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  • Languages of the world by the numbers... | Ethnologue
    This reflects the net addition of 66 living languages that have been identified by the ISO 639 3 standard since the 16th edition of Ethnologue was published 2009 and includes the most recent changes to the ISO inventory January 2014 These changes are the result of adding 147 previously unidentified languages 56 through splitting off what were considered dialects of another language and 91 as new varieties not previously associated with another language and the subtraction of 81 languages 68 being merged with other languages and 13 removed because they were duplicates or could not be substantiated as ever having been a language We are also reporting 373 languages as having gone extinct since 1950 We count 424 languages as nearly extinct the most serious level of endangerment for a language that is still in active use and an additional 203 languages which are now dormant Additional details regarding both endangerment and the state of development of languages will be available on the Statistics tabs on the world country and language pages Overall the Ethnologue now contains 10 918 language entries reporting on each of the languages in each of the 234 countries in which they are spoken as a first language Since languages are often referred to by different names our language names index consists of 46 069 unique names found in the alternate names and dialect names categories And we continue to improve and expand our award winning language maps This time we have 165 countries mapped in 215 full color maps As a result of some database developments with this update we are able to greatly improve the way we report when users of one language also use a second language identified with the phrase Also use and conversely when a language is spoken by others as

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/mpl/languages-world-numbers (2016-02-13)
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  • A hint of things to come... | Ethnologue
    there are several other new things to announce Within days weeks of the release of the new data online we will make available a snapshot of the data in a variety of printed forms The major innovation here is that we ll be releasing print editions of the 17th edition as now revised in three regionally focused volumes While the single volume format we ve used in the past has been handy as a desk reference at over 1500 pages and more than 5 lbs it has also overwhelmed users with poor upper body strength and those who are interested in only a particular region or group of languages Each volume is entirely self contained with introductory material tables of content and abbreviations indexes maps references cited and statistical tables customized for the regions covered By adopting the three volume format users can purchase only the volume that best serves them and those who want it all can buy the entire set Reports In addition to the larger volumes we will have individual country reports available for many countries These will be downloadable PDF files that can be consulted electronically or printed out These will also be completely self contained with a table of contents indexes maps etc If viewed electronically page numbers and cross references will all be live links that will take you to the corresponding part of the report We hope these will be useful to many The cost for these reports will vary Data The third new product we ll be releasing is the Ethnologue Global Dataset We ve received many requests for Ethnologue data in a tabular format that is amenable to analysis and manipulation by database software This initial Global Dataset release contains a subset of the Ethnologue database comprised of the fields that

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/ethguy1/hint-things-come (2016-02-13)
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  • Best Wishes for 2014 | Ethnologue
    the Day and the introduction of some new data fields or newly reformatted data to the language and country entries As we enter 2014 we plan to continue this process of innovation and improvement in the database itself as well as in the services we can provide in making the data available I won t take the time now as we are all just beginning to return from the holiday season to detail the plans for the coming year but stay tuned We have exciting new features in the works and we ll be rolling those out over the next few months The goal of all of this is of course to be able to share as widely and as accessibly as possible concise consistent and comprehensive though not exhaustive information about all of the languages of the world We are grateful to those who have collaborated with us in the past year by sharing their knowledge and by pointing out errors lapses and missing information We look forward to more fruitful cooperation in the year ahead From all of us here may all of you find yourselves experiencing all that is good and right and true in 2014 Log in or register to post comments The Ethnoblog is a place where the Ethnologue Editor and others talk about language in general items in the news regarding language and languages and developments products and projects being worked on by the Ethnologue staff and others Blog Categories Countries 7 Development 12 Endangerment 18 Languages 22 Products 36 Publishing 25 Uncategorized 1 Recent Posts Looking back and looking ahead Entering a new year together Ethnologue launches subscription service Ghost Languages Ghostbusters needed Migration and Language Contact more Browse by Countries Language Names Language Codes Language Families Map Titles Products Current Edition About

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/paul-lewis/best-wishes-2014 (2016-02-13)
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  • EuLaViBar - Another Way to Evaluate Vitality | Ethnologue
    outside of Hungary Finnish fin in Sweden This well rounded approach provides the kind of in depth data that both scholars and community members themselves need in order to effectively engage in language revitalization and development work The major tool used for this study is called the European Language Vitality Barometer melodiously abbreviated as EuLaViBar you lah vee bar There is a very convenient toolkit that makes the implementation of the EuLaViBar quite straightforward At the heart of the EuLaViBar as with many social science research projects is a questionnaire to be filled out by individuals It asks about the individual s background and language use patterns and about family history language competence language attitudes and what the designers have called language products actual materials in the language The compilation of these individual questionnaires from a broad sampling of individuals paints the picture of the status of the language in each location This approach aligns well with Ethnolinguistic Vitality Theory EVT a very widely used and accepted attempt at explaining why people maintain or give up their languages and identities Many other approaches to evaluating vitality status including the EGIDS also employ some or all of the basic concepts of EVT More specifically the EuLaViBar follows and augments the model developed by Grin and Vaillancourt which identifies Capacity Opportunity and Desire COD as the major components of analysis of language retention and shift To this COD model the ELDIA project researchers have added the existence of language products as an important indicator of language vitality And they have significantly developed their research into the Opportunity component with in depth study of the legal environment and the existence of products in the languages themselves Each of the resulting four dimensions are then rated on a five point scale with zero being the lowest or weakest and four the highest or strongest level The results can be graphically represented in a diagram a radar chart and the toolkit very conveniently provides a template for producing the graphic So why is this important First language vitality is extremely complex It is difficult for us to be able to describe the situation of a language in clear and simple terms Depending on the goals of the investigator more or less detailed research may be needed EGIDS is one fairly shallow approach that provides broad coverage serving the goals of the Ethnologue to provide consistent concise and comprehensive information about the languages of the world The EuLaViBar is an alternative that goes into much greater depth and detail about a specific very limited set of languages This results in a bit more complex description the radar chart that is in the end also a summary and generalization of the actual dynamics of the situation The toolkit provides a structured approach so that these more in depth studies can be replicated in other settings with other languages Second it seems that those of us who are investigating language maintenance and shift are coming to a consensus

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/paul-lewis/eulavibar-another-way-evaluate-vitality (2016-02-13)
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  • Functions of Languages in Countries | Ethnologue
    able to develop the categories that would be most helpful in describing how the languages were assigned these functions in country As in all scholarship we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us We found some help by looking at the work of Robert Cooper best known perhaps for his work on language contact and his book on language planning Cooper 1989 Cooper in turn had drawn on the work of William Stewart 1968 From these excellent sources we were able to identify three sets of factors that can be combined to produce a set of categories for describing the recognition and functions of languages in each country The first of these factors is the legal status of the function Some functions are assigned legislatively by means of a constitution a law or a statute Other functions have no statutory basis but are the common de facto usage of the language within that country So some functions are statutory and some are de facto In the example above Turkish is the statutory national language of Turkey having been recognized as such by the constitution of the country In the United States there is no law that establishes English as the official language of the country so English is the de facto national language The case of English in the United States is a good example of the second factor that we need to be aware of That is the level or scope of the function While English has no statutory recognition at the national level in the United States there are several states where English has been designated as the official language within that state So the scope of the recognition can be either national or provincial Finally there is the function of the language itself In some cases a language is used not only for carrying out the practical business of governance but it also serves as a powerful symbol of identity A language that is used only for the operations of the government is labeled in our system as a working language That contrasts with a language that serves only the identity function In each of these cases the language is identified appropriately in our system as for example statutory national working language or de facto language of national identity When a language exercises both functions we simply don t specify the function So as in the case of Turkish it would be identified as a statutory national language To round out the system we needed to add two additional categories Sometimes a language s function is neither for governance nor for identity It has simply been recognized usually in a statute as existing or being suitable for a particular purpose for example as a language of education In those cases we label it simply as a recognized language and we provide the source document of that recognition The second case is where a nationality or an ethnic group is recognized legally but not

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/paul-lewis/functions-languages-countries (2016-02-13)
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  • Why are Sign Languages Included in the Ethnologue? | Ethnologue
    goal Many may think don t deaf people read lips So isn t their true language the same as those around them Isn t signing just what they use to communicate with other deaf people Don t deaf people read and write the language spoken in their country Well yes and no to this question A few do lip read to some extent learn to speak and go to school with hearing children But the vast majority world wide never learn to adequately lip read let alone speak read and write Even the best lip readers are constantly playing a guessing game For deaf people who know a sign language most prefer to use it rather than speech and lip reading and they use it with hearing people who sign as well as with other deaf Although some deaf people read and write well many do not This is not surprising as it s very difficult to learn to read a spoken language that they have never heard Why so many sign languages then With the eleventh edition SIL finally recognized that a list of the world s languages would have to include signed languages to be legitimate Sixty nine were included in that edition That brings up another question how do we know that one sign language is different from another and deserves a separate entry A good test is whether people can understand a video or can understand a discussion going on in the other language variety when they are not part of the conversation Another concern is whether there is an attitude of acceptance toward the other s signing If so on both points we count them as using dialects of the same language deserving only a single entry Often each country has its own unique sign language This comes about because a sign language develops naturally when deaf people come together and because schools are not standardized across the world Many schools for the deaf have been started by missionaries or other foreigners so there is often a link to the foreign sign language in the new However as time goes by new words and other innovations are added and now the challenge is to find out how much mutual intelligibility still exists between a new sign language and its source and what attitudes exist The sign language used in the Philippines is based on American Sign Language and is still very similar to it for instance but due to national pride Filipino Sign Language is given a separate entry Things like this happen in spoken languages too Danish and Norwegian are mutually intelligible but have separate entries Some countries have more than one signed language The west of Panama signs differently from the east In Nepal besides Nepali Sign Language there are three village sign languages that we know about Village sign languages are ones typically used by deaf and hearing alike when the population in a small region has a significantly high number of

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/ted-bergman/why-are-sign-languages-included-ethnologue (2016-02-13)
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  • Language Resources | Ethnologue
    participate as well One of the key insights of OLAC is the notion of interoperability That s a bit of technical jargon that basically means that those of us who maintain language related databases for various purposes ought to be able to make our databases work together to support and amplify each other By so doing we can avoid duplication of effort and we can more seamlessly share what we know with a broader audience OLAC has developed a very useful schema of metadata another bit of jargon I m afraid that helps us all describe the resources we have in our database By using a common set of descriptors for what we have we can link our databases together and multiply their usefulness The ISO 639 3 codes that we use to identify languages in the Ethnologue are one part of that metadata that enhances our ability to interoperate We can search the OLAC database using the ISO code for any specific language and the OLAC database will show us all of the resources it holds that have been tagged with that ISO code Of course you don t need to go through the Ethnologue to get to the OLAC website nor to use their very helpful search engine We are happy to be able to provide quicker and easier access from the Ethnologue website for those who want to know more about what documentation exists or at least has been archived in a participating archive for the languages that we report on By the way if you go to the OLAC website you ll see that OLAC began as an NSF funded initiative of Steven Bird then at the University of Pennsylvania and our own Executive Editor Gary F Simons So what does this mean for you For one thing if you are a student or a researcher you have quicker and easier access to a rich catalog of resources that is growing and improving as more and more archives and individuals join OLAC If you are an author linguist or researcher who has produced documentary materials about a language and would like to make them known to others OLAC provides the ideal place to reach a large audience and adds value to your data and research results by making them accessible searchable and interoperable We often receive e mail from field researchers asking us to list their publications in the Ethnologue We don t have the resources to compile and maintain a comprehensive list for all of the languages of the world However you can share your data and make your work known to an even larger audience by participating in OLAC using their mechanisms for submitting the metadata about your resources Better yet you can deposit those resources with a participating archive there are 44 of them now where they will not only be safe but also shareable And if you are an archivist or an administrator of an archive and your collection is not now

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/paul-lewis/language-resources (2016-02-13)
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  • One month later... | Ethnologue
    Questions As might be expected a website as large and complex as the Ethnologue is bound to have some undocumented features at launch and we have been grateful for the feedback that users have sent us asking questions alerting us to bugs and broken links etc Our webmaster has been hard at work addressing those issues and most of them are now fixed or have a fix planned or in the works Here are few questions people have asked that we can provide you with some guidance on Where did the lists of publications go The Ethnologue is published by SIL International Both SIL and the Ethnologue websites have been extensively revised and updated and both of the new websites were launched within days of each other aiming for Mother Language Day February 21st as a very appropriate kickoff date As the websites were updated there was a good deal of restructuring with some features that were formerly part of the www ethnologue com website moving to www sil org For users who were familiar with those features this caused some confusion We received the greatest amount of feedback about the seeming disappearance of the listing of publications in or about the individual languages That feature had long been a source of confusion for some as it listed only SIL publications about the languages and was not ever intended to be a comprehensive listing of ALL publications relevant to the language It seemed logical to us to move those listings to www sil org You can now find any SIL publication that is about or in a language by looking up that language in the language index of the SIL Language and Culture Archives Download What download A second missing feature was a real oversight and not the result of any design decision We failed to include a link to the downloadable ISO code tables The text talked about the tables being downloadable but there was no place to actually cause the download to happen That has now been fixed and the up to date ISO code tables are now accessible here http www ethnologue com codes download code tables Keep those cards and letters coming We continue to receive e mail about errors and corrections and we value those so keep them coming It s always a good idea however to check the Frequently Asked Questions first to see if you can find an answer to your question there You should also consult the Contact Us information for the best addresses for other types of communications In the end however the address will reach us and we do our best to respond as quickly as we can And speaking of speed that reminds me to emphasize that along with the transition of the Ethnologue to being primarily an online publication we ve also streamlined our update cycle Rather than waiting four years as in the past to update the online edition we are now on an annual update cycle

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/paul-lewis/one-month-later (2016-02-13)
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