E-learning: Livonian

Livonian is a critically endangered Uralic language spoken in Latvia. Currently the number of speakers is estimated to be around 20 to 30. Regardless of its low number of speakers Livonian is relatively well documented even though still under-researched. During the recent years Livonian has been getting increasing attention within the academic community. On the one hand it can be attributed to active work of the researchers and the activists, on the other hand it was also fascilitated by the improved socioeconomic circumstances and technological advancements, including data digitalisation and the ever-growing accessibility to research online.

Researching the Livonian language, culture, heritage as well as the historic circumstances of the Livonian community can give insights in many areas. Firstly, since Livonian as well as the recent history of the community has been relatively well documented, including the period during which the language proficiency declined and as a result the language became critically endangered. This knowledge gives a unique opportunity to "see the future" of the languages that are in somewhat similar circumstances, that Livonian had been over the last century. Secondly, Livonian in a way is the "missing link" in the Baltic Sea area, as it is not that well researched, especially compared to its closest contact languages. Further research of Livonian helps to improve our understanding of the development of Finnic languages as well as language contacts, their timeline and results of the contacts in the Baltic Sea area.

Our online course of Livonian consisted of 15 Zoom lectures, 5 of them were dedicated to the Livonian culture and heritage and 10 lectures were dedicated to the Livonian language. The lectures were provided by the following scholars (in alphabetical order):

  • Milda Dailidėnaitė (University of Latvia)
  • Valts Ernštreits (University of Latvia)
  • Miina Norvik (University of Tartu)
  • Lolita Ozoliņa (University of Latvia)
  • Tuuli Tuisk (University of Tartu, University of Latvia, University of Copenhagen)

Participants were awarded 3 ECTS points.

The course schedule can be found here.

An output based on this course will be published over the course of our project.