Lost Language Day challenges

Michael Gasser gasser at cs.indiana.edu
Fri May 24 22:12:28 UTC 1996

In taking this to the public, we should remind ourselves of the
following common beliefs, all of which will need to be dealt with.

1. Languages become extinct like most biological species do, because
they aren't as effective as other languages.

2. The fewer languages there are, the better the world will be.
People choose to stop speaking minority languages for good reason, so
they can join the majority.

3. This is only really of concern to romantic intellectuals.  The
speakers of the endangered languages themselves don't sense the

For point 3 in particular it will be important to involve native
speakers or members of the cultures in question who regret not having
the chance to be native speakers.

			    Michael Gasser
	       Associate Professor, Indiana University
	   Computer Science, Linguistics, Cognitive Science
		     E-mail:  gasser at indiana.edu
	  WWW:  http://www.cs.indiana.edu/hyplan/gasser.html

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