working with an endangered language

Read the LSA’s pamphlet What is an Endangered Language? (download pdf)

Linguists around the globe actively work with communities to document and revitalize endangered languages. The Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP) promotes interest in this topic through its Facebook, Twitter, and discussion blog

Special Events and Projects

HELP for Endangered Legacy Collections

A project sponsored by CELP and led by Kate Lindsey ([email protected]) and Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada ([email protected])

HELP for Endangered Legacy Collections is a new initiative from within the Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP) to assist in the digitization, archiving, and processing of endangered language data. This initiative attempts to tackle two concerns within our field: (1) the fact that many senior researchers nearing retirement need assistance in digitizing, archiving and processing their legacy collections of endangered language data and (2) the fact that there is an increasing number of graduate students who wish to undertake work on endangered languages but are not able to collect their own data due to a variety of reasons, e.g., travel restrictions (especially in the wake of the current global pandemic), lack of funding, family obligations, health concerns, and so on. Click here to learn more. Applications for the pilot phase of this new initiative have closed. Check back for updates.


Logo of the UNESCO 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

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. 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.


CoLang (Institute on Collaborative Language Research)






Members of CELP fully support the CoLang summer institute which provides undergraduates, graduate students, practicing linguists, and community members access to the latest information on methods in language documentation and revitalization. CoLang 2020 was postponed and will be helpd in the summer of 2022.


In 2006, CELP helped develop a web-based resource Linguistic Fieldwork Preparation: a Guide for Field Linguists.




There are hundreds of other sites and organizations dedicated to documenting and promoting endangered languages. A few of these resources include:

Organizations and Funders

Conferences and Workshops

Other Resources

Looking for a book on endangered languages? Consider the LSA Book Exchange!

Field Reports

CELP has begun inviting individuals to write field reports raising issues of ethics or methodology and sharing what different communities are doing: