An indigenous language
or autochthonous language
is a language
that is native
to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples
but has been reduced to the status of a minority language
. This language would be from a linguistically distinct community
that has been settled in the area for many generations. Indigenous languages may not be national languages
, or may have fallen out of use, because of language deaths
caused by colonization
, where the original language is replaced by that of the colonists.
- Frawley, William, and Kenneth C. Hill. (2002) Making dictionaries : preserving indigenous languages of the Americas. Berkeley : University of California Press.
- Harrison, K. David. (2007) When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
- Singerman, Robert. (1996) Indigenous languages of the Americas: A bibliography of dissertations and theses. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press
- Wurm, S. A. and Ian Heyward, (Eds.) 2001. Atlas of the world's languages in danger of disappearing. Paris: UNESCO Pub.