manchurian, , 59 Phalok, , 63


Narluma, , 67
Nivkh, Sakhalin, , 57 Omagua, , 81 Phonsung, , 63


Nass-Gitksan, , 77

Njanga, +, 69


Omo Murle, , 69; (?)/ , 71

Phuthi, , 69
Naukanski, , 75 Njerep, , 69 Omotik, , 69; (?)/+, 71

Piapoko, , 79

Ndai, , 69

Nayi (Na'o), , 69

Nogai, , 55
Nooksack, +, 77
Ona, +, 81

Oneida, , 77
Picard, , 55
Pidgin, Central Siberian


Ndungo, , 69

Nootka, , 77 Ongamo, , 69; 71 Yupik, +, 75
89
Pidgin, Eskimo-Chukchi- Pume, , 79 Salish, Straits, , 77 Selkup, southern, , 57
English Contact, +, 75
Pidgin, Eskimo-Cree, Eskimo-

Pupeo, , 63
Puquina, +, 81
Sallirmuit, +, 73

Samatau, , 63
Seneca, , 77
Sengmai/Sekmai, +, 63
English Contact, also Purubor, , 81
Samei, , 63
Shabo, , 69
Montagnais Indian, +, 73 Purum, in India, , 63 Smi, Akkala, , 55 Shan, , 69
Pidgin, EskimoDanish, +, 73 Purum, in Myanmar, , 63
Smi, Inari, , 55 Sheni, , 69
Pidgin, Eskimo-French in Pyu, +, 63 Smi, Kemi, +, 55
Shiki, , 69
Labrador, +, 73
Qawasqar, , 81
Smi, Kildin, , 55 Shikuyana, , 81
Pidgin, Eskimo-Gwich'in
Qemant, , 69
Smi, Lule, , 55

Shipibo-Conibo, , 81
(Loucheux) Indian
Contact, +, 73
Qwarenya (emigration to
Israel in 1991), +, 69

Smi, North, , 55

Smi, Skolt, , 55
Shiranci, +, 69

Shor, , 57
Pidgin, Eskimo-Gwich'in
Rama, , 79
Smi, South, , 55 Shuadit, 54
(Loucheux) Indian Rangkhas, , 61 Smi, Ter, , 55 Shuswap, , 77

Contact, +, 75

Rembarrunga, , 67 Smi, Ume, , 55 Si (Lere Cluster), , 69
Pidgin, Kotzebue Eskimo, +, 75
Pidgin, West Greenlandic
Resgaro, , 81
Ritarungo, , 67
Sanyi, , 63

Santrokofi, , 69 Sila, , 63
Sirenikski, +, 75
EskimoGermanic, +, 73 Rohani, , 61 Sape, , 79
Siwa, , 69


Piedmontese, , 55

Romagnol, , 55 Sarcee, , 77 Slavey, North, , 77

Pijao, +, 81

Romani, , 55

Sardinian, , 55 Slavey, South, , 77



Pilag, , 81

Romansch, , 55

Sarwa, , 69 Slovene, Resian, 54
Pipil, , 79 Ruc, , 63

Sassarese, , 55 Slovincian, +, 55

Pite Smi, , 55

Rugungu, , 69; 71

Saulteaux, , 77

So, , 69; , 71
Plateau Sign Language, +, 77

Ruhu, +, 69

Saxon, Low, , 55 Sogoo, , 69; 71

Plautdeitsch, , 55


Rusyn, , 55 Scanian, 54 Solon, eastern, , 59
Poitevin-Saintongeais, , 55

Rusyn, Voivodena, , 55

Scots, , 55 Solon, western, , 59


Poko, , 69 Saam, , 61 Sechelt, , 77 Somyer, , 69
Polabian, +, 55

Sach, , 63

Secoya, , 81

Sorbian, Lower, , 55
Potawatomi, , 77

Provenal, , 55
Sak, , 63
Salami, , 81
Segeju, +, 69; 71

Sekani, , 77 Squamish, , 77

Sorbian, Upper, , 55

Puinave, , 79 Saliba, , 79
Selkup, northern, , 57
Stoney, , 77
90

Suba, , 69; /+, 71
Toba, , 81 Waanyi, , 67 Yahgan, , 81
Sumo, , 79 Tofa, , 57
Wageman, , 67

Yahuma, , 69
Surina, , 81 Tolcha, +, 61 Waiwai, , 79 Yakut, , 57


Suru, , 81 Tonjon (dialect of Jeri), +, 69

Walloon, , 55 Yangkam, , 69
Tagish, , 77


Toto, , 61

Walmajarri, , 67

Yanomam, , 79
Tahltan, , 77

Takaya (Lere Cluster), , 69
Trio, , 79
Trukhmen, 54
Wambaya, , 67
Wanai, +, 79

Yanyuwa, , 67
Yawarana, , 79


Taman, , 63
Trumai, , 81 Wangaaybuwan-Nyiya, , 67

Yeidji, / , 67
Tanacross, , 75
Tsakonian, , 55
Wanman, , 67
Yeral, , 79

Tanaina, , 75 Tsetsaut, +, 77 Wapishana, , 79 Yevanric, 54

Tanana, , 75 Tsimshian, Coast, , 77

Wardaman, / , 67
Yiddish, , 55
Tanglang, , 63 Tsimshian, Southern, , 77 Warekena, , 79
Yir Yoront, , 67

Tapayuna, , 81

Tunebo, , 79

Wari, , 81 Yug, , 57
Tarao, +, 63 Tuscarora, , 77 Warlpiri, , 67 Yukagir, Forest, , 57
Tatar, , 55

Tutchone, Northern, , 77

Warumungu, , 67

Yukagir, Tundra, , 57

Tatar, Crimean, , 55 Tutchone, Southern, , 77

Watjarri, , 67 Yuki, , 81
Tatar, Siberian, , 57
Twendi (Cambap), , 69 Waunana, , 79 Yukpa, , 79
Taushiro, , 81 Udege (Qiakala), +, 59

Welsh, , 55 Yupik, Central
Tehuelche, , 81

Udege, , 57 Wenro, +, 77

Alaskan , / , 75
Teleut, , 57


Udmurt, , 55 Western Desert, E., , 67 Yupik, Central Siberian,

, 75
Tenet, , 69; , 71

Ulcha, , 57

Western Desert, W., , 67 Yupik, Pacific, , 75
Terik, , 69; 71 Umpila, , 67 Wik Mungkan, , 67

Yuracar, , 81
Tha Vung, , 63
Thompson, , 77
Undu Rishi, , 69
Upper Tanana, , 75
Wik Ngathana, , 67

Wik Ngenchera, , 67
Yurats, +, 57
Zaozou, , 63

Thuri, , 69 Uru, +, 81 Wiradhuri, , 67 Zparo, , 81


Tilung, , 61 Uruak, , 79
Worrorra, , 67

Zaramo, , 69; , 71
Tinigua, , 79; 81
Vepsian, , 55 Wunambal, , 67 Zarphatic, 54
Tiwi, , 67

Vilela, +, 81 Xet, , 81

Zay (Zway), , 69
Tlingit, Inland, , 77

Viri, , 69 Xinca, , 79 Ziriya, , 69


Tlingit, , 77 Votian, , 55 Yaaku, +, 69; 71 Zumaya, +, 69
Close to half of the 6,000 languages spoken in the world are doomed or likely to disappear in the foreseeable future.
The disappearance of any language is an irreparable loss for the heritage of all humankind.
This new edition of the Atlas of the Worlds Languages in Danger of Disappearing, first published in 1996, is intended
to give a graphic picture of the magnitude of the problem in many parts of the world. The reader will find here a comprehensive list
of languages in danger and a concise summary of the worldwide language endangerment situation.
With this book, UNESCO hopes to raise international awareness about what is becoming a catastrophic phenomenon.
Credit is due to the UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund for the Preservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for assistance in publishing
this edition.
This book is the result of the outstanding contribution of Professor Stephen A. Wurm to the study of the problem.
His well-known research and tireless combat to safeguard our world linguistic heritage have made it possible
to compile this comprehensive work, which should be required reading for both laymen and specialists concerned about the future
of culture and society.