December 13, 2009

BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO SAY:

The beckoning silence: Why half of the world's languages are in serious danger of dying out: Of the 6,500 languages spoken in the world, half are expected to die out by the end of this century. Now, one man is trying to keep those voices alive by reigniting local pride in heritage and identity. (Paul Bignell, 13 December 2009, Independent)

The University of Cambridge academic[, Dr Mark Turin,] is leading a project that aims to pull thousands of languages back from the brink of extinction by recording and archiving words, poems, chants – anything that can be committed to tape – in a bid to halt their destruction. Languages the majority of us will never know anything about.

Of the world's 6,500 living languages, around half are expected to die out by the end of this century, according to Unesco. Just 11 are spoken by more than half the earth's population, so it is little wonder that those used by only a few are being left behind as we become a more homogenous, global society.


Darwinism actually does apply to language.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 13, 2009 8:59 AM
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