Lost Language Day challenges
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.
Associate Professor, Indiana University
Computer Science, Linguistics, Cognitive Science
E-mail: gasser at indiana.edu
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