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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

Language Death versus Language Survival: A Global Perspective

Author: Miroslav Černý
Organisation: University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
Publish Date: 2010
Country: Global
Sector: Globalisation
Method: Foresight
Theme: Futures
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Globalisation, Language death and survival, Revitalization, International language, Linguistic anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Geolinguistics, Language ecology

The present-day world is marked by a significant discrepancy in the development of languages. While some languages are on a steep advance, a large number of other languages are facing rapid endangerment, in many instances resulting in death. Languages have always died off, but no historical period experienced such massive attrition. It has been estimated that approximately one half of the 6,000 languages spoken in the world today are going to disappear in the course of the 21st century. In relation to this horrifying data, it has often been argued that language extinction must be viewed as a terrible loss, and language renewal is thus beneficial and worth trying. By contrast, the discussion has also been enriched by anti-survival conceptions. Within the framework of this contextual background, the paper attempts to contribute to the growth in linguistic awareness about the problem. Drawing on the research results of such scientific fields as, for example, sociolinguistics, geolinguistics, language ecology, and linguistic anthropology, it (1) presents the global status of the world’s languages, (2) outlines the future perspective of both ‘threatened’ and ‘strong’ languages, and (3) discusses pro- and anti-survival/revitalization arguments.
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