LINGUIST List 14.1803

Fri Jun 27 2003

Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Jess Tauber, RE: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages
  2. shahram115, Re: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages

Message 1: RE: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 14:54:43 -0400
From: Jess Tauber <phonosemanticsearthlink.net>
Subject: RE: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages


I can easily endorse what Doug Whalen has to say about the role of the
linguist in helping to save dying languages- I may soon become the
last "speaker" of Yahgan, now that this Fuegian genetic isolate has
only a single elderly native speaker left alive (prior rumors of
extinction just being a reflection of poor fact checking on the parts
of some). So running as fast as I can to create comprehensive and
usable reference and teaching documents. And if I'm lucky I'll be able
to get down there this coming austral summer.

In the current climate of somewhat elevated interest in documenting
and revitalizing moribund languages in the linguistic community
(though much of it appears to be "Hands Across America" style
politically correct lip-service), the main problem (aside from chronic
shortages of funding, which is slowly changing as wealthy corporations
and donors step in) is lack of volunteers to help out. Perhaps the
recommendation of one well known linguist should be adopted- make work
with endangered or poorly described languages mandatory for the
degree.

Jess Tauber
phonosemanticsearthlink.net
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Re: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 12:19:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: shahram115 <shahram115yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: 14.1793, Disc: NYT Essay on Endangered Languages




Re Linguist 14.1793

dear collique

concerning the article by David Berrbey , I 'd like to say that
languages spoken by the dispossed and the disempowered in diatant
areas are gradually fading because people look at language from social
point of view , not as an highly complex phenomenon , so they think
higher social class norms are more prestigous than their own languages
.so they follow the the kind of language spoken by native speakers of
the privileged communities borrowing words from them into their
lexicon , which later bring about changes in their own languages ,
creating a new language which is grammatically different from that of
the past . I think , in every where , the standard language will
dominate the local dialects and languages of the less privileged
speech communities .and in a hundred years from now , local dialects
and languages will reduce the a few ones having great similaritis with
the standard language in that community .

 the job of a linguist is to scientifically document the changes , and
then this phenomenon will continue due to the social gaps present among
speech communities which has to do with the social and economic
composition of the present world .

SH.Gerami 

linguist
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue