Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Linguistics Expert Warns Of Language Extinction

Date:
March 4, 2007
Source:
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summary:
Humans speak more than 6,000 languages. Nearly all of them could be extinct in the next two centuries. So what? "I claim that it is catastrophic for the future of mankind," says University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus Michael Krauss. "It should be as scary as losing 90 percent of the biological species."

Humans speak more than 6,000 languages. Nearly all of them could be extinct in the next two centuries.

Related Articles


So what?

University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus Michael Krauss addressed that question during his presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, which begins today in San Francisco.

"I claim that it is catastrophic for the future of mankind," Krauss said. "It should be as scary as losing 90 percent of the biological species."

The reasons are multiple, he said. From an ethical standpoint, all languages are of equal value, he said. But the value of a language goes far beyond academic discourse, Krauss said. Languages contain the intellectual wisdom of populations of people. They contain their observations of and adaptations to the world around them. Humanity became human in a complex system of languages that interacted with each other.

"That is somehow interdependent such that we lose sections of it at the same peril that we lose sections of the biosphere," Krauss said. "Every time we lose (a language), we lose that much also of our adaptability and our diversity that gives us our strength and our ability to survive."

Krauss is one of four researchers scheduled to speak during a session on the dynamics of extinction Friday, Feb. 16, 2007 at the AAAS meeting at the Hilton San Francisco. The cross-disciplinary session focuses broadly on the phenomenon of extinction, including factors that cause endangerment and extinction and interventions that can delay or end the extinction process.

Krauss has been affiliated with UAF for more than four decades. He is founder of UAF's Alaska Native Language Center and recently received the Ken Hale prize for lifetime achievement from the Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Linguistics Expert Warns Of Language Extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140348.htm>.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. (2007, March 4). Linguistics Expert Warns Of Language Extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140348.htm
University of Alaska Fairbanks. "Linguistics Expert Warns Of Language Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070218140348.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She saw the ocean for the first time thanks to her assisted living center and a group that grants wishes to the elderly. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Kids React to Lammily, The Realistic Barbie Alternative

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) Artist Nickolay Lamm's Kickstarter-funded Lammily doll, based on his 'What Would Barbie Look Like as a Real Woman' project, is finally available to buy. Jen Markham explains how the doll's realistic proportions are going over with a test group of second-graders who are used to the impossible measurements of Barbie dolls. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins