[Foundation-l] What to do with moribund languages?

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 05:53:00 UTC 2009

I realized that at Requests for new languages [1] we have a number of
proposals for projects in moribund languages [2]. In brief, when
roughly less than 1000 dominantly older persons speak one language,
this language will be dead when those speakers die. Even some larger
languages [than mentioned ones], like Lower Sorbian [3] is (with
~15.000 of speakers) are deeply endangered and it is almost
predictable that this language won't be alive in the next century.
But, cases like Lower Sorbian one is -- are border cases -- and I
don't see a problem with creating such project inside of the standard

However, we have some number of cases where project is requested for a
language with less than 100 older speakers.

My proposal is to do the next in the cases of moribund languages:
* Reject proposal for project creation.
* Suggesting them to put their language corpus at [multilingual] Wikisource.
* Allowing them to work on Incubator if they really want to spend some
efforts on language revival.
* If a project at Incubator shows possibilities to be a live one, they
may ask for project again, when they will have to pass all necessary
steps (localization of MediaWiki and so on).

This is a kind of a "political issue", so I prefer to see discussion
here before discussion at Language subcommittee.

[1] - http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_new_languages
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_death
[3] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Sorbian

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