CIPL has a long-term commitment to work on language endangerment.
During the 14th International Congress of Linguists in Berlin (1987) a petition was filed and accepted to pay more attention to the Endangered Languages. Already the 15th International Congress of Linguists in Québec (1992) was devoted to this theme. A series of keynote papers was commissioned from leading experts in each area of the world, and the resulting Congress volume (Robins & Uhlenbeck) was the first worldwide survey of the field.
One of CIPL’s former Presidents, the late prof. Stephen Wurm, was a leading figure in raising worldwide interest among linguists in the issue of language endangerment. Wurm compiled a number of important works including the UNESCO atlas of endangered languages. Through his fundraising skills CIPL has been able in the past to make a large number of small grants for work on endangered languages. CIPL also supports summerschools on language endangerment and intends to continue sponsoring.