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zompist bboard • View topic - Another one bites the dust: Mandan

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:48 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:50 am 
Sanno
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But we still have Welsh!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:46 pm 
Sanci
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[Insert inappropriate remark about Mandarin]


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:21 am 
Lebom
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I remember reading somewhere that estimates indicate that about half the languages that existed in the year 2000 will be gone by 2100. Assuming this isn't some half-remembered half-truth to begin with, do the statistics bear this out so far? How many languages go extinct per year?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:36 pm 
Sanci
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Languages don't stop with the last native speaker. There are ongoing revival efforts of Mandan undertaken by the Forth Berthold Tribe and the Language Conservancy. They have Mandan (and Hidatsa) workshops in the summer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:17 pm 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Hebrew had no native speakers (tons of speakers, but was technically dead) when it was revived. I think that counts. (Few if any of the non-European languages that people want to revive have extensive research like Hebrew).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:26 pm 
Smeric
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I remember hearing Nora England say that the only indigenous language of the Americas that might not be endangered is (Paraguayan) Guarani. Quechua has more speakers (assuming we consider Quechua to be just one language), but it's also undergoing language shift at a much faster rate.

Regarding languages dying: I think I feel the same way about this as I feel about my own relatives dying. Sure, it's sad, and I almost wish I could feel sad about either of these things, but they both happen often enough without ever meaning that much to me on a personal level that I'm not sure there's any point. (My mom has a lot of siblings, which makes it basically impossible for me to get to know any one of them all that well without displaying arbitrary favoritism).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:39 am 
Sumerul
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We must also not forget that languages change anyway. There's no use or need to conserve one particular form of a language, and say the language is dead when another form appears. For all we know, Navaho or whatever language would've lost noun incorporation anyway even without (English) language contact.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:16 am 
Smeric
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Indeed, there can be a thin line sometimes between trying to preserve a language and prescriptivism. While it may not be necessary to conserve one particular form of a language, I still think it would be good to have a record of it for the sake of our understanding of language at least. The fact that Navajo does have noun incorporation is useful information; if it lost noun incorporation, that would be useful information as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:33 am 
Sumerul
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Sure, I totally agree. But the fact that, e.g., current day Hebrew is not the same as the Hebrew of 2000 years ago, well, they're probably more alike than if Hebrew still existed and had had the normal language evolution applied to it over that period.


JAL


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:16 am 
Sanno
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:06 pm 
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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:54 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:05 pm 
Sanci
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For me, studying linguistics has impressed upon me just how enormously enormous languages are...I would argue they're our greatest cultural heritage. And the prediction that we're going to lose half of these languages that have gone through so much, surviving wars, famines etc etc and thousands of years and many generations...only to die now at around the same time due to the same globalising processes, doesn't numb me, it makes me even more sad.

It also makes me even more fucking infuriated with people, usually without any knowledge of linguistics, who blithely go 'nah, let them die, we only need English/French/Russian/Chinese/Arabic'...if they only knew what this actually meant.

A grammar, a dictionary and some recordings don't cut it. Libraries don't cut it. English hasn't been documented well enough. When I look at a linguistics map of Australia, I just go for my whiskey.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:58 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:21 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:53 pm 
Sumerul
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I like to think of cultural anthropology and linguistics as to seperate, though related, disciplines. Also, it's impossible to exhaustively describe a language - you'd need to capture everything that has ever been uttered. There's idiolects, regional variation, in-group jargon... not to mention changes over time. Come to think of it, perhaps what makes a specfic language is pretty undefinable. When would you ever be satisfied? With every speaker that dies, even English speakers, some part of the language and of the culture is lost...


JAL


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:12 am 
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