This website uses only third-party cookie files to facilitate the useage of our service. If you are not blocking these files, you agree to use them and store in memory. Remember that you can manage cookies by changing your browser settings.
# event-icon

Language endangerment and revitalization – Poznań Linguistic Meeting 2015

The aim of this session was to bring together scholars involved in research on “small” and endangered languages of Europe, Mesoamerica and Oceania.

The 45th Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM2015) was held on 17–19 September 2015 in Poznań, Poland.

“Language endangerment and revitalization”: Satellite session at 45th Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM2015)

The aim of this session was to bring together scholars involved in research on “small” and endangered languages of Europe, Mesoamerica and Oceania. In particular, we wanted to focus on the theoretical implications of cross-linguistic variation in linguistic structure, as studied in cognitive, cultural and social settings, as well as applied research on language maintenance and revitalization. Specific issues discussed as part of the session included:

  • language documentation focusing on endangered languages;
  • surveys of genetically and typologically diverse languages aiming at the study of cross-linguistic differentiation in linguistic complexity, as determined by social and demographic factors as well as various forms of language contact;
  • implications of language ideology and attitudes for language shift and revitalization;
  • practical and theoretical strategies for the revitalization of endangered languages;
  • providing the rationale for language revitalization: psycholinguistic, cognitive,
cultural and economic benefits.


The session was convened by Wolfgang U. Dressler (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Alain Peyraube (CNRS Paris) and Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), and organized with the support of the “Academia Europaea 2015 Hubert Curien Fund”. Talks in the session:

  • Gunter Senft (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen): Culture change – language change: Missionaries and moribund varieties of Kilivila.
  • Justyna Olko (University of Warsaw) and John Sullivan (Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, University of Warsaw): Bridging Gaps and Empowering Speakers: An Inclusive Approach to Nahuatl Research and Revitalization.
  • Elwira Sobkowiak (University of Warsaw) and Marcin Kilarski (Adam Mickiewicz University): A ‘small’ language in contact with a ‘big’ one: The loss of alienability distinction in Teenek (Mayan) under Spanish influence.
  • Julia Sallabank (SOAS London): Purism, variation, change and ‘authenticity’: ideological challenges for language revitalisation.
  • Tomasz Wicherkiewicz (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań), Tymoteusz Król (Association Wilamowianie) and Justyna Olko (University of Warsaw): Awakening the language and speakers’ community of Wymysiöeryś.
  • Michael Hornsby (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) and Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska (Instytut Slawistyki PAN): Schools as agents of transmission: Language revitalization in Brittany and Kashubia.
  • Alain Peyraube (CNRS Paris, AE): On some endangered Sinitic languages spoken in Northwestern China: Tangwang, Gangou, Linxia.
  • Wolfgang U. Dressler (Austrian Academy of Sciences, AE): Independent, dependent and interdependent variables in language decay and language death.


The session was part of the Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM), an annual general linguistics conference that continues the tradition of the Polish–English contrastive conferences started by Jacek Fisiak in 1970. The name “Poznań Linguistic Meeting” was adopted in 1997, when Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk took over as the Head of the Organising Committee. The Meetings were organised by the Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań.

The 45th Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM2015) was held on 17–19 September 2015 in Poznań. The leitmotif was “Understanding linguistic concepts”. The meeting was held under the honorary patronage of the Mayor of Poznań, Mr. Jacek Jaśkowiak, as well as under the honorary patronage of the Rector of Adam Mickiewicz University, Prof. Bronisław Marciniak.


Plenary talks:

  • On inadequacies in transferring concepts from one to another linguistic subdiscipline by Wolfgang U. Dressler (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
  • What constitutes the neurobiology of language and why is it relevant for linguistics (and linguistic concepts in particular)? by Steven Small (Stanley van den Noort Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine)
  • The phonetic shape of phonological heads by John Harris (University College London)
  • Understanding pragmatics by Gunter Senft (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics)


Special events, besides the session on language endangerment and revitalization included:

  • Debate panel on understanding linguistic concepts on Saturday, 19 September. Confirmed participants:
    • Marzena Żygis (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin)
    • Greg Króliczak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)
    • Włodzisław Duch (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń)
    • Alain Peyraube (CNRS Paris)
    • Jacek Witkoś (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)
  • Meet the Editor: A workshop on publishing in Brain and Language by Steven Small


Our provisional programme was available here.