Skip to comments.'Status' drives extinction of languages
Posted on 10/17/2004 12:45:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The social status of a language is the most accurate way of predicting whether it will survive, argue researchers in a paper appearing today in the journal, Nature... "Thousands of the world's languages are vanishing at an alarming rate, with 90% of them being expected to disappear with the current generation," warned Dr Daniel Abrams and Professor Steven Strogatz, both of Cornell University in New York... The model is based on data they collected on the number of speakers of endangered languages - in 42 regions of Peru, Scotland, Wales, Bolivia, Ireland and Alsaçe-Lorraine - over time. All have been in steep decline over the past century or so, and the model suggests that Scottish Gaelic and Quechua will be close to extinct by about 2030... A language's fate generally depends on both its number of speakers and its perceived status, the latter usually reflecting the social or economic opportunities afforded to its speakers, they said. When two languages are in competition, the one that offers the greatest opportunities to its speakers will usually prevail.
(Excerpt) Read more at abc.net.au ...
| Language Death
by David Crystal
| Vanishing Voices:
The Extinction of the World's Languages
by Daniel Nettle
and Suzanne Romaine
Another fun-filled GGG ping.
My mother is the child of Ukrainian immigrants. Her childhood language represents, apparently, something she was ashamed of, and eager to leave behind her. In any case, she never thought of teaching it to us.
One of the best programs ever on TV was a series called "The Story of English." It compiled the history of the formation of the language and its impact on the world. English seafaring and colonization over the centuries and the richness of the language have led to its world-wide acceptance. Because English is the official language of the United States, it is now the language that must be spoken world-wide in order for countries to interact, trade and advance.
It is fascinating to realize that the language originally spoken in this relatively small island country of England is fastly becoming the language of the world.
If the author's premise is true, why didn't the French language spoken by the elites become the national language in Britain?
English will be extinct in the US by 2050 - Clinton
You mean: "English yo gonna no mas heah after while"
You mean: "English yo gonna no mas heah after while"
¡No, significo adiós inglés, hola español o Spanglish!
For the answer to that question I recommend "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy.
Europe spoke French as it now speaks English. The French tide crested in Moscow. Trafalgar ment it never crossed the Channel.
I second Tolstoy generally on this matter, not just "War and Peace".
One can find a great deal of insight into the tides of language and culture in Europe in the 19th century in Tolstoy. His books are littered with historical and cultural references that imply a great deal about the influence of various languages and cultures on commerce and society in Europe in those times.
Ax Me About Ebonics.
En Aztlan, yo creo lo mismo
It is difficult for us in the US, to relate to these extreme differences in language, in villages only miles apart. One village retains a dialect different from the neighboring town. Much of this has to do with the evolution of language, before the advent of modern transportation.
For this reason, it is extremely important that theologians study the source languages of the Bible, AND the audience + time frame in which information was delivered. For the very same reason, it is most interesting to note that with the Qu'uran, it is now understood that the source languages were the various dialects of the Bedouins. Each community had a different 'dialect'; hence christians who tried to proselitize them, resorted to their own linguistic terms. In the process, the Qu'uran was born - a 'bastardized' version of the Bible. Sadly, today, the Imams have condensed and translated everything into Arabic. In the process many of the word meanings were improperly translated, resulting in the mess we see today.
For a greater understanding of this, refer to this link:
It did, in part, through loanwords.
A couple of former coworkers (both bilingual) were discussing differences in dialect. One had been born in Puerto Rico, the other in Nebraska. The word one of them used for the calf of the leg meant potato to the other. :')
Most interesting post.
Welcome to America
...now speak English
I will not buy this record, it is scratched!
We do not have any badgers, would you like a wolverine?
The wolverines are eating my face.
It's interesting that the article mentions Gaelic and Quechua, two languages/cultures I'm a bit familiar with. For that reason, I have to disagree with the conjecture that they'll be gone by 2030. I know both are undergoing a revival of sorts with those who speak it.
Knowing that the languages are endangered, those who still speak it are making concerted efforts to keep it alive and use it in daily life. I don't know that either will ever grow and be adopted by more speakers than they have now, but I suspect even in 25 years, there will be a core of people still speaking it similar to the number of those speaking it today.
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