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Conference “Small languages on the big stage: Linguistic diversity in research, revitalisation, and policies” (29th LIPP-Symposium)

07/12/2023 0:00 - 10/12/2023 0:00

Munich | Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Munich

Small languages on the big stage: Linguistic diversity in research, revitalisation, and policies

“Small” languages of the world take various shapes – indigenous languages, minoritised languages, migrant languages, or non-dominant varieties of languages of wider communication. Despite these differences, “small” languages generally face similar obstacles regarding political recognition, need for documentation and description, technological support, language activism, revitalisation or reclamation movements. These important fields for enquiry and support are not unknown to language workers, activists, or linguists. Documentation efforts have been increasing for the last thirty years and special interest groups are forming around endangered languages. Simultaneously, a plethora of publications on selected issues of minoritised and less-commonly spoken languages invite discourse on these issues. At the same time, numerous scholars and language workers lament the exoticism tied to indigenous languages and the emphasis of discourses on endangerment rather than the focus on underlying mechanisms of disenfranchisement, discrimination, or ‘benign neglect’. This year’s meeting of the annual LIPP-Symposium at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München is dedicated to these languages and their unique sociolinguistic context and aims to create a platform – a “big stage” – for researchers of any career stage, activists, and community members to discuss similarities and overarching topics across the range of “small” languages. Given the high relevance of this topic during the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032, inter- and transdisciplinary research as well as reports on collaborative projects with communities are highly encouraged under the conference theme.


Possible topics include but are not restricted to

  • language documentation and description efforts
  • “small” languages and language typology
  • “small” languages and general linguistic theory
  • language policy and planning for endangered languages
  • language revitalisation and reclamation
  • language pedagogy for less-commonly taught languages
  • “small” languages and digital humanities/information technology
  • media and modes of dissemination for smaller communities
  • heritage languages, migrant languages, non-dominant varieties
  • social responses to language endangerment

The programme can be found at https://www.symp.gwi.uni-muenchen.de/program/


The conference is free of charge for all participants. We especially want to encourage language workers, students, and early-career researchers to participate, but are happy to welcome all interested members of the audience, irrespective of disciplinary background and stage of career. Registration is possible until 30 November 2023 (CET time) under the following link: https://www.conftool.org/lipp-symp2023/

About the conference

The conference is the 29th installment of the LIPP-Symposium (https://www.symp.gwi.uni-muenchen.de/past-conferences/) organised by doctoral students in the Class of Language at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (https://www.en.lipp.uni-muenchen.de/) and funded by the Graduate School Language & Literature. The conference will take place in hybrid format in Munich between 07-10 December 2023. There will be early and late online time slots for overseas participants.  Participation is free of charge, thus no scholarships or travelling grants can be issued. Registration for online and in-person participation will open in October 2023.

Enquiries can be directed to the organising committee at symposium2023@lipp.uni-muenchen.de .


Organising committee

Tobias Weber

Mia Klee

Anita Salinas Castillo

Bolei Ma

Daria Zhornik


Patrons / Schirmherrschaft

Prof. Dr. Ksenia Shagal

PD Dr. habil. Peter-Arnold Mumm