Friday, January 30, 2004

Recording Dying Languages
This article is pretty interesting about a researcher doing language studies with languages that are dying off. Wow, I've really never thought about this before. And the ramifications for something like Bible translation, that keeps the language from dying, and sometimes consequently, the whole culture from dying...
- "A language doesn't fall over a precipice, it sort of slides into oblivion."
- Once I asked, "Can I use this word this way?" and the response was, "Of course, you're foreign, you can say a wrong thing. But I can't say that." (Foreign missionaries NEVER do stuff like that.)
-... to learn about how people communicate and how the human mind works. What are the categories that are important enough for people to express them in their languages? If these so-called "exotic" languages die, we'll be left with just one world view.
- every Amazonian society ever studied has a legend about a great flood.
- About 60-70 percent of linguistic diversity in the north-western region of Brazil has disappeared in the last 100 years.
Read it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment