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The World'S Languages in Crisis

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The World'S Languages in Crisis

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1. Except for the case of Eyak, which I can personally confirm, many of the statistics, large and small, in this article are but reports or estimates; I trust it will be obvious that any imprecision in the present figures should in no way detract from the basic point of their shocking significance. For North America and the Soviet North the figures for numbers of speakers come mainly from colleagues. For the numbers of languages and their speakers for the world generally, by far the best single source available that I am aware of is the Ethnologue (Grimes 1988), to which this paper refers below. 2. Note, however, that 187 languages comprise only a very small proportion of the world's languages, about 3%. For this and much of the following I am most indebted to Barbara and Joseph Grimes and their Ethnologue (1988), together with some late 1990 updates (personal communication). This work provides by far the most detailed worldwide survey of languages yet available, and it is also a project continuously being updated. In keeping with the estimated nature of statistics, I have generally rounded the Grimeses' figures. 3. The Grimeses' updated figures now include over 100 more very nearly extinct Australian languages listed in Wurm & Hattori 1981 but not in the 1988 Ethnologue. 4. Ken Hale wishes to point out that the figures attributed to him in Time magazine, September 23, 1991, are from Mike Krauss's presentation in the LSA Endangered Languages symposium of January, 1991. 5. As this goes to press, I note the article 'World of the Living Dead' (Natural history 9/91:30, 32-37) by the biologist Jared Diamond, who takes the Javanese bird situation as an example to illustrate his view, held by many biologists, that 'half of the world's species will be extinct or on the verge of extinction by the end of the next century'. Thus the enormity of the impending biological catastrophe may come much closer to matching that of the linguistic catastrophe than one might believe from the official endangered species listings. 6. As this goes to press, in addition to the political support of the federal Native American Languages Act of 1990 (described below by Watahomigie & Yamamoto), new federal legislation is proceeding that is to include appropriations: S. 1595, the Alaska Native Languages Preservation and Enhancement Act of 1991, introduced by Senator Murkowski of Alaska in July, 'to preserve and enhance the ability of Alaska Natives to speak and understand their native languages', passed by the Senate in November; and S. 2044, the Native American Languages Act of 1991, 'to assist Native Americans in assuring the survival and continuing vitality of their languages', introduced by Senator Inouye of Hawaii in November.

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... Since conventions imply selection of one variant from among two or more alternatives, by definition, the more conventional a cultural variant, the less diversity for that variant. For example, the processes of language shift are a paradigmatic example of cultural loss: Although language birth and death are natural processes, it is estimated that 90% of the about 6000 languages currently spoken may become extinct by the end of this century (Krauss, 1992). However, conventions can also facilitate the formation of different in-groups, which in turn would rise global cultural diversity. ...
... I suggest that my models of co-evolution of value systems and institutions are very relevant for research projects concerning the preservation of cultural diversity. In recent years, the processes of cultural shift and the extinction of languages have accelerated (Krauss, 1992). The models that I have presented here are a useful tool to explore the interaction between individual biases and the behavior of institutions such as policy makers, crucial to understand the implications of globalization on the conservation of cultural forms, such as endangered languages. ...
Thesis
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The emergence of shared cultural conventions in a population is shaped by the interaction between individuals’ cognition and the structure of the society. Humans, more than any other species in the animal kingdom, are able to learn and transmit vast amounts of information, through language and other cultural products. Individual cognitive constraints include cognitive biases, value systems and memory among others. Additionally, humans have an extraordinary capacity to build developmental environments and construct social niches that can be modelled as complex systems. We are born into particular societies with specific social structures, which constitute our ecological niches. Societies are shaped by the structure of the social network and other high-level hierarchical entities that constitute integrated systems of rules that structure social interactions (e.g. institutions). In this thesis I formalise some of the relationships between these factors using a variety of approaches. In particular, I explore the following three main research questions: (1) How do the interactions between individual cognitive traits and the temporal dynamics of social network connectivity, i.e. the order in which individuals in a population interact with each other, affect the spread of cultural variants? (2) How do the interactions between individual cognitive traits and institutions affect the evolution of cultural diversity and the emergence of cultural conventions? (3) How might current iterated learning models, niche construction and evolutionary developmental biology be synthesised into a compatible framework for language evolution? Chapter 1 contains a review of the literature and an introduction to the assumptions underlying the models presented in this thesis. In Chapter 2, I present an agent-based model manipulating specific network connectivity dynamics, cognitive biases and memory. I show that connectivity dynamics affect the time-course of variant spread, with lower connectivity slowing down convergence of the population onto a single cultural variant. I also show that, compared to a neutral evolutionary model, content bias (i.e. a preference for variants with high value) is the main driver of convergence and amplifies the effects of connectivity dynamics, whilst larger memory size and coordination bias, especially egocentric bias, slow down convergence. In Chapter 3, I report on an experiment in the lab in which participants engage in a Pictionary-like graphical communication task as members of a 4-participant micro-society. The experiment has two main goals: First, to evaluate the effect of two network connectivity dynamics (early and late) on the evolution of the convergence of micro-societies on shared communicative conventions under controlled conditions. Second, to compare the predictions of the agent-based model described in Chapter 2 against experimental data, and calibrate the model to find the bestfitting parameter setting. Our experimental data shows that, as predicted by the model, an early connectivity dynamic increases convergence and a late connectivity dynamic slows down convergence. Expanding on the model developed in Chapter 2, Chapter 4 explores how the interactions between content bias, value systems and institutional performance affect cultural diversity and the emergence of cultural conventions at the population level. Simulation results show that high hegemony (i.e. one or few variants are strongly preferred over the others) and homogeneity of value systems among agents accelerate the extinction of cultural traits and thus erode cultural diversity. In certain regions of the parameter space, institutions that do not reinforce original value systems tend to be effective at preserving cultural diversity. However, an important limitation of this model is that institutional performance remains fixed over time. In Chapter 5, I attempt to overcome previous shortcomings of the model by developing a co-evolutionary model of value systems, institutions and choice. To the best of my knowledge, this model constitutes the first attempt to quantify the propagation of cultural variants by incorporating a comprehensive parameter combination of compliance, confirmation, content and frequency biases into the learning and production algorithm. Results show that, in general, institutional power facilitates the emergence of cultural conventions when compliance biases increase. In general, a compliance bias pushes diversity up when institutions are diverse, and pushes diversity down when institutions convey value systems with strong dominance of one or few cultural variants. In some regions of the parameter space, global conventions can also emerge in the absence of institutional power and therefore of institutions that are in place to guide convergence. On a more conceptual level and applied to the case of language, Chapter 6 reviews the literature on iterated learning and ecological evolutionary developmental biology to explore their compatibility. I use the concept of niche construction to build bridges between eco-evo-devo accounts for cognitive capacities and cultural evolution guided by iterated learning processes. Additionally, based on recent insights from both domains, I propose an integrated conceptual model that might be useful to connect biological and cultural approaches, as well as act as a hypothesis-generating framework around which cognitive scientists can structure new triple-inheritance formal models. In Chapter 7, I summarise the most relevant findings of this thesis and I discuss some potential implications.
... A middle position would assert 50% loss in the next 100 years. This is the view independently arrived at by three linguists reported by (Krauss, 1992). 50% is 3000 languages. ...
... Three levels can be recognized according to common sense classification; safe, endangered and extinct. Krauss (1992) introduced another term moribund; those languages which are no more learnt as mother tongue by the children and upcoming generation. Punjabi can also be termed under the same term more specifically in urban areas. ...
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Punjabi language is most widely spoken language of Pakistan (Abbas, Chohan, Ahmed, & Kaleem, 2016). Punjabi is under developed language because of which, upcoming generations are shifting to other technically and digitally developed languages such as Urdu and English. In result of which, the sound shift is being observed in Punjabi language. Sounds which used to be present in the past in Punjabi language are found missing now. This leads to a problematic situation that this sound shift may result in language extinction and sound loss. This study is about the sound change and it has been studied in Punjabi language. On the basis of observation of speech in surrounding, researcher made a hypothesis that those speakers of Punjabi language who acquired Punjabi as L1 are able to produce few distinctive sounds that are not produced by the speakers who acquired Urdu as a mother tongue. For this purpose, a corpus of 2 million words was collected and the words including the sounds |n|ن and |l| ل were particularly shortlisted from the corpus. The speakers from both origins were asked to pronounce these words, the hypothesis was proved and, in result, variations in the pronunciation of sounds were observed. Sociolinguists and Phonologists need to heed on this issue to save Punjabi language from extinction.
... Además, un dato que resalta el tema de no perder la esperanza es que a pesar de que la cifra que se estimaba durante la década de 1990 del siglo pasado era de un 90% de las lenguas del mundo para el siglo XXI, según Krauss (1992), y que Crystal (2002) la atenuaba En realidad, el esfuerzo debe ser lo contrario y permanente. Los datos permitirían contar con cierto grado de certidumbre en torno al hecho que dar atención a la documentación lingüística puede impactar favorablemente en la preservación de lenguas en riesgo. ...
... a un 50%, la realidad actual, según Simons (2019) es que la pérdida de número de lenguas ha sido menor, como se puede apreciar en la Gráfica 1, que incluye datos proporcionados por el último autor.Como puede verse en la Gráfica 1, la tasa actual de lenguas que se extinguen al año es de alrededor de 9, muchísimo más baja que las tasas estimadas porKrauss (1992) y Crystal (2002. El menor ritmo de pérdida de las lenguas no debería verse como una señal de que está bien relajarse, y no tomarse tan en serio documentar y archivar las lenguas del mundo. ...
Thesis
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The fundamentals and use cases of digital language archives.
... Not everyone concurs with a narrow definition of language endangerment. Krauss (1992), while making a distinction between endangered, moribund and safe languages, maintains that a moribund language is the one which is no longer being learned by children whereas an endangered language is the one which, although still learned by children, would, if present trends continue, soon cease to be learned by children; and "the safe language is the one which is neither moribund nor endangered" (p. 5-7). ...
Article
The current language policy and planning of many countries still adhere to the nation-state ideology of “one nation equals one official language”. This issue is likely to cause the linguistic minority groups to devalue or even abandon their own mother tongue and identify with the official language of the country. A case in point is Iran where Persian is the only official language and other languages are merely tolerated, but not promoted. The principal aim of this study is to find factors that lead Kalhuri Kurdish people to choose to speak with their children in Persian at the risk of losing their native language, a phenomenon which may happen as a result of linguistic/language suicide or because of linguicide. Therefore, a researcher-designed and validated questionnaire was administered to 384 Kalhuri Kurdish parents. The results indicated that the language policy and planning in Iran has made Kalhuri parents use Persian in interactions with their children instead of using their own vernacular, Kalhuri. The sociolinguistic implications of the study are discussed in the light of the research findings.
... Further, to remove the voice of a people means the death of history. Krauss (1992) suggested that 90 percent of languages that existed in the early 1990s would be gone or at least moribund and in danger of extinction by the next century, meaning only 10 percent of the world's languages would remain. ...
Preprint
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Nearly a decade and a half ago, the inequalities present in education systems had not been televised. Rather, the notion of 'overcomology'-society's suggestion that non-majority peoples had overcome past injustices prevailed. Global conditions have helped shed light on the continued disparity, yet there remains a need for further exploration of educational inequalities. The purpose of this brief reflective review is to follow up on a 2006 article on the same subject to identify further opportunities and challenges that have surfaced over time.
... One of the best accounts of the issue appeared some time ago in a magazine article by the biologist Diamond (1993), based in tum on the work of the linguist Krauss (1992). Diamond and Krauss blamed language-loss mainly on 'homogenisation', a process that has been going on for thousands of years. ...
... Even while Indigenous peoples are engaged in re-inventing themselves, members of the dominant culture, specifically some linguists and activists call attention to the loss of the world's languages, which is then connected to the loss of biodiversity (Abley, 2003;Dalby, 2003;Krauss, 1992), Indigenous cultures and identities, Indigenous ways of knowing, food security and food sovereignty (United Nations, 2004;World Bank, 2005) ...
Article
We suggest that while Indigenous languages are threatened by capitalist and neoliberal encroachments, responses from applied linguists in the academy can be misguided. To make our argument, we must first define neoliberalism, and examine how the broader neoliberal discourses of choice, competition and the free market have percolated and distilled into local Indigenous language contexts, impacting languages, cultures and identities. We ask ourselves what identities are currently available, adopted and valorized by and for Indigenous language speakers, and how positions like Indigenous language speaker, academic/linguist, activist and teacher are altering in response to available neoliberal subject positions? We suggest that neoliberal discursive regimes position Indigenous peoples who do not speak their heritage languages as “victims needing recognition and redress.” The result is that they have become trapped in colonizer ideologies viewing Indigenous peoples as unfit to govern themselves. Colonized now by neoliberalism, Indigenous language speakers forced to live within neoliberal regimes must adopt identities of resignation, meaning engaged in a permanent struggle to accommodate themselves to the world. Instead, we posit that their positions are better framed and respected as identities of refusal, everyday actions of refusing enclosure.
... 1. Introduction By the turn of the next century, it is estimated that more than that 90% of the world's languages will cease to exist (Krauss 1992;Bernard 1996), dramatically impoverishing the linguistic diversity on our planet. In this scenario of widespread language endangerment, accurately assessing language vitality is of crucial importance. ...
Article
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Italy is characterized by a considerable amount of language variation. Only a few spoken vernaculars enjoy institutional support and are officially recognized as minority languages. Among these, Friulian is one of the largest in terms of number of speakers. In the past decade, the assessment of Friulian language vitality has yielded discordant conclusions. The aim of the present paper is to shed light on Friulian's vitality by providing an informed discussion of the findings of the three most recent studies on the topic, namely De Cia (2013), Coluzzi (2015), and Melchior (2015). As a framework for discussion and means of synthesis among the different claims put forward on Friulian's vitality, I will make reference to the nine factors of language vitality proposed by UNESCO (2003): each factor describes six possible sociolin-guistic scenarios, which reflect six different levels of language vitality. Despite its official status and institutional support, Friulian lacks young native speakers and is used more and more infrequently in a limited number of social settings. The overall picture suggests that a marked process of language shift from Friulian to Italian is taking place. National and regional authorities should take immediate action to ensure the future survival of the minority language.
... When studying pragmatics, it is assumed that the languages (and speakers) are vital and healthy. This is not the case in endangered languages, i.e., for one third of the world's languages (Krauss, 1992). Endangered languages are not equally acquired between members of a speech community. ...
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This paper analyses the loss of politeness markers across three generations in the Ryukyuan Islands of Japan. Honorific registers are first lost in endangered languages, and last speakers of an endangered language often state that they avoid using the language to semi-speakers because they do not use polite registers. We give an overview of language endangerment, analyse how individuals reflect on politeness markers, and how language loss and the awareness thereof manifest in language use. We find that the loss of politeness markers does not result in an affront to convention and social order. Japanese, the replacing language, is employed to construct social orders. Linguistically constructed orders in Japanese are different from those in Ryukyuan. In one of the two communities studied, politeness markers no longer function to construct social hierarchies but serve as a 'we-code' among locals.The experience of language endangerment works here as a social levelling mechanism.
... Herlihy and Knapp (2003) note that Indigenous communities have 'maintained cognitive maps that are delineated verbally using place names that convey place and spatial orientations,' (304) and that these maps provided a wealth of knowledge to Indigenous peoples in those areas as well as explorers who arrived in those areas (303). As people continue to move to new spaces, such as Indigenous individuals from their traditional communities to urban areas (Norris & Clatworthy 2003), linguistic maps will play an ever-important role in accounting for changes in the distribution and vitality (Luebbering, Kolivras, & Prisley 2013) of Indigenous languages, which in most parts of the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of decline and endangerment (Krauss 1992). Increases in human migration across lands and continents will only further complicate relationships between language and space (Mackey 1988), meaning that continuing research and development into linguistic map making practices and technologies is essential to ensuring that linguistic maps can do more for users and communities than act as what Luebbering (2013: 40) refers to as 'generalized snapshots in time.' ...
... Herlihy and Knapp (2003) note that Indigenous communities have 'maintained cognitive maps that are delineated verbally using place names that convey place and spatial orientations,' (304) and that these maps provided a wealth of knowledge to Indigenous peoples in those areas as well as explorers who arrived in those areas (303). As people continue to move to new spaces, such as Indigenous individuals from their traditional communities to urban areas (Norris & Clatworthy 2003), linguistic maps will play an ever-important role in accounting for changes in the distribution and vitality (Luebbering, Kolivras, & Prisley 2013) of Indigenous languages, which in most parts of the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of decline and endangerment (Krauss 1992). Increases in human migration across lands and continents will only further complicate relationships between language and space (Mackey 1988), meaning that continuing research and development into linguistic map making practices and technologies is essential to ensuring that linguistic maps can do more for users and communities than act as what Luebbering (2013: 40) refers to as 'generalized snapshots in time.' ...
Conference Paper
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Maps are valuable tools for presenting large amounts of complex information that resonate with audiences in ways text alone cannot. European colonization stimulated the use of maps as explorers and colonists tried to understand and control the peoples and lands they encountered, defining what was known about them. Even well-researched linguistic maps designed with the best of intentions can still be confusing or misleading, and Luebbering, Kolivras, and Prisley as well as Monmonier mention that there are no established standards set in place to define how linguistic maps present their information. The Evaluative Map Typology (EMT) is a Structured Observation survey tool intended to compare linguistic maps systematically to one another by identifying and describing techniques used to display linguistic information. This paper describes the research involved in producing the EMT followed by a discussion of the features it evaluates, and an account of its current application in the NEȾOLṈEW project based at the University of Victoria, Canada.
... La adopción de nuevas lenguas, así como el declive y desaparición de otras es un tema de gran relevancia sociocultural y económica. (Krauss, 1992) estimó que la mitad de los más de 6000 lenguajes en existencia se extinguirá en los próximos 100 años. Estudios más recientes llevados a cabo por (Simons & Krauss, 2013) reportan que más del 75% de las lenguas que estaban en uso en Australia, Canadá y Estados Unidos en 1950 están extintas o moribundas. ...
Preprint
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Desarrollamos un modelo de adopción de lenguaje basado en un modelo evolutivo genera-do por un juego con dos poblaciones y tres estrategias y encontramos dos equilibrios estables, a saber: bilingüismo en ambas poblaciones y monolingüismo basado en la lengua vernácula de cada población.
... Even more radical negative trends are predicted for linguistic diversity: estimates of language extinction range from 50% to 90% of the world's ca. 7000 languages within this century [6]. Both developments are directly linked to technology and statehood, and especially to colonialism and the capitalist economic system. 1 The global integration and increasing bilingualism in a metropolitan language, particularly English, is making the majority of the world's languages in effect minority languages, affecting even languages protected substantially by their national boundaries and institutions [7]. ...
Article
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The creation and dissemination of literacy materials supports the vitality of vulnerable languages and is essential to the survival of more than half of the world's languages that lack writing systems and literacy materials entirely. This paper evaluates an interdisciplinary collaborative project titled Visualizing Languages, focusing on four communities in South and Southeast Asia for whom literacy materials were developed within a university art educational program. The project involved a team of linguists, student illustrators, an artist mentor, and community members. This interdisciplinary team collaborated with native speakers to create bilingual children's books representing important traditional narratives, with each story accompanied by rich illustrations incorporating the cultural heritage of the community. Our aim here is to describe and evaluate the workflow, in the hope that it might serve as a model for other teams considering a similar approach to preserving intangible cultural heritage.
... The fate of declining traditional knowledge is shared by indigenous languages. By the early 1900s, it was suggested that of the 6,000 languages spoken in the world, half had disappeared (Krauss 1992). In turn, it has been estimated that by the year 2101, half of the languages that are known will disappear (Harrison 2008). ...
Article
Are Mixtec Forgetting Their Plants? Intracultural Variation of Ethnobotanical Knowledge in Oaxaca, Mexico. Erosion of ethnobotanical knowledge in indigenous communities has been reported increasingly in recent decades. This study quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed the variation of ethnobotanical knowledge in communities of the high Mixtec subregion. We interviewed 64 Mixtec about edible and medicinal plants. We evaluated the knowledge (names and knowledge of use) and the active application of the use among people of different ages, gender, education level, migrants, and non–migrants. In general, increasing age, female gender, decreasing formal education, and non–migration are positively correlated with the knowledge and use of plants. The most alarming finding concerns the knowledge of the Mixtec names of plant—people under 30 years old no longer know them. We envision a process of transition and adaptation of the knowledge and uses of plants, but inevitably enormous ethnobotanical knowledge is quickly disappearing along with the Mixtec language.¿Los mixtecos están olvidando sus plantas? Variación intracultural del conocimiento etnobotánico en Oaxaca, México. La erosión del conocimiento etnobotánico en las comunidades indígenas se ha informado cada vez más en las últimas décadas. Este estudio analizó cuantitativa y cualitativamente la variación del conocimiento etnobotánico en comunidades de la subregión Mixteca alta. Entrevistamos a 64 mixtecos sobre plantas comestibles y medicinales. Evaluamos el conocimiento (nombres y conocimiento de uso) y la aplicación activa del uso entre personas de diferentes edades, género, nivel educativo, migrantes y no migrantes. En general, el aumento de la edad, el género femenino, la baja educación formal y la no migración se correlacionan positivamente con el conocimiento y uso de las plantas. El hallazgo más alarmante se refiere al conocimiento de los nombres mixtecos de las plantas: las personas menores de 30 años ya no los conocen. Visualizamos un proceso de transición y adaptación del conocimiento y usos de las plantas, pero inevitablemente un enorme conocimiento etnobotánico está desapareciendo rápidamente junto con el idioma mixteco.
... The consequences of language loss are severe for the social and cultural fabric of Indigenous communities, for academic research, and for humanity as a whole. Each language represents an irreplaceable cultural heritage of specialized knowledge, art, and ways to conceptualize and understand the world, that are preserved in -and transmitted by -its linguistic categories and structures (Dorian 1989;Krauss 1992;Wurm 2001;Harrison, 2007;Moseley 2007Moseley , 2010Evans 2010; Austin and Sallabank 2011). ...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we explore important interconnections between biological and cultural diversity in the Amazon, defined as biocultural diversity. Biocultural diversity considers the diversity of life in all its di- mensions, including biological, sociocultural, and linguistic aspects, which are interconnected and have co-evolved as social-ecological systems. This chapter focuses on the worldviews, knowledge systems, live- lihood strategies, and governance regimes of Amazonian peoples as documented in ethnographic, ethno- biological, and human ecology studies beginning in the mid-to-late twentieth century. The focus here is on Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) across Amazonian countries and the territory of French Guiana. We synthesize important social and political processes that have led to the formal recog- nition of IPLCs’ lands and/or territories across the Amazon, notwithstanding persistent gaps, challenges, and obstacles to the recognition, consolidation, and protection of these areas, which will be discussed in other chapters of this report. The Amazon’s immense cultural diversity is manifested through approxi- mately 300 spoken Indigenous languages, expressed in worldviews and spiritual relationships with na- ture. IPLCs have played a critical role in shaping, protecting, and restoring Amazonian ecosystems and biodiversity under changing contexts, despite ongoing historic processes including genocide, disease, vi- olence, displacement, and conflicts between the conservation and development agendas. Amazonian peo- ples hold diverse and interconnected livelihood strategies, including agriculture and agroforestry, fisher- ies and aquatic management, hunting, resource gathering and extraction, and rural/urban market-based economic activities and wage-based employment in different sectors. These activities and practices are influenced to varying extents by seasonal and geographical variations, ecosystem features, cultural diver- sity, market forces, and public policies. We highlight the important role played by women in protecting agrobiodiversity, promoting food security and sovereignty in the Amazon. Policies aiming to conserve and use Amazonian biodiversity need to recognize the sociocultural and territorial rights of IPLCs, and be in- tegrative of Indigenous and local knowledge, languages, worldviews, and spiritual practices.
... It has thus long been an important subject of research, as scientists sought to understand its interactions with society, the internal evolution of a language's aspects with time or how multiple languages interact with one another. The research presented here is concerned with the latter, which emerged a few decades ago as a hot topic when linguists realized that the world may be facing a mass extinction of languages [1][2][3]. It has been pointed out that the estimated 6000 languages of the world convey a cultural wealth, the loss of which would be irreversible. ...
Article
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Cultural diversity encoded within languages of the world is at risk, as many languages have become endangered in the last decades in a context of growing globalization. To preserve this diversity, it is first necessary to understand what drives language extinction, and which mechanisms might enable coexistence. Here, we study language shift mechanisms using theoretical and data-driven perspectives. A large-scale empirical analysis of multilingual societies using Twitter and census data yields a wide diversity of spatial patterns of language coexistence. It ranges from a mixing of language speakers to segregation with multilinguals on the boundaries of disjoint linguistic domains. To understand how these different states can emerge and, especially, become stable, we propose a model in which language coexistence is reached when learning the other language is facilitated and when bilinguals favor the use of the endangered language. Simulations carried out in a metapopulation framework highlight the importance of spatial interactions arising from people mobility to explain the stability of a mixed state or the presence of a boundary between two linguistic regions. Further, we find that the history of languages is critical to understand their present state.
... This dynamic means a tiny population of people speak most languages, so any destruction in their habitat, livelihoods, or culture could send a language toward endangerment and possibly extinction. Estimates are that 20-50 per cent of the world's 6,000 languages are moribund, 40-75 per cent are weakening, and only 5-10 per cent are safe (Krauss, 1992(Krauss, , 1998. Language death presents a critical problem related to the loss of human diversity and loss of identity. ...
... We all are so called 'social animals' therefore communication plays a very important role in our daily living, and language enables a person to express their feelings and opinions. Krauss (1992) estimates that 90 % of the world's 7105 languages would become endangered or extinct by the end of this century, if no language revitalization efforts are made [8]. Endangered languages are disappearing at a frightening rate; one language every two weeks [9]. ...
... However, it is also argued that about 200 to 300 languages are endangered and are likely to become extinct due to external and internal factors (see Krauss, 1992;Fishman, 2001). According to Connell and Zeitlyn (2010), these languages are unclassified due to the lack of data that one can use to conduct any meaningful or further research. ...
Article
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Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world. Although Africa is highly rich with many languages, only a handful of these languages are widely used for inter-ethnic communication. These languages are also used within the African region and spoken by tens of millions of people. In recent times, the call for a much greater emphasis on the cultural and linguistic dimension in all aspects of development, especially the use of our native languages, has become increasingly vocal. This has made African countries aware of the value of their linguistic inheritance. This paper, descriptive in nature, evaluates the concept and value of language policies in some African countries. The paper also makes some suggestions for consideration regarding the positions of local languages as official and/or national languages of the language policies, the language of instruction in schools, media and popular culture.
... Yet, in recent times, language endangerment is recognized to be taking place at an unprecedented rate and magnitude 2 . Different estimates have been provided: a more extreme prediction is that 50% of the world's languages are endangered and that as many as 90% of the world's languages can become moribund or extinct in this current century 3 . A less extreme but still highly consequential claim based on calculations made using recent data indicates that one language is lost every 3 months 4 . ...
Article
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Language endangerment is one of the most urgent issues of the twenty-first century. Languages are disappearing at unprecedented rates, with dire consequences that affect speaker communities, scientific community and humanity. There is impetus for understanding the nature of language endangerment, and we investigate where language endangerment occurs by performing network analysis on 3423 languages at various levels of risk. Macro-level analysis shows evidence of positive assortative mixing of endangerment statuses—critically endangered languages are surrounded by similarly endangered languages, indicating the prevalence of linguistic hotspots throughout the world. Meso-level analysis using community detection returned 13 communities experiencing different levels of threat. Micro-level analysis of closeness centrality shows that more geographically isolated languages tend to be more critically endangered. Even after accounting for the statistical contributions of linguistic diversity, the structural properties of the spatial network were still significantly associated with endangerment outcomes. Findings support that the notion of hotspots is useful when accounting for language endangerment but go beyond that to establish that quantifying spatial structure is crucial. Language preservation in these hotspots and understanding why endangered languages pattern the way they do in their environments becomes more vital than ever.
... The ethnolinguistic vitality scales mentioned above allow language activists to identify weak and vulnerable languages. Krauss (1992) predicted that 50% of these languages would face extinction without attempts to counteract language shift. Attempts to strengthen these languages that are in decline or in extinction are referred to as language revitalization. ...
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The field of Linguistic Landscape (LL) has been increasingly used as an effective way of researching, discovering, and better comprehending complex sociolinguistic phenomena. One focus of LL study is the way public displays of language in signs reflect and shape society’s beliefs about language, which in turn influences language practices. In addition, LL research frequently deals with the policies that attempt to influence what languages are used in signs. This study explores the multilingualism and language policy of Paraguay through a sociolinguistic lens by documenting the LL and investigating the factors that influence its construction in the capital city, Asunción. Since LL studies are typically conducted in multilingual environments, Paraguay presents an especially appropriate focus for LL study due to its high level of societal bilingualism of Spanish and Guaraní. Though both are official languages, the indigenous language, Guaraní, does not share the same status as Spanish despite a higher number of speakers. To address the difference in status among the languages and preserve the vitality of the indigenous language, the Paraguayan state has enacted many official efforts over the years. In light of these ongoing efforts to increase Guaraní status, the current study aims to investigate what languages are present in the LL of Asunción, Paraguay and what roles they fulfill. A systematic examination of the languages visible in the public signs of Asunción reveals that the LL is monolingual. Spanish, the international language, receives preference of frequency, communicative function, and domain by those who make and display signs. The indigenous language, Guaraní, is highly limited in frequency, form, function, and domain, only being used in isolated words or short phrases as a symbol of Paraguayan identity or informality. Further, this study finds that Guaraní is used to a much higher degree in speech than is represented in the written signs. Finally, this research illuminates the fundamental linguistic attitudes, beliefs, choices, and practices of the community members who shape the construction of the Asunción LL. By doing so, the importance of these actors for the increased vitality of Guaraní is highlighted, as is the significance of the LL for the objectives of State-led revitalization efforts. Thus, the study of the LL gives new perspective on the status of these two languages in Paraguay.
... Krauss's call to face the impending language endangerment crisis was first delivered at 1991 in the Endangered Languages Symposium annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America; see Simons & Lewis (2013: 3). Krauss (1992) surveyed the global situation and estimated that only 10% of languages seem safe in the long term, up to 50% may already be moribund, which means they are in the way of loss, and the remainder are in danger of becoming moribund by the end of this century (Simons & Lewis, 2013:3). ...
Article
Mehri is one of six Modern South Arabian languages spoken in southern Arabia. These languages have been noted for their retention of Semitic phonological and grammatical features that have disappeared from other Semitic languages. Mehri is spoken in Oman, Yemen, in parts of southern and eastern Saudi Arabia, and in some of Gulf States. Mehri is classified by UNESCO as “definitely endangered”. Previous studies of Omani and Yemeni Mehri exist, but there have been no studies on Mehri that are used in Saudi Arabia. Morphologically, the dialect groups of Mehri differ in that eastern Yemeni Mehri, also known as Mahriyōt, distinguishes gender in the second person singular independent pronouns, whereas Omani Mehri, Mehreyyet, and western Yemeni Mehri do not. However, Mahriyōt and Mehreyyet differ from western Yemeni Mehri in that they exhibit dual pronouns and dual verb inflections. This study examines number/gender marking in the dependent and independent pronouns of the Mehri spoken in Dammam in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. Twelve hours of recordings were made during interviewing eleven Mehri speakers (seven males and 4 females) who are living in Dammam. Some of the informants were born in Dammam and others had moved there in different years.
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This article examines the politics of language maintenance in Huangshan, China, home of the Huizhou topolects. I show how, under the guise of celebrating local heritage, local language documentation efforts encourage language demise through preemptive eulogization, the act of portraying a language or culture as being more moribund than it is. This has the effect of hastening language loss by portraying it as inevitable and already well underway. I argue that intentional or unintentional acts of preemptive eulogization may be quite prevalent in minority language efforts worldwide and may help explain the lack of success of language protection projects.
Chapter
The volume "Peripheries in the Croatian Language, Culture and Society" is the second colllection of articles, which are the result of the meeting at the international scientific conference that took place in Katowice in 2019. The first and most extensive chapter of the volume, titled "Croatian Standard Language and Dialects" consists of articles in which the peripheries and peripherality appear most often in relation to the marginal position of certain linguistic phenomena in the Croatian standard language and in regional variants. In the second part, titled "Croatian Language in Teaching and Translation", there are texts in which the peripheries and peripherality are related to the glottodidactics of the Croatian language and traductology. The third chapter of the volume, "Croatian Language Abroad", covers works in which the peripheries and peripherality are closest to their original, geographical meaning, as they refer to a place remote from the center, which in this particular case is Croatia. The diachronic perspective in the study of the peripheries and peripherality is visible in the texts collected in the fourth chapter of the volume, titled "Croatian Language and Croatian Writing over the centuries". The last chapter, "Cultural and Sociological Contexts of the Periphery", presents the results of research that differ from purely linguistic issues, but the peripheries and peripherality analyzed in them fit into the main theme of the project.
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Language plays a role in the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and continues to shape their experiences in displacement, yet their linguistic rights are rarely discussed in relation to their human rights and humanitarian concerns. International human rights standards offer important foundations for conceptualizing the “right to language” and identifying how linguistic rights can be violated both in situ and in displacement. The Rohingya case highlights how language policies are weaponized to oppress unwanted minorities; their outsider status is reinforced by the country’s language education policy and they face additional rights challenges in displacement—including obstacles to effectively accessing humanitarian aid. Moving forward, norms associated with self-determination and language rights offer a conceptual foundation for shifting attitudes and altering negative perceptions of Rohingya identity.
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The article considers the main ways, aims and possibilities of revitalising minority languages. The discussion is based on an analysis of a few minority languages (Welsh, Wendi’s and Breton) and the action being taken in order to keep them alive. The author asks the question as to the degree to which minority cultures and their rights to minority languages are respected by the state and the significance of this to the revitalisation of seriously endangered languages. Her answer is that the most effective method of protecting endangered languages is to support action conducted by representatives of the minority cultures, which will improve the standing of that language and will encourage its use in public life and – at least partly – on official occasions (not forgetting about the introduction of those languages into the education system).
Chapter
The chapter explores the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on language endangerment in Italy. Despite their misleading name, Italian Dialects (IDs) are sister languages of Italian and independently developed from Latin. Since the introduction of compulsory education in the 1960s and concurrent Italy’s sharp industrialisation, IDs are in decline, and a clear language shift is detectable towards the dominant national language: Italian. IDs are hence only discretely vital among the aging population with the younger generations having broken their intergenerational transmission. Given the higher mortality rates among the elderly and the strict intermittent national and regional lockdowns enforced by the Italian Government, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of language death across Italy. This is particularly noticeable in Bergamo, one of the Italian provinces most affected by COVID-19, where the disease caused a five-fold increase in excess mortality in March 2020. In the same period, COVID-19 was the attributable cause of death in half of those older than 50 and the mean age of those dying for COVID-19 was 80. The death toll of COVID-19 on the elderly population has left Bergamasco, the ancestral language of Bergamo, a step closer to extinction. By taking Bergamasco as a case study, the chapter denounces the vulnerability of IDs and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their level of vitality. To this aim, the chapter presents a quantitative sociolinguistic study of the vitality of Bergamasco in relation to COVID-19 incidence and lethality rates in the province of Bergamo.
Article
Language endangerment and loss is a longstanding phenomenon affecting both non-contact languages and contact languages, but contact languages are particularly susceptible. This endangerment has greatly increased and sped up in the last century. Case studies of several languages in China and Thailand show that structural change is often more rapid during language shift. Tujia has been receding for millennia in central China; Gong may have originated during contact between speakers of a variety of Burmese and several local languages in western Thailand several hundred years ago. Several small groups in western China speak languages developed in contact between speakers of Mongolic languages, Tibetan, and Chinese in western China in garrisons set up from about 700 years ago on. The final part of this chapter discusses how communities may be assisted to react to the endangerment of their language. While linguists can document a language, it is only the speakers and the community who can decide and act to maintain it. Some of the problems leading to endangerment and the strategies to overcome them are briefly discussed.
Chapter
O presente trabalho é um recorte de uma pesquisa de doutorado em estágio inicial. Cada vez mais pessoas se conectam por meio de redes sociais, construindo sentidos em espaços de afinidade (GEE, 2005) que movimentam um grande capital econômico, social e cultural. Um dos hobbies que movem tais comunidades são os video games. Apesar do impacto que os games têm enquanto instância da cultura digital, a maior parte dos estudos em Linguística Aplicada que se debruçam sobre essa mídia se concentram no seu caráter pedagógico formal (REIS; BILIÃO, 2014). O objetivo do presente trabalho é ilustrar as práticas de letramentos que emergem das relações entre jogos e jogadores em canais de Let’s Play no YouTube. Por meio de uma análise crítica e multimodal do discurso (GEE, 2015, 2018; O’HALLORAN et al., 2011), busca-se descrever as práticas socioculturais implementadas nesses ambientes digitais, analisar as construções de sentido presentes nas relações ludonarrativas (TOH, 2018) que ocorrem entre os participantes e discutir o papel do Jogar Crítico (FLANAGAN, 2018) nas pedagogias críticas para os multiletramentos na esfera pública virtual (LEMKE, 2010; PAPACHARISSI, 2002; WINDLE, 2014; WINDLE, 2004). A metodologia de pesquisa adota uma abordagem qualitativa-interpretativista (DENZIN; LINCOLN, 2005) e utiliza-se da análise documental (LANKOSKI; BJÖRK; STIRLING, 2015; TAVARES, 2014). O corpus é composto por vídeos do YouTube, uma rede social de postagem e compartilhamento de vídeos (SOUKUP, 2014). Os resultados iniciais sugerem que os videogames, enquanto instância cultural, são dotados de um currículo implícito, mediador de relações de ensino e aprendizagem (SILVA, 2005) e de práticas de letramento gaming que consistem não só da apropriação do design dos jogos digitais, mas também da apropriação que jogadores e outros agentes sociais fazem de tais mídias ao comentar, discutir e compartilhar discursos em espaços digitais de afinidade.
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Language policies play a major role in ethnic conflict because they affect the right of speakers to choose and use their preferred language(s), and help determine courses of action to maintain, assert or defend such rights. There has been insufficient analysis on the role of social media, particularly Facebook, in strengthening or undermining the survival of minority languages and collective identity in multi-ethnic countries. This paper uses Myanmar as a case study to demonstrate the extent to which Facebook language policies influence language use practices of minorities in Myanmar. While Facebook’s selection of Burmese as a ‘Facebook language’ has privileged the use of Myanmar’s majority language at the expense of its minority languages, it has simultaneously provided opportunities for ethnic minorities to preserve and promote their languages and cultures.
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Technology as a learning tool or otherwise holds great attraction for learners today. The current study explored the impact of Short Messages as Learning Tool (SMLT) on EFL Saudi learners learning confused English words. It also gauges learners' satisfactions towards using such tools on their autonomy and language proficiency. The study pursued a quasi-experiment research design. It recruited 80 EFL learners across Najran University and Qassim University, KSA. To ensure parity of existing language proficiency and learning success, the Oxford Placement Test is administered once before and once at the end of the intervention to all of the 80 participants to obtain comparative values.. Furthermore, a semi-structured interview is also used with three randomly selected participants from each of the experimental groups to obtain data on individual perceptions of the EFL learners to the use of MALL in the EFL classroom. Content analysis is used to identify dominant themes in these. Findings revealed that learners acquisition for confusing words were developed to a great extent in both universities. Moreover, the study found that there is no significant difference in the students' achievement attributed to the learning sittings, Z = .935. Finally the students expressed satisfaction in terms of their autonomy ratings and complementary points of view on the use of SMS, based on the semi-structured interviews. The current research is useful as its findings can apply to mobile teaching and text messaging in the English classroom for EFL curriculum developers and English language teachers.
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We start from the principle that data should never be thought of as being divorced from their source. In the case of linguistic data, this means that data are inherently associated not just with “language” in the abstract but with the individual users of those languages, the roles and relationships of those users within the communities they belong to, and the broader sociopolitical contexts in which data are created and curated. Developments in technology and data sharing bring new opportunities to share and analyze linguistic data; however, this brings new questions and possibly risks related to ethical use and deployment of emerging technologies. Indigenous data sovereignty plays an increasingly important role in discussions of data sharing, providing a framework for managing the production, interpretation, and dissemination of linguistic data. Appropriate protocols are needed to facilitate direct oversight of these data by the communities from which they are sourced.
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Consideramos que el estatus epistemológico de las ciencias sociales euro–norteamericanas-céntricas se encuentra, en muchos sentidos, agotadas para responder de forma crítica y novedosa tanto a los tradicionales campos de conocimiento de la ciencia social como a otros emergentes. Gran parte del debate suscitado, sobre todo en el contexto latinoamericano, ha hecho un llamado de atención a considerar la amplia experiencia de las culturas de muchos pueblos originarios, las cuales han sido negadas y descuidadas en su importancia para construir conocimiento y formas de vida altamente valiosas. Es ampliamente aceptado que la antigua escisión ontológica hombre\naturaleza al interior de la razón occidental y en las ciencias sociales ha desembocado en una crisis ambiental y civilizatoria que irrumpe en el momento en que la racionalidad de la modernidad se traduce en una razón contra natura (contra la vida). Reconocemos que el privilegio epistemológico del conocimiento científico que atraviesa a las ciencias sociales la ha puesto, inmerecidamente, por encima de una amplia variedad de formas de conocer y de practicar la vida.
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Dillerini kaybetme tehlikesindeki iki dilli Türk dili konuşurlarının yaşam alanlarından biri olan Moğolistan'da, Kazaklar, Hotonlar, Tuvalar ve onların bir kolu kabul edilen Duhalar yaşamlarını sürdürmektedir. Bu çalışma Moğolistan'da Türk dili mirasçıları olan bu halkların tarihî süreçte geçiş dönemlerini ortaya koyarak genç kuşağın ana dil eğitimleri üzerine yapılan çalışmaları sunma amacıyla, nitel araştırma yöntemlerinden durum çalışması türünde tasarlanmıştır. Araştırma kapsamında Moğolistan bölgesindeki iki dilli Türk dili konuşurlarının yaşam alanları ziyaret edilmiş, kaynak kişilerle görüşmeler gerçekleştirilmiş, bu halklara dair kaydedilen bilgiler derlenmiştir. Araştırmada, Moğolistan'da yaşayan iki dilli Türk dilli konuşurlarının ana dil edinimleri ve kullanımları için ülkenin dil politikalarının destekleyici olduğu, zaman zaman miras dil kullanımını destekleyici eğitimler düzenlendiği, çeşitli özel kurumlar ve devlet kurumlarınca miras dil kullanımına yönelik materyal geliştirildiği tespit edilmiştir. Ancak miras dil kullanımının özellikle nüfusun nispeten daha az olduğu gruplarda hızla azalırken dil değiştiriminin hızla arttığı, dolayısıyla bu dillerin yok olma tehlikesiyle karşı karşıya olma durumlarına etkili bir çözüm sunulmadığı görülmüştür. Anahtar Sözcükler: İki dillilik, Moğolistan'daki Türk dili konuşurları, Kazaklar, Tuvalar, Duhalar, Hotonlar, miras dil kullanımı, tehlikedeki Türk dilleri. Abstract: Mongolia is considered to be one of the living areas of bilingual Turkish speakers who are in danger of losing their language and Kazakhs, Hotons, Tuvas and Dukhas, who are considered a branch of them, continue their lives there. The current study was designed as a case study, one of the qualitative research methods, in order to keep their mother tongue alive by revealing the transition periods of these peoples, who are the heirs of the Turkish language in Mongolia, and to present the studies on the mother tongue education of the young generation. Within the scope of the research, the living areas of bilingual Turkic speakers in the Mongolia region were visited, interviews were conducted with the source people, and the recorded data about these peoples was compiled. The study revealed that the language policies of the country support the mother tongue acquisition and carry out a number of trainings on the mother tongue use of the bilingual Turkish speakers living in Mongolia, and materials are developed for the use of heritage language by various private and state institutions. However, it was concluded that while the use of heritage languages rapidly decreases, especially in groups with a relatively small population, language change drastically increases, therefore these policies are considered to be ineffective to prevent the extinction of these languages.
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Resum: La diversitat és inherent al nostre sistema de comunicació, les llengües. És, de fet, fruit d'un dels seus recursos fonamentals, el canvi, que els permet una adaptació ràpida i eficient. Tanmateix, sovint aquesta diversitat s'ha considerat un problema, un defecte que cal superar. Actualment, la diversitat lingüística és en un punt de greu vulnerabilitat. L'amenacen diversos factors, tots relacionats amb la gestió política i social, del present i del passat. La gran majoria de llengües del món són avui molt vulnerables. Una part important desapareixerà les pròximes dècades, però no es tracta d'un procés espontani, sinó provocat per un projecte uniformitzador que provoca patiment i que és símptoma de la propensió a la dominació i a l'exclusió i de poca capacitat de conviure amb la diversitat. Paraules clau: diversitat lingüística, llengües vulnerables, política lingüística, llengües amenaçades, canvi lingüístic. Abstract: Diversity is inherent in our communication systems-languages. It is, in fact, the fruit of one of their fundamental resources, change, which allows them to adapt quickly and efficiently. However, this diversity has often been considered a problem, a defect to be overcome. Today, linguistic diversity is at a point of serious vulnerability. It is threatened by several factors, all related to political and social management, present and past. The vast majority of the world's languages are today very vulnerable. A significant number of them will disappear in the coming decades, but this is not an immediate process , it results from a standardising project that causes suffering and is a symptom of the propensity to domination and exclusion, as well as a lack of ability to live with diversity.
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For speakers of Arctic Indigenous languages, intense language contact has come as a result of colonization, leading to extensive shift and loss across different Arctic communities. Recent years have seen contact and shift intensified by a nexus of interrelated factors, or stressors, with urbanization, climate change, and the ongoing effects of colonization being among the most significant. The case study of the multilingual language ecologies in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Russia shows how these factors affect language vitality and overall wellbeing. Greenland provides a contrastive example as the local ecologies differ considerably. The net impact of stressors on Arctic Indigenous communities has been language shift, but the communities are currently experiencing widespread interest in and commitment to increasing language vitality and usage, a pan-Arctic movement of revitalization and resilience to build language and cultural sustainability.
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https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793652829/Contesting-Extinctions-Decolonial-and-Regenerative-Futures
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This article presents the Program for the Preservation and Revitalization of the Languages of Russia proposed by the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences (the Program). The Program is based on knowledge accumulated in linguistics in domains such as linguistic diversity, language endangerment, and language preservation methods. According to a recent assessment, there are 150 to 160 languages of Russia. This number of languages, even though quite high, is manageable for a national language preservation Program. Languages are rapidly becoming extinct worldwide, and Russia is no exception to this trend. The following terms are used to categorize languages according to risk of extinction: safe languages, endangered languages, severely endangered languages, and nearly extinct languages. There are several important humanitarian and scientific reasons for engaging in language preservation. The central idea of the Program is to boost intergenerational language transmission wherever feasible. Various approaches to different language situations are envisaged, including enlightenment campaigns, language nests, and language documentation. Three necessary conditions for language revitalization include engaging local activists, administrative and financial support, and the scientific validity of the methodology. The Programs 12-year roadmap is split into three stages. There are a number of favorable factors making the Program feasible, as well as a number of potential obstacles. We have a historic opportunity to preserve languages spoken in Russia, and this is an opportunity that must be used.
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Language diversity is under threat. While each language is subject to specific social, demographic and political pressures, there may also be common threatening processes. We use an analysis of 6,511 spoken languages with 51 predictor variables spanning aspects of population, documentation, legal recognition, education policy, socioeconomic indicators and environmental features to show that, counter to common perception, contact with other languages per se is not a driver of language loss. However, greater road density, which may encourage population movement, is associated with increased endangerment. Higher average years of schooling is also associated with greater endangerment, evidence that formal education can contribute to loss of language diversity. Without intervention, language loss could triple within 40 years, with at least one language lost per month. To avoid the loss of over 1,500 languages by the end of the century, urgent investment is needed in language documentation, bilingual education programmes and other community-based programmes.
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The governing framework and national ethos of the Kingdom of Eswatini are grounded in the traditional culture of emaSwati (the people of Eswatini) and their language, siSwati. At the same time, economic success is tied to knowledge of English, the former colonial language of Eswatini, which is the language of government, the media, the judiciary and formal education. One outcome of this type of bilingualism is the relative marginalisation of large numbers of citizens whose command of English is limited. While siSwati remains alive through its use by emaSwati, there are concerns that, in the long term, the dominance of English in key domains could pose a threat to the survival of siSwati. This concern is reflected in the recent creation of a SiSwati Language Board by the Government of Eswatini. Drawing on research that suggests that inclusivity and language maintenance are linked, this paper proposes that the prestige of siSwati be enhanced within the English-based globally-oriented sector of emaSwati society through activities undertaken by the SiSwati Language Board, such as a project to produce a tagged digital corpus of siSwati texts from a wide variety of genres and a monolingual dictionary based on this corpus, parallel to the construction of such corpora by the ALLEX project at the University of Zimbabwe, as well as encouraging the expansion of siSwati into new genres as well. Such activities could contribute to raising the profile of siSwati as a language that merits the same study and attention afforded to more prestigious languages such as English.
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Language is not only a tool of communication, but also a container of culture. Language is related to the software security of nation / state machine. Starting from Daudet’s short story “The last lesson”, based on the tortuous history of Alsace’s languages and nations for hundreds of years, this article discusses the relationship among language, culture, nation, security, education, endangered language, language purism, international language and so on. The article argues that education is an important means of language governance and the formation of national identity and spirit. Language governance needs to rationally adjust the relationship between people, language, and nation according to social changes, balance language tool value and intrinsic value, prevent and resist the influence of bad culture, and gradually enhance the overall strength and competitiveness of the national language and culture.
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Over the past 30 years, the term “criticality” has become increasingly common in studies of educational and applied linguistics. Derived originally from the work of the Frankfurt School and widened by the linguistic turn in the writing of Habermas, the first linguistic sub-field was Critical Discourse Analysis, proposed by British scholars. In 1990, Alastair Pennycook called for critical applied linguistics, and in 2021 traced its expansion over thirty years. Given the steady deterioration of the modern world and its effects on language teaching and use, there is good reason to encourage critical approaches to educational linguistics and to seek solutions to the current crises. But continued critique without solutions in praxis is not desirable.
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