View Full Version : Thought ya'll might be interested in this article:

09-19-2007, 06:56 AM

09-19-2007, 04:59 PM
The issue to me is the extent to which we should mourn this inevitable language loss or simply note it. I can see a good argument for maintaining genetic diversity in biological systems because it is the substrate for adaptive change, for evolution. I'm not sure one can say the same thing about language. I suppose if we ride the language-determines-thought hobby horse a little we could argue language loss correlates with loss of ways of thinking, but I'd want to see real data before I accepted that metaphor as a real thing. If we see language as simply a tool, although a beautiful one, then humans are always devising new tools. And, since it's a communication tool, the more we intermingle the more likely we are to discard old versions of it.

09-19-2007, 06:04 PM
If you ride that hobby horse too much--as many do--you start believing it's a real horse.

Languages die. Things change. People die. People change. Interest rates fluctuate. Eh, life.

09-24-2007, 02:07 AM
I'm in no way educated about language/linguistics but I enjoy working with words and wish now that I had studied this subject when I was younger. One thing that I've always been intriqued with is how words don't just evaporate but that they go through a deconstruction and morph into other words that hold traces of the previous.

If a culture was facing extinction, I could understand why language preservation would be critical. If a culture serves no one, then maybe, extinction is the only way to go.