Sulawesi Language Alliance

Championing Local Languages in the Heart of Indonesia

Reading List for Endangered Languages

As a starting place for those who want to learn more about language endangerment and language revitalization efforts, we suggest the following resources. Some resources are general in nature, while others are specific to the Indonesian context.

Anderbeck, Karl. 2012. Portraits of Indonesian language vitality. Indonesia and Malaysia EGIDS audit. SIL Asia Area and SIL Indonesia. Online. URL:

Bernard, H. R. 1992. Preserving language diversity. Human Organization 51(1):82–89.

Crystal, David. 2000. Language death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dixon, R. M. W. 1989. Searching for aboriginal languages: Memoirs of a field worker. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Dixon, R. M. W. 1997. The rise and fall of languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dorian, Nancy C. (ed.) 1989. Investigating obsolescence: Studies in language contraction and obsolescence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fishman, Joshua A. 1991. Reversing language shift. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Fishman, Joshua A. (ed.) 2001. Can threatened languages be saved? Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Fishman, Joshua A. 2007. What do you lose when you lose your language? Stabilizing indigenous languages, 2nd revied edition, edited by Gina Cantoni, 71–81. Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University. Online. URL:

Fishman, Joshua A. 2007. Maintaining languages: What works, what doesn’t? Stabilizing indigenous languages, 2nd revied edition, edited by Gina Cantoni, 165–175. Flagstaff: Northern Arizona University. Online. URL:

Florey, Margaret. 2005. Language shift and endangerment. The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar, edited by Alexander Adelaar and Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, 43–64. London: Routledge.

Florey, Margaret (ed.) 2010. Endangered languages of Austronesia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Genoble, Lenore A. and Lindsay J. Whaley (eds.). 1998. Endangered languages: Language loss and community response. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gippert, Jost; Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, and Ulrike Mosel (eds.). 2006. Essentials of language documentation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hale, Ken. 1992. On endangered languages and the safeguarding of diversity. Language 68:1–3.

Harrison, K. David. 2010. The last speakers: The quest to save the world’s most endangered languages. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.

Hinton, Leanne and Kenneth Hale (eds.) 2001. The green book of language revitalization in practice. San Diego: Academic Press.

Hinton, Leanne; Matt Vera and Nancy Steele. 2002. How to keep your language alive. Berkeley: Heyday Books.

Kindell, Gloria and M. Paul Lewis (eds.) 2000. Assessing ethnolinguistic vitality: Theory and practice. (SIL International Publications in Sociolinguistics, 3.) Dallas: SIL.

Krauss, Michael. 1992. The world’s languages in crisis. Language 68:4–10.

Miyaoka, Osahito; Osamu Sakiyama and Michael E. Krauss (eds.) 2007. The vanishing languages of the Pacific Rim. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Moseley, Chirstopher (ed.) 2010. Atlas of the world’s languages in danger, 3rd ed. Paris: UNESCO Publishing.

Nettle, Daniel and Suzanne Romaine. 2002. Vanishing voices: The extinction of the world’s languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Robins, R. H. and E. M. Uhlenbeck (eds.) 1991. Endangered languages. Oxford: Berg.

Rymer, Russ. 2012. Vanishing voices. National Geographic 222(1):60–93.

Senft, Gunter (ed.) 2010. Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages: Essays on language documentation, archiving and revitalization. (Pacific Linguistics, 617.) Canberra: Australian National University.

Topping, Donald M. 2003. Saviors of languages: Who will be the real Messiah? Oceanic Linguistics 42:522–527.

Wurm, Stephen A. 2007. Australasia and the Pacific. Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages, edited by Christopher Moseley, 424–557. London: Routledge.

UNESCO. 2002. UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Legal instrument adopted by the 31st session of the UNESCO General Conference, Paris, 2 November 2001, 44 pp. Online. URL:

UNESCO. 2003. Language vitality and endangerment. Report approved by the participants of the International Expert Meeting on the UNESCO Programme Safeguarding of Endangered Language, Paris, 10–12 March 2003, 23 pp. Online. URL:

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