About this conference

The First Conference on the Endangered Languages of East Asia (CELEA1) will be held from May 6th to May 7th 2020 and hosted by the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

Aim of the Conference
CELEA1 aims at bringing together at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice scholars, researchers, and other academics who work on an endangered, indigenous, or minority language that is spoken in East Asia. With this Conference, the University wants to broaden its perspective on the linguistic realities of the countries of East Asia whose main languages are already being taught in its Department of Asian and North African Studies. Thus the University hopes to raise an interest towards the minority languages of Asia and foster active investigation on them, while giving researchers from all over the world the opportunity to meet and share their knowledge.

Scope of the Conference
The scope of the Conference is on any indigenous, endangered, or minority language that is spoken in the territories of Japan, China, Korea, the Russian Far-East, Mongolia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Although we have chosen these countries as the primary focus of the Conference, contributions dealing with languages spoken in other Asian countries will be more than welcomed.
Please note that contributions dealing with any aspect of the official or main languages spoken in these territories (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.), as well as of the dialects and varieties of these languages, fall out of the scope of the Conference and will not be considered.

As the overall topic for this first meeting of CELEA we have chosen language obsolescence (i.e. language loss).
Language obsolescence (or language loss) is often described as one direct effect of language shift – the process by which speakers tend to use predominantly a second language in place of their native one. This in turns can be prompted by a number of factors, such as language contact, code switching, and the various dynamics involved in linguistic prestige as connected to the use of a certain language within a social environment. The process of change resulting from language shift can be seen in all areas of a language’s grammar, and it has been widely noticed to cause, among other things, loss of phonological contrast, changes in the basic word order, an originally synthetic morphosyntax to become more analytic, loss of productivity in word formation and morphological simplification, loss of vocabulary pertaining to a specific literary style or cultural context. Most commonly, language obsolescence manifests itself in speakers either dropping elements of their heritage language that are not found in the new language, or replacing elements of their heritage language with ones of the language they are shifting to, thus causing the heritage language to lose its grammatical features (of parts of them) with time.

All contributions are expected to comply with this general topic and present some descriptive data that are relevant from the point of view of language obsolescence. This is regardless of the area of linguistics the author decides to deal with in their contribution.

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute presentations and posters. Please refer to this page for further information.

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