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Forum LockedExtinct / Dead Languages

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    Posted: 30-Sep-2005 at 20:32
Although studied for literary purposes these are a few dead languages:

Coptic
Latin
Sanskrit
Ancient Greek

Some languages are certain to be extinct in the near future and yet some are really prominent in the world today.

What languages do you believe will be extinct in the near future and or which language(s) do you think "should" be?









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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2005 at 21:05
No language 'should' be extinct, but some inevitably will die out.
Language loss is a sad thing, but if a language does die, then its because it wasn't used by many people.

There are some 6500 languages on Earth, and the bigger share of them are spoken by relativly small groups of people, some by literlay only a couple of old people.
Only a few dozen languages are spoken by more than a 10 million people.
Inevitably the smaller languages are most at risk of dieing out, especialty where they only exist due to the isolation of linguistic commuties, and where said isolation no longer exists. Essentialy, small 'tribal' languages that are literaly only spoken in a few villages, or even only in one.

Ethnologue.com has a list of nearly extnict languages, including the estimated number of speakers at present (and yes, some of those listed really are only spoken by a handfull of people).


Edited by Cywr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2005 at 21:54

They seem to have left Manx and Cornish off the list.

http://www.iomguide.com/manxlanguage.php

http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/multilingual/cornish.shtml

 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2005 at 22:12
Maybe they are less criticlty endangered. Cornish has a a few thousand potential speakers, and a core of a few hundred who speak it regulary.
Don't know about Manx.
Some of the ones on that site are spoken by a single person.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dirtnap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 00:00
Well, they made the list, appearantly more important than spreading their language. LOL











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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feramez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 00:18
Karay, a Turk language is said to be almost dead.  Here's the link: http://www3.aa.tufs.ac.jp/~djn/karaim/kCDlang.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 00:33
"Feramez" actaully I watched something on either Dicovery or National Geographic on these people, and I can say one thing, its almost pure turkish we use in Turkey, so how can it be almost dead, and few speakers I have no idea..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 09:26
Ancient Greek?They are not a different language.The Hellenic language never died.It just was transformed .For example Modern Hellenic are the modern form of the Hellenic language.Isolating only a small part of it and telling it is dead ,is historically incorrect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 10:04
Yes, but ancient greek is studied as a seperate language in its original form, if only as an academic curioisity, same for old English or what have you not.
Latin and Sanskrit are both still spoken and used, so their 'deadness' is open for debate too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feramez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 11:27

Originally posted by baracuda baracuda wrote:

"Feramez" actaully I watched something on either Dicovery or National Geographic on these people, and I can say one thing, its almost pure turkish we use in Turkey, so how can it be almost dead, and few speakers I have no idea..

It's in the Kipchak branch, close to Karacay or Tatar.  Even if it is close to Turkish, it's not he same, if it was it wouldn't have a different name or be in a different branch.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 12:19
You want to talk dead? Iberian Punic. As you can probably gather from the name, it was invented by Phoenicians who went to Iberia. There are very few experts, as far as I know, that can read it, and it's one of those languages nobody knows how to pronounce.

Latin and Greek aren't dead, though. Attic was transformed into the newer Greek, while Doric kinda died off. Latin is still used, even though its almost no one's first language any more.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dirtnap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 15:02
Always...

Latin and Greek are essentially dead with the exception of classic study and the literary necessities associated with them... I am certain there are a number of groups and families around the world who share a dying language out of romance but as far as cultural representation these languages are essentially dead with the exception of those few such as Latin and Greek and Sandskrit which have the unique veil of protection on collegiate campuses across the world.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 16:23
Coptic, Manx, Latin, .....?
That's only the tip of the iceberg. There is a theory going around in linguistics that about half of the 6000-7000 languages spoken in the world, will die out in the next hundred years. Most of them might be languages spoken by small tribal communities, but that's no excuse. It is another worrying symptom of the ever decreasing cultural gene- pool of humanity, of the disappearance of cultural diversity and its replacement by a global mono-culture.
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Considering the fact that the Germans don't multiply enough as it is, and English is encroaching steadily into the Germans everyday language, will there still be a demand for German teachers in a few years, or will anybody in a few thousand years still be able to read Hegel in the original? What great loss that would be!

Save Dying Languages (PDF)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dirtnap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 18:24
Your comments I completely agree with... But the last paragraph of the pdf I disagree with. Its a stretch of a conclusion that in my experience is just innaccurate.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Artaxiad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2005 at 23:45

Aramean - the equivalent of Latin for the Middle-East.

It's still used in certain Oriental Orthodox Churches.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Serge L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 05:31
I guess the esxtinction of a certain number of languages in a certain period is statistically unavoidable. In fact, we can apply  mathematical models similar to those used to study genetics.

Making a long story short, let's suppose that in a certain place there are 5 thousand people speaking language A, and five thousand speaking language B. Let's roll "dices" many time, and chances are that, aftr a certain time (several generations) one of the two groups wil have more success than te other: for instance, there could be 70% of people speaking A and only 30 % speaking B. After a long enough time (centuries or even millennia), one of the two groups will be so small that the few speakers will first learn the other language, in order to be understood by the majority, and eventually drop their original but practically useless language altogether.

In short, those models always predict uniformity, both when applied to genetics and to linguistics.

So, why, in real world many species and many languages do exist? Because, as well as many of them go extinct, new ones are born.

Death and birth are natural, unavoidable facts of life, not only for individuals, but also for species and laguages.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 06:31

First of all a dead language is the language which isn't used now (even if it's studied).

Secondly, you should separate the term language from the form of a language. The ancient greek is the form and the language is the Greek. So we can't say that ancient greek is a dead language but an old form.

Latin is a dead language because it's not in use anymore, It hasn't survived as a language up to now but only as scatterred elements in other languages (Italic, Spanish etc).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 07:59
Originally posted by Cywr Cywr wrote:


Ethnologue.com has a list of nearly extnict languages, including the estimated number of speakers at present (and yes, some of those listed really are only spoken by a handfull of people).

funny, they also list languages with one speaker left. Technically languages with one speaker are extinct, since the prime use of language is communication.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 17:34
Hehe, true, well they can write letters to themselves and read them years later i guess, communication over time
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ramin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 18:12
a while back I attended a linguistics lecture in UFT, I remember the lecturer saying every day 7 languages in the world die!. when I heard that among everybody else I just went "Shiiiit"!... That's freaky, but believe it or not, Latin, Sanskrit, Coptic, etc etc are not dead. a extinct language is a language that there's no existing evidence of its literature and has no living speaker. The definition for endangered languages is any language with less than 50 speakers, with no existing literature. This is what I know…
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