The Future Of Native Languages


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The Future Of Native Languages

  1. 1. The Future of Native Languages<br />By: Lindsey J. Whaley<br />
  2. 2. According to Whaley experts have estimated that 90% of the worlds 6,000 languages are likely to become extinct within the next 200 years. <br />This is an estimation that has been posed by several experts<br />In this chapter Whaley explains why languages will become extinct and breaks down this estimation. <br />Main Concept<br />
  3. 3. What is an ‘Endangered’ Language?<br />A survey was done based on the writing of endangered languages that revealed 50%-90% of languages could possibly die within the next 200 years. <br />Some linguistics predict that half of 6,000 world languages will be silenced by the end of the century and that 80%-90% will die off within the years to come.<br />
  4. 4. Krauss, one of the most cited linguists in the world, came up with this classification.<br />(1) Extinct languages are those that are no longer spoken.<br />(2) languages near death are those that are no longer being learned by children as a mother-tongue.<br />(3) Safe languages are those that will continue to be spoken into the indefinite future due to large numbers of speakers and/or official state support.<br />(4) Endangered languages are those languages which do not fall into the other 3 categories and will no longer be learned by children during the next century.<br />4-Way Classification of Language Vitality<br />
  5. 5. Based on the 4-Way Classification<br />Krausss Estimates…<br />600 languages are in the safe category<br />3,000 in the moribund category<br />And the remaining are 240 in the endangered category.<br />
  6. 6. Categorizing Threatened Languages<br />When dealing with the future of languages it is essential to define vitality. There is a 6-way scheme used to categorize<br /><ul><li>Safe
  7. 7. At Risk
  8. 8. Disappearing
  9. 9. Moribund
  10. 10. Nearly extinct
  11. 11. Extinct</li></ul>(this is a subdivision of Krauss’ categories)<br />
  12. 12. According to Whaley…<br />“ For most nearly extinct languages, there are only a handful of native speakers left , where in some cases a moribund language may still have a sizable number of speakers” (p.209)<br />
  13. 13. A Northwestern Trungusic language, known as Oroqen, in china is considered Moribund. There are 2,000 native speakers. <br />Example<br />
  14. 14. Fluctuating Variables of Language Vitality<br />There are several variables that are important in understanding the vitality of language<br />The spheres of language use<br />The degree of multilingualism<br />Educational Practices<br />Scale type of local economy<br />Levels of Exonomy<br />Anytime that one of these variables changes the vitality of a language changes.<br />
  15. 15. Revitalization and Maintenance Programs<br />Expanding Social Domains<br />Develop the Vocabulary of a language<br />Preserve Threatened Languages<br />Develop immersion education<br />
  16. 16. This chapter has the intent to raise awareness of language morbidity. It is mean to explain that something needs to be done to make a change. It also gives hope to those that ma feel that the extinction of their language is inevitable. Of course the estimations are not set in stone and any little change can improve the outcomes of a language. <br />