Language Documentation Training Center

Nick Thieberger thien at UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Fri Oct 15 00:05:48 UTC 2010

Linguists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are working on an
extinction problem that, for many people, may mean the loss of their
spoken words.

Linguistics Associate Professor Kenneth Rehg says that 94 percent of
the world’s population uses a mere 6 percent of its 6,900 ancestral
languages. Many of the rest are on the verge of disappearing as
globalization and modernization push minority and under-documented
languages aside for the more dominate languages. The National Science
Foundation estimates that by the end of the century, half of the
languages will disappear; other estimates are even more bleak.

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