Introducing Endangered Languages - a series of talks at the Taylor, every Wednesday at 5.15 pm Michaelmas 2015

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The Taylor Institution Library has one of the largest collections on Modern European languages in the UK. Less well known, however, are the collections of minority languages that the Taylor houses, such as Istro-Romanian, Occitan, Breton, Yiddish and Sorbian. Many of these languages are fascinating – for example they often preserve older linguistic features no longer found in mainstream European languages, such as the dual form in Breton. However, the future of these languages, spoken by relatively small numbers of people in a majority language area, is often uncertain. The threat may come from modern media, education in the majority language or from political circumstances; children sometimes haven’t been allowed to speak their own language, thus restricting the language to the domain of home and family life.

To bring minority language collections to the attention of a wider audience, the Taylor is offering a seminar series of
introductory lectures, kindly given by Oxford specialists, on Wednesdays in Michaelmas term at 5.15pm in the Taylor.

Each seminar will conclude with a glass of wine and a display of relevant books. The Sorbian seminar will be followed by
the opening of the Sorbian display in the Voltaire Room.

Librarians and readers alike are welcome to attend on the following dates:

  • 21 October: Dusner (Prof Mary Dalrymple)
  • 28 October: Sorbian (Dr Gerald Stone)
  • 4 November: Breton (Dr Holly Kennard)
  • 11 November: Yiddish (Dr Kerstin Hoge)
  • 18 November: Occitan (Dr Louise Esher)
  • 25 November: Northern Talyshi (Mr Steven Kaye)
  • 2 December: Istro-Romanian (Prof Martin Maiden)

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