Linguistics experts estimate that almost half of the world's 6,000-7,000 existing languages--and the cultural, linguistic and cognitive information they encapsulate--are headed for oblivion. The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, has launched a multi-year "rescue mission" to document and preserve key languages before they become extinct. More than 70 at-risk languages will be digitally archived as part of the new Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) program.
On June 14, 2005, a briefing was held at NSF to explore the DEL program and highlight three current research projects that underscore the program's value and goals. This is the video archive of that event.
Credit: National Science Foundation
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