Language endangerment paper (Final Paper)

Language endangerment paper (Final Paper) - Chris Connor...

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Chris Connor Native American Languages 08/04/05 Language Endangerment: Endangering more than Language Some have said that the moment you are born into this world you begin to die. Every moment that passes from then on is another moment you have stepped closer to death; this applies to more than just humans. Plants go through a life cycle, as do animals and even some forms of bacteria but could this life cycle apply to languages? Language, which is the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community are born or created by a society to help them better express themselves and their needs. Therefore, it makes sense that if that community were to vanish over time that their language would too but what about when communities switch languages that they speak. Their previous language begins to “die” or become dormant. Language endangerment is something that the modern world is seeing more and more of and it so frightens many linguists and anthropologists that language revitalization efforts are continually growing. Although many talented linguists and anthropologists are working on revitalizing dormant Native American languages, their efforts will be in vain unless some major aspects in American normative and society change. Many of the problems that Linguists and Anthropologist are facing today concerning language revitalization may have started at the time of colonization. Mufwene (2000) argues that different colonization styles “fostered different kinds of relations between the colonizers and the colonized populations (2).” He goes
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onto state the two variations of colonization styles, exploitation and settlement, and how these differing colonization patterns affected language. Mufwene argues that different colonization styles “fostered different kinds of relations between the colonizers and the colonized populations (2).” He goes onto state the two variations of colonization styles, exploitation and settlement. In his opinion, areas that were exploited kept their indigenous languages and those that were settled are the languages that are now either extinct or nearly extinct. If you analyze the colonization patterns and compare them to Mufwene’s argument about language extinction, you can see that his statement holds some truth. In places where communities were forced to interact with one another on a daily basis, the more significant language loss was for one of these communities. In relation to Native American languages, the more the Native Americans communicated and interacted with colonialist the less they found it necessary to speak their own
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Language endangerment paper (Final Paper) - Chris Connor...

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