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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: Latin and English as world languages
Author: Roger Wright
Institution: University of Liverpool
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Latin
Abstract: Can we learn from what happened to Latin, in terms of its native speakers and foreign users? Comparisons are often made between the role of Latin during and after the Roman Empire and the role of English in the present. These can often be illuminating, particularly for the student of the sociolinguistics of the Late Latin-speaking world, where a generous application of the uniformitarian principle allows us to avoid now some of the misunderstandings that were common in the past: for example, the realization that linguistic change is inevitable and in itself neither good nor bad, and that language-internal variation is not pathological, and need not necessarily in itself lead to fragmentation, has been salutary. As a result, the modern view of the development of Latin into Romance, and of Romance into the separate Romance languages, is almost certainly more plausible now than it used to be. We have a more nuanced account to present, even though there is a great deal we do not and perhaps cannot know, including in particular an inability to be sure about the dating of developments which we can be sure occurred at some point.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Today Vol. 20, Issue 4.

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