Unformatted text preview: ENDANGERED LANGUAGES More than 7000 languages are spoken on Earth Many languages have no written forms By 2100, more than half of the world's languages will disappear Every 14 days a language dies Why is it important? Language defines culture Many words for cultural ideas and practices don't directly translate into another language Many endangered languages are cultures with rich oral traditions with stories, songs, and histories passed down through cultural transmission with NO written records Why is it important? cont Indigenous groups have significant knowledge about the natural world (land, plants, animals, ecosystems) Studying a variety of languages gives us insight into the human brain and how we communicate and store linguistic knowledge. What is lost When a language dies knowledge is lost about: History Culture Natural Environment How the brain works WHY DO LANGUAGES DIE? Throughout history, languages have become extinct through domination of more powerful language influences. Some languages die with the sole surviving speaker Some languages are lost gradually in bilingual cultures ...
View Full Document
- Spring '08
- languages, rich oral traditions, sole surviving speaker