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Conference on minority languages

Almost forty percent of all languages on earth are threatened to go extinct due to globalization. How should smaller and minority languages, like Frisian, Bildts, and Lower Saxon deal with this?

From 21 through 24 May 2019, researchers and policy makers from all over the world come to the Westcord WTC Hotel in Leeuwarden for the 17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII). There, they will discuss the challenges and opportunities of smaller and minority languages in a society in which globalization, migration and digitalization have become irreversible. The bi-annual ICML is organised in a different country each time. The international guests from over 20 different countries, will be welcomed by Commissioner of the King in the province of Fryslân, Mr Arno Brok, at a reception on 21 May.

The theme of the conference, “Minority Languages in a Globalized Society”, has been chosen because globalization influences our world in numerous ways. It has changed the way people communicate and do business, and also affects education and language learning. Minority languages face even bigger challenges due to globalization. Dominant languages influence minority language when it comes to the use of the language, for example in education. But it also affects the number of speakers, language policy and language technology developments.

The conference consists of plenary and parallel sessions in which themes such as language revitalization, language identity, multilingual education, language documentation, and new technologies are being addressed. Keynote speakers are Dr. Bernat Joan i Marí (Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain), Dr. Delyth Prys (Bangor University, Wales), Dr. Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS/University of London, UK) en prof. dr. Piet van Avermaet (Ghent University, Belgium). Besides these keynote speakers, ICML offers an interesting and diverse programme with 10 colloquia, 91 paper presentations and 17 poster presentations . The conference aims to bring together scientists and students from the multidisciplinary field.