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'Use regional and minority languages in COVID-19 crisis'

The Council of Europe and the European Language Equality Network (ELEN) would like to invite states to take language-related issues into account when developing further policies and instructions to address this exceptional medical crisis. It is important, and authorities should not forget, that speakers of Regional and Minority Languages (RMLs) are an integral part of their societies and in order for the measures adopted to have full effect, they should be made available and easily accessible to the whole population. Currently ELEN is collecting data from its member organisations on whether governments have issued information and provided online or TV education in their respective RMLs. The data collected will be compiled into a report for the Council of Europe and the EU institutions.

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Rap and 'Frozen 2' revive Lapland's languages

A new generation of young speakers of Sami languages (spread across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia) has spawned music, TV programmes and even the Disney blockbuster Frozen 2 ('Jiknon 2'). Inari Sami rapper Amoc tells about his journey.

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Italian safety measures also in Friulian language

The Regional Friulian Language Agency (ARLeF) in Udine (IT) has partnered with local health and safety institutes to disseminate information about the Coronavirus in the Friulian language. A hygiene video and an information sheet are the first two actions.

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Hungarian Research Centre for Multilingualism makes COVID-19 information available in sign language and Romani

Despite extensive information campaigns, there were still vulnerable groups in Hungarian society, such as the deaf community (using Hungarian Sign Language) and the Roma population (including Romani-Hungarian bilinguals), which did not have access to adequate COVID-19 information. The Research Centre for Multilingualism (RCM) of the Research Institute for Linguistics in Hungary (member of the Mercator Network of Language Diversity Centres) has set up and translated outreach materials, sign language videos, multimodal resources and the only available materials in Romani language in the country. The RCM also shares some practical guidelines, educational as well as methodological contents based on professional sources by the colleagues of the Centre and the Languag-E-Chance Educational Research Group. These materials learn families how to handle the difficulties and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, also supporting mental and physical well-being while staying at home.

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Bibliography of the CUSC-UB community

Mercator Network partner CUSC-UB (Centre de Recerca Sociolingüística i Comunicació of the University of Barcelona) made a list of the books, journals and other documents by CUSC-UB researchers, as well as videos of conferences and academic events.

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Official and family language policy in Quebec

Do heritage language speakers think and feel differently about raising their children multilingually than non-heritage language speakers? Even in a truly multilingual city like Montreal? Find out in this new article, co-authored by Mercator researcher Ruth Kircher.

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Call for Papers ICML XVIII in Bilbao, Basque Country

The 18th International Conference on Minority Languages (24-26 March 2021) aims to create a dialogue among disciplines by asking how minority languages are facing challenging new multilingual and multicultural circumstances, locally and globally. Abstract submission: 30 June 2020.

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Call for Papers 4th ICMME in Valletta, Malta

The 4th International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education (2-3 November 2020) considers all aspects of the linguistic and sociolinguistic competences and practices of bi-/multilingual speakers who cross existing social and linguistic boundaries. Abstract submission: 1 September 2020.

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7 neighbours, 7 alphabets

A wide variety of alphabets in Turkey and neighboring countries.

Meänkieli reggae

Speaking Meänkieli on Swedish-Finnish border

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Foundation for Endangered Languages blog

Dr Tjeerd (Tseard) de Graaf is board member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL). For FEL, he wrote a blog about the relations FEL has with the Mercator European Research Centre and their joint projects on endangered languages and (sound) archives.

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Bilingualism effects the developing brain

Recent research suggests that knowing and speaking more than one language could impact the speaker's brain structure. Some studies found differences in the cortical regions of bilingual or multilingual adults, compared to those of monolinguals.

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Historical language relations in app 'Vanished Voices'

How did people speak thousands of years ago? How did their language sound? The app ‘Vanished Voices: The Indo-European Phrase Book App’ is as close to time travel as you can get. The app is part of the research project ‘Splitting the Mother Tongue’ (2014-2020) by Alwin Kloekhorst (Leiden University). The app integrates the Indo-Anatolian hypothesis, supposing that the Anatolian branch was a sister language of Proto-Indo-European rather than a daughter language, both going back to an even earlier proto-language called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The app is available for IoS and Android.


POSTPONED: 6 - 8 May 2020 (14 - 16 October 2020), Murcia (Spain)
13th International GLAT Congress: Le monde connecté et les approches interculturelles: vers un nouveau paradigme des frontières ?
Organised by Faculty of Letters, University of Murcia

POSTPONED: 25 - 27 May 2020 (10 - 12 May 2021), Paris (France)
Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces
Organised by INSHEA.

POSTPONED: 11 - 12 June 2020 (June 2021), Groningen (Netherlands)
TABU - International linguistics conference
Organised by Center for Language and Cognition, University of Groningen.

CANCELLED: 22 June - 3 July 2020, Bolzano (Italy)
Summer School on Human Rights, Minorities and Diversity Governance
Organised by Eurac Research

ONLINE: 23 - 25 June 2020, Reading (United Kingdom)
Conference on Multilingualism (COM) 2020
Organised by University of Reading

POSTPONED: 29 June - 3 July 2020, (ONLINE 23 - 27 November 2020), Paris (France)
ENROPE Intensive Study Week #2
Organised by the ENROPE consortium of 8 European universities and Mercator European Research Centre

CANCELLED: 1 - 3 July 2020, Soria (Spain)
6th International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity, in Schools and Society
Organised by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education

POSTPONED: 2 - 3 July 2020 (2021), Zurich (Switzerland)
Symposium on Research Methods in Language Attitudes
Organised by the University of Zurich

WITH ADJUSTMENTS: 6 - 7 July 2020, Athens (Greece)
13th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
* Deadline Call for Papers: 25 May 2020
Hosted by the Athens Institute for Education and Research

POSTPONED: 9 - 14 August 2020 (15 - 12 August 2021), Groningen (the Netherlands)
AILA 2020: World Congress of Applied Linguistics
Organised by the University of Groningen, Multilingual Matters and others.

ONLINE: 23 - 25 September 2020, London (United Kingdom)
Teaching and Learning Resources for Endangered Languages (FEL 24)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 11 MAY 2020.
Organised by the Foundation for Endangered Languages and the University College London.

28 - 30 September 2020, Zadar (Croatia)
New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties (NEWCON 2020)
* Deadline Call for Papers EXTENDED: 15 MAY 2020.
Organised by by the Linguistics Department of the University of Zadar,the SOAS World Languages Institute, Mercator European Research Centre and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLes).

29 - 30 October 2020, Meknès (Morocco)
Interdisciplinary colloquium: “La désuétude au carrefour des savoirs : De la langue à la culture”
Organised by the University Moulay Ismail.

2 - 3 November 2020, Valetta (Malta)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education 2020 (ICMME4)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 September 2020.
Organised by the University of Malta.

24 - 26 March 2021, Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain)
18th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVIII)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 June 2020.
Organised by the University of the Basque Country.

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