When Languages Die

James was talking about endangered languages the other day. I have just finished reading David Harrison’s new book on “When Languages Die – The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge”, which I discovered via Michael Kaplan’s blog. It’s a fascinating account of language disappearance, which takes place because thousands of…

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On Endangered Languages

It turns out that here in Redmond we’re sitting in the middle of one of the global hotspots of language endangerment, as identified by this NY Times article on the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.  It is heartbreaking to realize that of the world’s 7000 or so languages, half are expected to vanish before…

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