The Vanishing Languages of the Pacific Rim

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This book presents the first comprehensive survey of the languages of the Pacific rim, a vast region containing the greatest typological and genetic diversity in the world. It includes the littoral regions of North and South America, Australasia, east and south-east Asia, and Japan, as well as the Pacific itself. As its languages decline and disappear, sometimes without trace, this rich linguistic heritage is rapidly eroding.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199266623
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2007
  • Series: Oxford Linguistics Ser.
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Osahito Miyaoka is Professor of Linguistics, Osaka Gakuin University in Japan, having previously been chair of linguistics at Kyoto and Hokkaido Universities. He was the founding editor of Languages of the North Pacific Rim (Volume 1, 1994) and in 1999 set up the Japanese Project of Endangered Languages of the Pacific Rim at Kyoto University. Since 1967 he has studied Central Alaskan Yupik, an Eskimoan language, working as an associate at University of Alaska campuses. Alongside his 'Sketch of Central Alaskan Yupik, an Eskimoan Language' in the Handbook of North American Indians (1996) and he has sought to revitalize Yupik by such activities as training bilingual teachers and preparing teaching materials. He was a visiting fellow at Research Centre of Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University in 2004.
Osamu Sakiyama is Professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Shiga Prefecture after serving professorship at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. He is a specialist in the Austronesian languages, working in Indonesia, Madagascar, Hainan, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea. His published work includes Studies of Minority Languages in the Western Pacific Rim (2003) and Comparative and Historical Studies of Micronesian Languages (2004).
Michael Krauss is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Alaska. After devoting his student and postdoctoral years to Gaelic, Icelandic, and Faroese, Professor Krauss has spent his entire career since 1960 in the study of Alaska Native languages, all more or less severely endangered, with special attention to Siberian Yupik, documentary and comparative work with Athabaskan, and above all, Eya, which now has one surviving native speaker. His publications include Eyak Dictionary (1970) and In Honor of Eyak (1982). In 1972 he founded the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and directed it until 2000. Here he assembled the archive of Alaska Native language documentation and has, especially since 1990, worked to alert the world's attention to the enormity of the language endangerment crisis.

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Table of Contents

The Background to This Volume     vii
Diversity, Endangerment, and Documentation
Keynote-Mass Language Extinction and Documentation: The Race against Time   Michael E. Krauss     3
Documenting and/or Preserving Endangered Languages   Bernard Comrie     25
Linguistic Fieldwork among Speakers of Endangered Languages   Colette Grinevald     35
Language Policy and Language Rights   David Bradley     77
Using Written Records to Revitalize North American Languages   Toshihide Nokayama     91
Indigenous Voices and the Linguistics of Language Revitalization   Marcellino Berardo   Akira Y. Yamamoto     107
Pidgins and Creoles in the Pacific   Sabine Ehrhart   Peter Muhlhausler     118
Linguistic Diversity in Decline: A Functional View   Osahito Miyaoka     144
Areal Surveys
The South Pacific Rim
Languages of Middle America   Yoshiho Yasugi     165
Languages of the Pacific Coast of South America   Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald     183
Fuegian Languages   Oscar E. Aguilera     206
Indigenous Languages of Australia   Michael Walsh     221
Languages of New Guinea   Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald   Tonya N.Stebbins     239
Languages of the Pacific Region: Malayo-Polynesian   Osamu Sakiyama     267
South-East Asia
Indigenous Languages of Formosa   Naomi Tsukida   Shigeru Tsuchida     285
Languages of Mainland South-East Asia   David Bradley     301
Minority Languages of China   Dory Poa   Randy J. LaPolla     337
Japanese Dialects and Ryukyuan   Shinji Sanada   Yukio Uemura     355
The Northern Pacific Rim
Nivkh and Ainu   Hiroshi Nakagawa   Osami Okuda     371
Siberia: Tungusic and Palaeosiberian   Toshiro Tsumagari   Megumi Kurebito   Fubito Endo     387
Native Languages of Alaska   Michael E. Krauss     406
Languages of the Northwest Coast   Honore Watanabe   Fumiko Sasama     418
Languages of California   Leanne Hinton     442
Languages of the South-West United States   Kumiko Ichihashi-Nakayama   Yukihiro Yumitani   Akira Y. Yamamoto     460
The Authors     475
Index of Subjects     485
Index of Place Names     503
Index of Names     507
Index of Languages and Language Families     515
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