Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lingua Franca

In 280 years we'll all be speaking English:

LINGUISTS alarmed at the unceasing extinction of many indigenous languages identified five global "hot spots" overnight where the problem is worst, led by northern Australia and a region of South America.

The linguists are part of the Enduring Voices project that seeks to document and revitalise languages slipping toward oblivion, often spoken by indigenous peoples like Australia's aborigines whose cultures were trampled by settlers.

David Harrison of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, the project's co-director, said there are 6992 recognised distinct languages worldwide.

He said on average one language vanishes every two weeks, often as its last elderly speakers perish.
Or Spanish.

-- Nick

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