Marcelo Dascal
Endangered Languages

First, as scientists.

As scientists, we should:

Some such initiatives are already operative, and accessible through the Net. For example:

International Initiatives

I would like to stress once more the urgency of these tasks. Languages are

dying faster than field-linguists graduate from universities.

We must find a way to speed up the training of, say, 'linguistic technicians' to perform at least the required preliminary work of documentation.

I think the native speakers of the endangered languages are the best candidates for this. Universities in the vicinity of such languages should be the site of such programs - and they should be helped by other universities and by UNESCO.

In addition, we should:

At the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, we are doing a lot of research and teaching in many languages -- including "exotic" and "extinct" languages. This is not enough, to be sure, and more must be done, but here is -- briefly -- a list of what we do.

what are we doing at the Faculty of Humanities?

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Naturally, we have a strong interest in Hebrew and its close

relatives, the Semitic family of languages.

Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages

Hebrew Linguistics

Semitic Linguistics

Arabic and other Middle-Eastern and African languages also deserve

special attention.

Department of History of the Middle East and Africa

Department of Arabic Language and Literature

Other ancient and classical languages are investigated and studied

as well .

Department of Archaeology and Cultures of Ancient East

Modern languages studied and used at our Faculty include major Western European languages,

Department of Classics

Department of English Literature

Institute of German History

Department of French Language and Literature

Department of Linguistics

Eastern European and Asiatic languages,

The Cummings Center for Russian and East European Studies

and modern (as well as classical) East Asian languages.

Department of East Asian Studies

And we reserve a special place, in the heart as well as in the classrooms to the preservation of the Jewish languages other than Hebrew.

Department of General Studies

We have a special Division in charge of foreign language teaching, with a rapidly expanding number of language courses.

Division of Foreign Languages

In addition, our School of Education participates in the planning of language policy in Israel (an international conference on language policy was convened recently by our researchers together with those of Bar-Ilan University), as well as in research on language acquisition, together with the department of linguistics, which also -- of course -- investigates general linguistics.

Furthermore, individual researchers deal with a variety of "exotic" languages.

Individual researchers also perform research on languages such as

In fact, practically all of our departments and research institutes deal in one way or another with languages.

Other departments requiring specific language abilities

I may have omitted some languages, but the total number I have in this quick survey is no less than .....

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