UMass Hosts First Open Access, Multilingual Journal Dedicated to Revitalization of Endangered and Minoritized Languages
In the first year of the United Nations International Indigenous Languages Decade (2022-32), the UMass Library added a new, open access, multilingual journal to its digital collection solely dedicated to the revitalization and sustainability of endangered and minoritized languages. The journal is called Living Languages - Lenguas Vivas - Línguas Vivas and it is an initiative of Luiz Amaral, professor in the languages, literatures and cultures department, who collaborated with colleagues from different universities, including the journal's co-editor in chief, Professor Gabrela Pérez Báez from the University of Oregon.
The goal of the journal is to promote scholarly work and experience-sharing by bringing together language revitalization practitioners from a diversity of backgrounds, whether academic or not, within a peer-reviewed publication that is not limited to academic contributions and is inclusive of a diversity of perspectives and forms of expression. Living Languages seeks to publish contributions on practical and theoretical issues directly related to actions that support language sustainability and/or revitalization in indigenous and minoritized contexts.
To achieve its goals, the journal publishes papers in three linguas francas (English, Spanish and Portuguese) plus in any language that is being revitalized. The inaugural volume of Living Languages features 13 contributions that include a paper in Chikashshanompa’ and English (from North America) and one in Kaingang (from South America), plus a variety of other papers written in English, Spanish and Portuguese. In its resolution 71/178 adopted in 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared its deep concern for the current state of “the vast number of endangered languages, in particular Indigenous languages” and stressed “that, despite continuing efforts, there is an urgent need to preserve, promote and revitalize endangered languages.” The hope of Living Languages' editors is that the journal serves as an instrument to share experiences and local knowledge to support minoritized language revitalization efforts in different parts of the world.
The journal was launched on Feb. 21 to celebrate the International Mother Language Day, and the video of the launch ceremony can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0_IDpB6WPI. The journal website and its first volume can be accessed at https://scholarworks.umass.edu/livinglanguages/.