Dead languages

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Dead languages

Language death Sisters Maxine Wildcat Barnett left and Josephine Wildcat Bigler; two of the final surviving elderly speakers of Yuchivisiting their grandmother's grave in a cemetery behind Pickett Chapel in SapulpaOklahoma. According to the sisters, their grandmother had insisted that Yuchi be their native language.

Normally the transition from a spoken to an extinct language occurs when a language undergoes language death by being directly replaced by a different one.

Why you should learn a dead language | Education | The Guardian

For example, many Native American languages were replaced by EnglishFrenchPortugueseSpanish or Dutch as a result of colonization. In contrast to an extinct language, which no longer has any speakers, or any written use, a historical language may remain in use as a literary or liturgical language long after it ceases to be spoken natively.

Such languages are sometimes also referred to as "dead languages", but more typically as classical languages. The most prominent Western example of such a language is Latinbut comparable cases are found throughout world history due to the universal tendency to retain an historical stage of a language as liturgical language.

Dead languages

Historical languages with living descendants that have undergone significant language change may be considered "extinct", especially in cases where they did not leave a corpus of literature or liturgy that remained in widespread use see corpus languageas is the case with e.

Some degree of misunderstanding can result from designating languages such as Old English and Old High German as extinct, or Latin dead, while ignoring their evolution as a language.

This is expressed in the apparent paradox "Latin is a dead language, but Latin never died.

Dead languages

In contrast, Old English, Old High German and Latin never ceased evolving as living languages, nor did they become totally extinct as Etruscan did. Through time Latin underwent both common and divergent changes in phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon and continues today as the native language of hundreds of millions of people, renamed as different Romance languages and dialects French, Italian, Spanish, CorsicanAsturianLadinetc.

With regard to the written language, skills in reading or writing Etruscan are all but non-existent, but trained people can understand and write Old English, Old High German and Latin. Latin differs from the Germanic counterparts in that an approximation of its ancient form is still employed to some extent liturgically.

This last observation illustrates that for Latin, Old English, or Old High German to be described accurately as dead or extinct, the language in question must be conceptualized as frozen in time at a particular state of its history.

This is accomplished by periodizing English and German as Old; for Latin, the most apt clarifying adjective is Classical, which also normally includes designation of high or formal register. Minor languages are endangered mostly due to economic and cultural globalization and development.

With increasing economic integration on national and regional scales, people find it easier to communicate and conduct business in the dominant lingua francas of world commerce: EnglishChineseSpanish and French.

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Second, the more gradual process of language death may occur over several generations. The third and most rare outcome is for the pressured group to maintain as much of its native language as possible, while borrowing elements of the dominant language's grammar replacing all, or portions of, the grammar of the original language.

Language revitalization Language revival is the attempt to re-introduce a recently extinct language in everyday use by a new generation of native speakers. The optimistic neologism " sleeping beauty languages" has been used to express such a hope. The revival of Hebrew has been largely successful due to extraordinarily favourable conditions, notably the creation of a nation state in which it became the official language, as well as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda 's extreme dedication to the revival of the language, by creating new words for the modern terms Hebrew lacked.

Revival attempts for minor languages with no status as liturgical language typically have more modest results. The Cornish language revival is an example of a major successful language revival: Recently extinct languages[ edit ] This is a list of languages reported as having become extinct after the year For a more complete list, see List of extinct languages.A dead language could give you a new lease of life.

Photograph: Getty "F ancy a grown man saying hujus hujus hujus as if he were proud of it, it is not english and do not make SENSE.".

Jul 17,  · Languages are human creations, and as such, they have a life cycle. Some “dead” languages have evolved into others, and they survive in that sense.


Others vanished without a trace, and we may not even know exactly how they were spoken to this day. English, Russian, Farsi, Bengali, Albanian, and. The 10 Coolest Dead Languages. Just because no one speaks them anymore doesn't mean they aren't TOTALLY BADASS.

Liggett's debut story is laden with mystical symbols, visions, personal powers, a dead language, earthy rituals, unexplained deaths, and the complicated hierarchy of an isolated community. Liggett, Kim. The Lake of Dead Languages: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) [Carol Goodman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

“A GOTHIC AND ELEGANT PAGE-TURNER.” –The Boston Globe Twenty years ago/5(). List of Extinct Languages extinct languages were found in the database: Language Code Subgroup Family Abipon: axb Mataco-Guaycuru Mataco-Guaycuru Abishira: ash Unclassified Unclassified Abnaki, Eastern: aaq Eastern Algonquian Algic.

Lists of extinct languages - Wikipedia