The UN has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The LSA is thrilled to be an official partner of the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The LSA and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA) are deeply committed to supporting the UN's mission of raising awareness and support of Indigenous groups and their languages.

Logo of the UNESCO 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

We will be tailoring our events and media presence to actively contribute to the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The LSA's efforts are being spearheaded

by its Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP).

Our planning efforts are well underway, and updates will be added to this page as they become available.

LSA and SSILA Activities

Annual Meetings 2019 and 2020

We kick off our celebration of the Year of Indigenous Languages at the 2019 Annual Meeting, held January 3rd through 6th in New York City, and will re-cap the work done throughout 2019 at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Activities at the Annual Meetings to promote the Year of Indigenous Languages include:

LSA 2019 Linguistic Institute at UC Davis

Activities at the 2019 Linguistic Institute to promote the Year of Indigenous Languages include:


The LSA's flagship journal, Language, will participate in the Year of Indigenous Languages in the following ways:

  • A followup paper to the Endangered Languages article by Hale et al. (1992): "Language documentation 25 years on" by Frank Seifart, Nicholas Evans, Harald Hammarstr├Âm, Stephen C. Levinson (December 2018)
  • A special call for submissions on Indigineous languages has been announced
  • More to be announced!

Other Activities

We will host other activities throughout the year that will also work to promote Indigenous communities and languages. These activities include:

  • International Perspectives Conference: October 31 - November 2, 2019 at Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • Language Revitalization Project of the Month: a series of interviews with linguists and community members involved in language revitalization projects. Details to be announced!
  • Webinars related to language preservation and revitalization (TBA)
  • Listing of activities and events organized by academic departments and programs (complete our survey to tell us about yours)
  • More to be announced!

Affiliate Organization Activities

The following organizations are also organizing programming to participate in the Year of Indigenous Languages. The LSA is excited to collaborate with them and promote their programming throughout the year! We will also be developing further partnerships and will announce details as they are determined. If your organization would like your activities related to the Year of Indigenous Languages to be listed here, please contact us.

We want to hear about your projects related to the Year of Indigenous Languages! We invite any academic departments or programs who are running events during the International Year to complete this survey, which will be open throughout the year. We invite any conference organizers to submit details on their conference related to indigenous languages (a list of upcoming conferences is available here).

Further Reading and Related Resources