Archive for the ‘Austronesian (map)’ Category

Language education funding cut in Taiwan

26 April 2013

According to “DPP lawmakers riled by language funding cuts,” funding has been cut for Hoklo, Hakka and aboriginal languages.

The dominant language of Taiwan is Mandarin (cmn), the official language of China. That is followed by Hoklo (Taiwanese Hokkien (nan)) and Hakka Chinese (hak), both of which are spoken on the Chinese mainland as well.

It appears that of 21 Austronesian languages in Taiwan, 17 are still spoken and four are silent.

Call to Preserve Languages in Taiwan

2 March 2011

When Paul Jen-kuei Li studied linguistics at the University of Hawaii in the late 1960s, Austronesian (tree) was not a family many linguists chose to work on. But Li performed field work in Vanuatu (then the New Hebrides) followed by work on a Micronesian language.

When he returned home to Taiwan, he focused on the indigenous languages, a task made difficult by poor transportation and communication conditions. Many times, he traveled alone into the mountains to record tribal speakers.

His efforts include collaboration with Shigeru Tsuchida to produce Kavalan and Pazih dictionaries. His paper “The Internal Relationships of Formosan Languages” is available from a link on the Ethnologue.

Li was awarded honorary membership in the Linguistic Society of America in 2008 among other awards. He calls on the government and people of Taiwan to step up efforts to protect Taiwan’s aboriginal languages. He notes that because language is the essence of a culture, that culture and its knowledge depend on the language being kept alive.

Today, about 14 indigenous languages remain in Taiwan.

Much of the information in this blog post is from the article “Linguist urges preservation of Taiwan’s Austronesian languages” on the Taiwan Today Website.

Book: Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages

23 January 2011

Edited by Gunter Senft, “Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages” is a 227-page anthology on documentation, revitalization and archiving. It was published in 2010.

The monographs include:

Endangered Oceanic Languages

  • Gabriele Cablitz – Marquesas
  • Ingjerd Hoëm – loss and gain
  • Gunter Senft – the Kilivila language
  • Darrell Tryon – Vanuatu

Māori Revitalization

  • Winifred Crombie
  • Diane Johnson
  • Sophie Nock


  • Margaret Florey and Michael Ewing – Maluku
  • Jakelin Troy and Michael Walsh – southeast Australian languages


  • David Blundell
  • Nick Thieberger, Peter Wittenburg and Paul Trilsbeek

Full title: Endangered Austronesian, Papuan and Australian Aboriginal languages: essays on language documentation, archiving and revitalization

Ordering information: Pacific Linguistics Publishers

ISBN 9780858836235

Price: AUD $60/66

This article based on information on the Pacific Linguistics Publishers page.