FUNKNET Digest, Vol 88, Issue 16

A. Katz amnfn at
Thu Jan 20 19:12:17 UTC 2011

I think the issue of whether the RS program works is quite marginal to the 
question of whether RS or some other commercial program can help to 
preserve the resources of a language community for future generations.

Let's grant for a moment that RS -- or any other computerized program -- 
cannot in and of itself cause someone to acquire a language that he cannot 
speak already.

The question is: how are speakers of this language going to be damaged by 
the program?  Surely their language isn't going to be "taken away from 
them." What they know, they know. What they are able to transmit to the 
next generation by natural means, they will. So what is really at issue 
is: will this help them to preserve language resources now in danger of 
being lost? Will it help keep the language on ice, in case of language 
death, so that it can be revived later, by people willing to put in the 

Are there other issues? Is there any fear that these resources will not be 
available to future generations of would be speakers? Is someone 
concerned that the language will get "patented" and only RS will have the 
license to use it?


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