Gauging Endangerment

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Fishman's Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale

The level of endangerment of a language can be gauged using Fishman's Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale. Endangerment ranges from stage 1, where a language is used at upper governmental level, to stage 8, where language norms must be re-established. Priorities in language documentation vary according to a language's placement on this scale.


Weak Side Stage 8 So few fluent speakers that community needs to re-establish language norms; often requires outside experts (e.g., linguists).
Stage 7 Older generation uses language enthusiastically, but children are not learning it.
Stage 6 Language and identity socialization of children takes place in home and community.
Stage 5 Language socialization involves extensive literacy, usually including non-formal L1 schooling.
Strong Side Stage 4 L1 used in children's formal education in conjunction with national or official language.
Stage 3 L1 used in workplaces of larger society, beyond normal L1 boundaries.
Stage 2 Lower governmental services and local mass media are open to L1.
Stage 1 L1 used at upper governmental level.

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Gauging Endangerment
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