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Loss and Endangerment of World Languages - Research Paper Example

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The paper "Loss and Endangerment of World Languages" states that based on the foregoing library investigation pertaining to the loss and endangerment of world languages, a variety of reasons were uncovered to explain such global linguistic phenomenon…
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Loss and Endangerment of World Languages
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Download file to see previous pages The best example in this regard would be colour descriptions between industrialised and traditional societies, where the former tends to acquire a larger vocabulary than the latter (Malt and Wolf, 2010). The possibility of language endangerment from communities with lesser vocabulary, however, can not be discounted, even if there are numerous other reasons why languages are endangered. This research study conducted through library investigation of literature covered the different reasons forwarded to explain why languages are endangered or at worst, lost. The literature on Language Endangerment and/or Loss An endangered language is described as a language that is likely to cease its existence as a form of human communication. Endangered languages are not necessarily minority languages and vice versa. However, a minority language with a dwindling number of speakers is more likely to become endangered eventually (Derhemi, 2002). Moreover, Maffi (2002) maintained that “in the life of languages, change is the rule rather than the exception” (p. 385). Maffi (2002) explained why change is a common denominator in the propagation of languages, that is, to adapt to their users’ communication needs. Generation after generation, it is an accepted fact speaker of a language in a specific community utilises their language consciously or unconsciously a little differently than the preceding generation. This gradual process of language modification acts as an adaptation to continuously serve the needs of the speech community, provide a link between the past and the future, and preserve the community identity in terms of knowledge, beliefs, values and practices. Such form of language modification connotes that “languages do not die; they only get transformed” (Maffi, 2002, p. 385). Languages, however, die in some cases, as gathered by Maffi (2002). Language preservation by way of use and passing through successive generations sometimes experience restricted use and eventually stops in the cycle of use, modification and transformation. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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