This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
The book tells the story of the Indigenous Aanaar Saami language (around 350 speakers) and cultural revitalisation in Finland. It offers a new language revitalisation method that can be used with Indigenous and minority languages, especially in cases where the native language has been lost among people of a working age. The book gives practical examples as well as a theoretical frame of reference for how to plan, organise and implement an intensive language programme for adults who already have professional training. It is the first time that a process of revitalisation of a very small language has been systematically described from the beginning; it is a small-scale success story. The book finishes with self-reflection and cautious recommendations for Indigenous peoples and minorities who want to revive or revitalise their languages.