Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Perfect Storm

Eric Bakovic over at language log has posted again on endangered language, and yet again has given no indication of his own opinion of the issues; I think this is indicative of the entrenched assumption within the linguistic community that language death is bad, so there is no need to explicitly discuss that part of the issue. As y’all know, I have challenged this position here, here, here, and here.

Bakovic’s comments section however does include a juicy argument by the center of the storm himself, K. David Harrison. He claims languages

  1. have unique structures
  2. contain useful (to human survival) knowledge
  3. are being abandoned by speakers in favor of global languages

I have posted a response on the language log comments here. I will try to post more this weekend.

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