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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: Re: Prestige and Language Maintenance
Submitter: C. Rajendran
Description: Re LINGUIST issue: http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-100.html

I think that apart from prestige and the absence of contact with other linguistic groups, opportunities also play a pivotal role for language preservation. If the language one speaks at home does not afford any scope for upward mobility in the society, the chances are that the next generations may soon lose touch with it. This is a fact with immigrant Malayalee population all over the world. In most cases, the second generation of immigrants may cease to speak their mother tongue in places where it does not afford any scope for social interaction and economic opportunities. Of course, when large groups of a language community migrate to another place, they can preserve their linguistic traditions intact. In any case, small languages of the world face threat from the more dominant ones in the neighbourhood.

Date Posted: 16-Jan-2006
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
LL Issue: 17.129
Posted: 16-Jan-2006

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