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Key Issue 4:. Why Do People Preserve Local Languages?. Preserving Language Diversity. Thousands of languages are extinct Extinct Languages: once in use, but no longer spoken or read in daily activities by anyone in the world Endangered Languages. Example: Gothic.

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Key issue 4

Key Issue 4:

Why Do People Preserve Local Languages?

Preserving language diversity
Preserving Language Diversity

  • Thousands of languages are extinct

  • Extinct Languages: once in use, but no longer spoken or read in daily activities by anyone in the world

  • Endangered Languages

Example gothic
Example: Gothic

  • Once widely spoken in Eastern & Northern Europe in the 3rd century A.D.

  • East Germanic group

  • Last speakers of Gothic

  • Why did Gothic die?

Preserving languages
Preserving Languages

  • European Bureau for Lesser used Languages

  • Nonetheless, experts estimate that hundreds of languages will become extinct in the 21st century.

Hebrew reviving extinct languages
Hebrew: Reviving Extinct Languages

  • Hebrew is a rare case of an extinct language that has been revived.

  • Most of the Bible’s Old Testament was written in Hebrew

  • It diminished in use in the 4th century B.C.

  • At the time of Jesus, most people spoke Aramaic

Hebrew continued
Hebrew Continued…

  • Israel was established in 1948 and Hebrew was chosen (along with Arabic) as an official language

  • Eliezer Ben-Yehuda

Celtic preserving endangered languages
Celtic: Preserving Endangered Languages

  • This was the major language spoken in the British Isles before the Germanic tribes came.

  • Today, Celtic survives only in remoter parts of Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the Brittany peninsula of France.

Celtic continued
Celtic Continued…

  • Celtic Language Groups:

    • Goidelic (Gaelic) Group—Irish & Scottish Gaelic

    • Brythonic Group—Welsh

  • Why did Celtic decline?

  • Revival of Celtic

    • Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society)

Celtic sights sounds
Celtic Sights & Sounds

  • Here is the companion website to the National Geographic article:

Multilingual states
Multilingual States


  • Southern Belgians speak French (Walloons live in Wallonia)

  • Northern Belgians speak Flemish (Flemings live in Flanders)

  • Brussels is located in Flanders, but is officially bilingual

Multilingual states continued
Multilingual States Continued…


  • Switzerland peacefully coexists with multiple languages.

  • 4 official languages: German (65%), French (18%), Italian (10%), & Romansh (1%).

Isolated languages
Isolated Languages


  • Basque is the only language currently spoken in Europe that survives from the period before the arrival of Indo-European speakers.

  • Spoken by 600,000 people n the Pyrenees Mountains.

Isolated languages continued
Isolated Languages Continued…


  • Icelandic is related to other languages (Germanic branch), but it has changed less than any other language in the Germanic branch.

  • Iceland’s history explains this…

Global dominance of english
Global Dominance of English

  • Lingua Franca: language used for international communication.

  • Pidgin Language: a simplified form of a lingua franca

  • English Stats:

    • 90% of E.U. students learn English

    • 500 million people speak English fluently as a second language

    • Why do students want to learn English?

Expansion diffusion of english
Expansion Diffusion of English

  • English is diffusion in a snowballing process (expansion!)

  • English is dynamic

  • Recent changes in English have come up from common usage, rather than being directed down from the elite

Expansion of english continued


Slavery and language


Recognized dialect with distinct rules

Appalachian Dialect

Distinctive dialect


Use of both of these dialects is controversial

Expansion of English Continued…

Expansion diffusion of english continued
Expansion Diffusion of English Continued…

  • English words have become increasingly integrated into other languages

  • Japanese words

    • Beisiboru

    • Naifu

    • Sutoroberi keki

    • Hanbaga

    • Bigu Macu

Expansion diffusion of english continued1
Expansion Diffusion of English Continued…

  • Franglais

    • Language is a source of national pride in France

    • The French do not like the dominance of English

    • Quebec

  • Spanglish

    • Spanglish is an integration of English with Spanish, rather than the mere borrowing of words

    • Spanglish is regarded as an enriching of both languages

  • Denglish

Key issue 4

Why do people preserve local languages?