Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Here are two strategies to help you find interesting topics. I recommend trying both of these strategies:
Browse and skim the books on endangered languages
You'll find about twenty of these books in the stacks on the second floor of Simpson Library, at P 40.5. We also have twenty e-books on the subject, which you can find in Quest by doing a Subject search on the exact phrase "Endangered languages." Don't try to read them all cover-to-cover, but do skim them to get ideas.
Identify particular endangered languages
Using these reference works to discover particular languages:
Ethnologue: Languages of the World
This online encyclopedia provides information on more than 7,000 living languages spoken around the world. Browse or search by language name, language family, or country. This is a UMW database, so you'll need your username and password to access it.
A catalog of the world's languages. For each language, Glottolog provides descriptive information and a list of references for further reading.
The Endangered Languages Project
Discover endangered languages all over the world, either by exploring the map or browsing by country. For each language, view information about that language, and A/V files and documents in that language. Language information on this site comes from the Catalogue of Endangered Languages (ELCat), produced by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Eastern Michigan University.
UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
A searchable map of endangered languages, similar to the map provided by the Endangered Languages Project.
Of these two reference books, the Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages includes more languages, but the Compendium of the World's Languages provides more detailed information about each language it includes.