Frans Plank frans.plank at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE
Thu Sep 8 18:02:42 UTC 2011

Dear literate lingtypists,

were you aware that today is UNESCO's International Literacy Day?  ( 

They complain that 793 million adults worldwide lack minimum literacy  
skills:  one in 6 adults is still not literate.

Does anybody know how they count the speakers of non-written  
languages?  Does 'illiterate' in UNESCO speak also include these?

Are there reliable figures of the numbers of non-written languages and  
their speakers?  I'm asking because I tend to mention this sort of  
thing in teaching.  Perhaps typologists should be aware of this, too.


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