The Endangered Languages Project
As a result of globalization and intense impact of languages and cultures belonging to the global powers, a good number of languages, which are essentially part of the most significant human values as the bearers and transmitters of thousand years of material and spiritual elements of the culture in question, have been rapidly drifted towards extinction. The results of extensive scientific research reveal that language diversity has been gradually decreasing and according to what UNESCO has identified, almost a large part of 6700 languages will have died out by the end of 21th century. Turkic Languages take an important place among the languages entitled as “endangered languages” in the related literature and the number of the speakers of these languages has been gradually decreasing. Apart from the Turkic Statespolitically known as independent states today, although the Turkic languages spoken particularly in Russia, Iran, China, Afghanistan and in other countries are currently not under threatbecause of the demographic advantages of their speakers such as Tatar, and Azerbaijani in Iran, all of the other written and spoken Turkic varieties left with few speakers are on the edge of extinction under different scales. With the synergy brought by the scholars, each and every one whom have published articles based on long time studies regarding the language they have studied on, this project, first and foremost, aims to raise awareness towards the phenomena of Endangered Turkic Languages among the communities of Turkic Languages, with a purpose to encourage the development ofthe ways and methods for saving them before they lose their “last voices” and to establish a platform where one can benefit from sample studies conducted on the topic. In the Handbook of Endangered Turkic Languages, prepared with reference to these paradigms, depending on the risk categories, languages will be examined in detail in two separate volumes concerning“Relatively Endangered Turkic Languages”” and “Critically Endangered Turkic Languages”. Afterwards, with the purpose of drawing the attention of the international world of scienceto the Turkic languages left with few speakers as a part of endangered languages phenomena and providing a reference guide with respect to this topic, both books will be published not only in Turkish but also in English. In the course of publishing the books, apart from the particular the contributions made by book chapter authors academics and other scholars, it is planned to have extensive feedback meetings and discussions on the subject of endangered languages before the Handbook of Endangered Languages is completely finalized.
In addition to all these, to maintain the continuity of the project, to propose this topic for the agenda in our country, and to contribute to furtheropportunities for scientific studies, the Journal of Endangered Languages will be published presenting scientific articles both in Turkish and English.