An interesting article from The Economist:
The five boroughs of New York City are reckoned to be home to speakers of around 800 languages, many of them close to extinction.
New York is also home, of course, to a lot of academic linguists, and three of them have got together to create an organisation called the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), which is ferreting out speakers of unusual tongues from the city’s huddled immigrant masses. The ELA, which was set up last year by Daniel Kaufman, Juliette Blevins and Bob Holman, has worked in detail on 12 languages since its inception. It has codified their grammars, their pronunciations and their word-formation patterns, as well as their songs and legends.
There are some nice examples in the article. Ah, to be young and a linguist in NYC!