This paper was presented by the author at the Seventh International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (7ICAL) at Leiden in 1994, at a plenary session on endangered languages, the last session of the conference, held on a Saturday morning after some of the conference participants had already departed—probably responsible for the petulance that comes through in its preamble. Nevertheless, those who stayed for the session (which included an open discussion chaired by Hein Steinhauer) found it most valuable, even inspiring. The paper is published here posthumously and is referred to in the article written in memory of its author on pages 514Ð521.