Endangered Languages Spoken In Australia Essay

2140 WordsMar 22, 20119 Pages
Endangered Languages spoken in Australia One third of the world’s languages that are new extinction are found in Australia. This essay will explain what it means when a language is endangered and how Australia has become a target to this problem. Furthermore, this essay will discuss the issues of trying to save a language and the consequences of language death. Endangered languages Today there are about 7000 languages spoken in the world. However, this figure is imprecise, since we cannot exactly say how many languages there are in the world. Firstly, there are places where languages are spoken which we do not know about. Secondly, there are the problems of classification; What is a language? Are some pidgins languages? Where does a language begin and end? It is quite difficult to pinpoint exactly what a language is. For these reasons we do not have an exact number on the languages spoken in the world, but a rough idea of it. K.D. Harrison (2007) reports that of those approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world about 50 % are of risk of disappearance. We are in a situation that by the end of the 21st century around half, or maybe more, of the languages which are being spoken today will disappear. Some say we could be ending with 90 % disappearing, so that we are left with 600 languages in the world by the end of the 21st century, which is a massive decline. K.D. Harrison (2007) says that languages die by being crowded out by bigger languages. An isolated language only spoken in a small village somewhere in Africa is not likely to survive due to the limited possibilities which the language provides. It is more likely that there is a superior language dominant in the region or country which opens up for opportunities in education, work and media. Although the process of one language disappearing and being taken over by a bigger language is very slow

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