The independence celebration always come and go every year, so much articles were always written and read in conferences and seminars on how languages are going into extinction. Have you ever thought of the fate of Igala language in this river of language threat eroding the Igala Language? Have you ever thought of what you can […]
We should not expect a uniform response to language endangerment any more than we should expect to see a uniform process involved in the disappearance of languages. In many cases, there is cause for regret that particular world views are lost when smaller languages cease to be spoken, as documented by Harrison (2007: 4): What does […]
David Crystal, in a newspaper article published in 1999, presents a not uncommon view about language endangerment and death: ‘Is language death such a disaster? Surely, you might say, it is simply a symptom of more people striving to improve their lives by joining the modern world. So long as a few hundred or even […]
However, we should not see language endangerment in simplistic terms. Because there are so many factors involved, a language does not usually die out uniformly. It might be vanishing in one place but not in others, for a variety of different reasons. Population size, though important, is not always critical: a smaller group can dominate […]
Another factor that might lead to languages becoming endangered is the views held by parents. Parents today encourage their children to learn languages of wider communication instead of their heritage languages due to the globalization of the world. Nowadays it is more likely for children to succeed if they are able to speak the popular […]
More than 200 languages have become extinct around the world over the last three generations (http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/). For example, in the Atlas, the entry for Uganda lists 6 languages, of which 3 are now considered extinct, namely Napore, Nyang’i and Singa. LEVELS OF ENDANGERMENT UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger categorises 2,500 languages in […]
Three main criteria are used as guidelines for considering a language ‘endangered’: The number of speakers currently living. The mean age of native and/or fluent speakers. The percentage of the youngest generation acquiring fluency with the language in question. Thus, as a rule of thumb, a language is endangered when the children in a community are being spoken to in a […]
While nations all across the world strive to communicate with one another in the hopes of boosting their economy and national interests, they are forced to implement ‘official languages’ like English, Spanish, French, Russian, etc. to promote the high prestige of speaking an ‘international’ language. As Crystal (2000: 70) points out: The full range of factors is […]
According to the linguist David Crystal (2000), only 600 of the 6,000 or so languages in the world are ‘safe’ from the threat of extinction. According to one count, 6,703 separate languages were spoken in the world in 1996. Of these, 1000 were spoken in the Americas, 2011 in Africa, 225 in Europe, 2165 in Asia, and 1320 […]
In 2002 and 2003, UNESCO asked an international group of linguists to develop a framework for determining the vitality of a language in order to assist in policy development, identification of needs and appropriate safeguarding measures. This Ad Hoc Expert Group on Endangered Languages elaborated a landmark concept paper entitled “Language Vitality and Endangerment”, which […]
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