Lecture 10 Causes and Consequences of Language Endangerment

Lecture 10 Causes - Some reminders Interview results are due next Monday April 26 at noon Having trouble with the material Come to our office hours

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Some reminders • Interview results are due next Monday , April 26 at noon . • Having trouble with the material? Come to our office hours: Professor Caballero: Th 1-2 pm, AP&M 4210 Bethany Keffala: W 2-4, AP&M 3331B Lucien Carroll: T 11:30-12:30pm and F 2-3pm, AP&M 3351A
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Language endangerment
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Some numbers • From the nearly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, 90% are likely to die or be moribund within the next century. • More than 500 languages are in danger of being lost immediately. • A language is lost every two weeks!
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• How do we know a language is dying? • Why are languages dying? • Does it matter? Should we care? • Can something be done about it? How can the process be reversed?
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How do we know a language is dying? A signs of language endangerment: small number of speakers Chemehuevi (Numic; Uto-Aztecan) 3-5 speakers Chulym (Turkic) 25 speakers Kallawaya 100 speakers Sora (Munda) 150,000-300,000 speakers! * But the numbers of speakers is declining How many speakers does a language need to be viable? Krauss (1992): only languages over 100,000 speakers are safe (cited in Romaine 2007, p. 122).
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How do we know a language is dying? Absolute numbers of speakers? How about small communities? * California languages before European contact * Icelandic (less than 300,000 speakers) * Many languages of Australia and New Guinea were spoken by a small population in a stable fashion (but that has changed). Key: a small language is safe if the community speaking it is “functional and the environment stable” (Romaine 2007, p. 122) A language with large number of speakers (e.g., Quechua) can be endangered if it faces great external pressures.
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Other factors affecting the “balance of power in the linguistic marketplace” (in addition to small number of speakers) (Romaine p. 122): * No official recognition of small languages * Use restricted to local community or home functions ( absent from government functions or education) Fewer than 4% of the world’s languages have any kind of official status. English is the de facto or official language in over 70 countries;
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2011 for the course LIGN 8 taught by Professor Bakovic,e during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Lecture 10 Causes - Some reminders Interview results are due next Monday April 26 at noon Having trouble with the material Come to our office hours

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