Even higher rates of linguistic devastation are possible. coursework submission Stanstead College!
Michael Krauss, director of the Alaska Native Language Center, suggests that as many as 90 percent of languages could become moribund or extinct by 2100. According to Krauss, 20 percent to 40 percent of internet article writing holderness school,
languages are already moribund, and only 5 percent to 10 percent are "safe" in the sense of being widely spoken or having official status. If people "become wise and turn.
it around," Krauss says, the number of dead or dying languages could be more like 50 percent by 2100, and how to write a thesis for a narrative essay university of toronto, new college
that's the best-case scenario.
The definition of a healthy language is one that acquires new speakers. No matter how many adults use the coursework submission Stanstead College,
language, if it isn't passed to the next generation, its fate is already sealed. Although a language may continue to exist for a long time as a second or ceremonial language, it is moribund as soon as children stop learning it. Critical thinking introduction Lancing College!
For example, out of twenty native Alaskan languages, only two are still being learned by children.
Although language extinction is sad for the people involved, why should the rest of us care? What effect will other people's language loss have on how to write an article introduction city, university of london,
the future of coursework submission Stanstead College,
people who speak English, for example? Replacing a minor language with a more widespread one may even seem like a good thing, allowing people to communicate with each other more easily. But language diversity is as important in its way as biological diversity.
Andrew Woodfield, director of the Centre for Theories of Language and Learning in Bristol, England, suggested in a 1995 seminar on language conservation that people do not yet know all the ways in which linguistic diversity is important. "The fact is, no one knows exactly what riches are hidden inside the less-studied languages," he says.
Woodfield compares one argument for conserving unstudied endangered plants?that they may be medically valuable?with the argument for conserving endangered languages. Critical thinking introduction Lancing College!
"We have inductive evidence based on coursework submission Stanstead College,
past studies of persuasive speech paper albert college,
well-known languages that there will be riches, even though we do not know what they will be. coursework submission Stanstead College!
It seems paradoxical but it's true. Critical thinking introduction Lancing College!
By allowing languages to die out, the human race is destroying things it doesn't understand," he argues.
Stephen Wurm, in internet article writing holderness school,
his introduction to the Atlas of the World's Languages in coursework submission Stanstead College,
Danger of critical thinking introduction lancing college,
Disappearing , tells the story of one medical cure that depended on coursework submission Stanstead College,
knowledge of a traditional language. Northern Australia experienced an outbreak of severe skin ulcers that resisted conventional treatment. How to write a thesis for a narrative essay University of Toronto, New College!
Aborigines acquainted with the coursework submission Stanstead College,
nurse told her about a lotion derived from a local medicinal plant that would cure the ulcers. Being a woman of broad experience, the woman didn't dismiss this claim for non-Western medical knowledge. Instead, she applied the lotion, which healed the coursework submission Stanstead College,
This incident and similar ones have resulted in a general search throughout Australia for medicinal plants known to aboriginal people through their languages and how to write an article introduction city, university of london
traditional cultures. The search has to be fast because most Australian languages are dying. coursework submission Stanstead College!
When they go, the medical knowledge stored in coursework submission Stanstead College,
them will go too.
As Michael Krauss expresses it, the critical thinking introduction lancing college,
web of languages is a "microcosm of highly specialized information. Every language has its own take on the world. One language is not simply a different set of words for the same things." Just as we depend on biological complexity for our physical survival, we depend on linguistic complexity for coursework submission Stanstead College
our cultural survival.
Some language loss, like species loss, is how to write an article introduction city, university of london
natural and predictable. No language exists forever. Just as plants and animals have appeared and disappeared over the millennia, languages evolve, grow, and spread, and eventually dwindle and die. Sometimes they're replaced by their "descendant" languages, as Italian gradually replaced Latin. Other times they're forced out, as the coursework submission Stanstead College,
ancient Etruscan language was when Latin speakers overran the Italian peninsula.
Language extinction is accelerating today for some of the coursework submission Stanstead College,
same reasons as species extinction?population pressures and the spread of industrialization. The global economy often forces small, unindustrialized communities to choose between their traditional language and participation in coursework submission Stanstead College,
the larger world. East Africans need to speak Swahili for success; Central Europeans need to speak Russian; and lately, the whole world seems to need to speak English. Sometimes these languages coexist with the local language. More often, they eventually replace it as older speakers die and younger ones adopt the more-useful tongue.
As Nicolas Ostler points out, "Modern media have produced a strange phenomenon, giving children a source of knowledge about the how to write an article introduction city, university of london,
world which is independent of the knowledge that comes from their elders in their own community. [Since] it conveys a sense of wealth that is not available in most places. it is not surprising that children are seduced by coursework submission Stanstead College,
Linguist Leanne Hinton believes that even strong national languages might have some worries. The European Union, for instance, is increasingly concerned that English will eventually replace some European languages, since it's the only coursework submission Stanstead College
language that many Europeans have in common.
Pressure to abandon a language in critical thinking introduction lancing college,
favor of a more dominant one has historically been direct and books about critical thinking university of hertfordshire (navitas)
forceful. In nineteenth-century Australia and the United States, native children were sent to boarding schools, where they were punished for speaking their own language. No public or official use of native languages was allowed. The English government used similar methods to forcibly repress the coursework submission Stanstead College,
Celtic languages of Ireland and Wales.
Although recent language policies in all three places attempt to coursework submission Stanstead College,
reverse this trend, for custom essay writing services holderness school
many languages it is simply too late. How to write a thesis for a narrative essay University of Toronto, New College!
Besides, even now, speakers of the dominant language take occasional backward steps. The government of Australia's Northern Territory recently decided to discontinue bilingual education programs, while the Internet provider America Online has banned the use of coursework submission Stanstead College,
Irish in its "Peace in Ireland" chat group. Critical thinking introduction Lancing College!
Proponents of English as the official language of the United States severely restricted bilingual education in how to write a thesis for a narrative essay university of toronto, new college,
California in coursework submission Stanstead College,
1998 with the passage of Proposition 227.
Repressive language policies are common in many parts of the world. East African countries actively encourage citizens to abandon tribal languages in how to write a thesis for a narrative essay university of toronto, new college,
favor of Swahili or another "unifying" common language as a way of promoting loyalty to coursework submission Stanstead College,
new governments. Minority languages are routinely repressed as a first step toward repressing the minorities themselves. One recent example is the Kosovars' struggle to how to write an article introduction city, university of london,
continue speaking Albanian freely in the face of Serbian policies to the coursework submission Stanstead College,
contrary. Although interest in coursework submission Stanstead College,
language preservation is on the rise in some quarters, many people have an coursework submission Stanstead College,
equally strong interest in stamping out minority tongues.
The deck is stacked heavily against the world's minority languages, but the how to write an article introduction city, university of london,
case isn't hopeless. We've seen that, with effort, plants and animals can be brought back from the edge of extinction. Languages, too, can be turned around. In fact, they have an advantage over biological species because they can be revived even after they have died.
The Celtic language of Cornish, once spoken in southwestern England, expired abruptly in 1777 when its last living speaker died. Reports of its death may have been exaggerated, however. Cornish has made a comeback in recent years. Using surviving written documents, descendants of Cornish speakers began to learn their language and even speak it to their children. Road signs began appearing in Cornish and English. Now, about coursework submission Stanstead College,
2,000 people speak Cornish.
Another example of a resuscitated language is modern Hebrew. Hebrew survived for coursework submission Stanstead College
centuries as a religious and scholarly language. In the late nineteenth century, a movement led by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda reintroduced Hebrew into Palestine as a spoken language. After the founding of Israel, Hebrew was taught in the schools and is now the common language of coursework submission Stanstead College,
Other languages have risen from their cultural sickbeds to new life. Welsh and Navajo speakers revitalized these dying languages through "immersion" schools where children used their ancestral language every day. Both languages have grown in coursework submission Stanstead College,
numbers of speakers over the past few decades.
A different approach is needed where few speakers survive. coursework submission Stanstead College!
Leanne Hinton helped start the Native California Network, a program that teamed fluent speakers of coursework submission Stanstead College,
native Californian languages (all of which are nearly extinct) with apprentice speakers. Although the apprentices could not immerse themselves in a linguistic community, they immersed themselves in persuasive speech paper albert college,
conversations with the "master" speaker.
Reintroducing a language into a community, Hinton says, is a long, multistaged process. Nonetheless, graduate apprentices have had an effect. New Hupa speakers, for instance, teach Hupa in high school and have succeeded in critical thinking introduction lancing college,
getting it to count as a foreign language for college entrance requirements. Apprentices also teach their own children the language and meet with groups of adults for weekly conversation.
"If the drive to save their languages continues," says Hinton, "there may be a turnaround. I always think back to. a Karuk man who said that, given that all Karuk speakers are in their eighties, the language will be dead in custom essay writing services holderness school,
twenty years, but if someone in their twenties learns it now, the language will survive for another fifty or seventy years." Thus, even a few such language apprenticeships may help avert the wholesale extinction of minor languages.
In the past, language revitalization was mostly left to the speakers of the language. It was a haphazard process, dependent on individual initiative and whatever funding could be scraped together. Recently, linguists and coursework submission Stanstead College
other interested people have started a number of umbrella organizations for a more comprehensive approach to language rescue.
The Alaska state legislature made one of the coursework submission Stanstead College,
earliest organized language-preservation efforts when it established the Alaska Native Language Center in coursework submission Stanstead College,
1972. Its work is typical of many such organizations. The Center concentrates on documentation, the importance of which, says director Michael Krauss, should not be underestimated. "That documentation," he says, "could be the basis for revival at any time in the future, if people have the will." Because it's easier to keep languages alive than to bring them back from the dead, the Center also supports bilingual education.
Many groups, including some Native Californians, don't consider preservation an coursework submission Stanstead College,
adequate goal. They want their language to live as communal speech.
Nicholas Ostler suggests that people in monolingual cultures (English speakers in the United States, for example) learn and use another language and encourage others to learn one, too. If you are already multilingual, use all the languages you know, especially in front of small children. A vote for bilingual education and positive language policies is also a step in the right direction.
Hinton offers similar suggestions. "The main thing that people in the United States need to do," she says, "is to how to write a thesis for a narrative essay university of toronto, new college,
recognize when other languages are being discriminated against in some way and to do what they can to stop it." We should remember, she continues, that most people in internet article writing holderness school,
the world are bilingual or multilingual. Speaking one language all the time is not the critical thinking introduction lancing college,
We face two alternative scenarios for the future. In one, the world becomes increasingly homogenized as minority cultures and their languages are swept away in the oncoming tide of standardization. The accumulated knowledge of millennia disappears, leaving the world a poorer place. Books about critical thinking University of Hertfordshire (Navitas)!
In the other scenario, minorities keep their cultural integrity, and minor languages continue to exist alongside larger ones. Which scenario comes to pass depends to persuasive speech paper albert college,
a large extent on our actions now.