By Margaret Florey
Austronesian is the most important language kinfolk on the earth: a few 1300 languages, 20% of the world's overall, are spoken through 270 million humans in a sector that extends from Easter Island within the Pacific 10,000 miles west to Madagascar off the coast of Africa. a few of the languages during this assorted and linguistically wealthy quarter are undocumented and in approaching probability of extinction. This publication offers a severe account of present wisdom, experiences the kingdom of the documentation of languages within the quarter, and considers the linguistic results of presidency rules and financial swap. The editor's creation attracts out the major matters and issues. an summary of the Austronesian language kin then examines the ancient kinfolk among the languages, their range, and their distribution within the sector and describes the character and goals of latest study. person chapters are then dedicated to the revitalization of languages in Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, and Vanuatu.This pioneering account of 1 of the world's so much linguistically wealthy areas bargains path and impetus to investigate in linguistics and anthropology, and holds out the technique of saving many endangered languages and cultures.
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Extra resources for Endangered Languages of Austronesia
In Sarawak, Sarawak Malay is traditionally the home language of only one ﬁfth of the population, and before 1973 the primary lingua franca used to be Iban, the language of traditionally the largest ethnic group of the same name. In Sabah, Kadazan used to be the main lingua franca, and the role of Malay was even more marginal as there were hardly any mother tongue speakers of Malay. The establishment of Malay as an ofﬁcial language has changed all this. It has had a marginalizing effect on indigenous languages, and most notably on Iban and Kadazan, which have lost their hegemonic role.
14 Malay in Java is spoken in the form of Indonesian and of some local vernaculars, such as Betawi Malay and Java Malay (Adelaar and Prentice 1996). Indonesian is increasingly taught to children in urban settings, and, more particularly, if their parents are of a different language background. Jakarta Indonesian (a form of Indonesian with many adaptations from Betawi, the traditional Malay dialect of Jakarta), has become the most popular and prestigious colloquial form of Indonesian, not only in Jakarta, which is the administrative, cultural, and economic centre of Indonesia, but also in other urban centres among the educated youth.
It acted on the assumption that prospective converts would accept Christianity more readily if its message were communicated through their own language, and this required a bible translation into the languages in question. That said, nowadays SIL is evolving more in the direction of a non-proﬁt NGO organization preoccupied with the preservation of minority languages in general, and with the wellbeing of their speakers in a broader sense. It is also by far the largest single organization involved in the study and preservation of languages (cf.