SOC401 Assignment 2 Solution Spring 2017

Question 1:
Identify any two languages which have been extinguished or about to extinguish in Asia. Explain
how language extinction affects cultural structure of any society? (2+4+2 = 8)

Solution :

Language shift most commonly occurs when speakers switch to a language associated with social or economic power or spoken more widely, the ultimate result being language death. The general consensus is that there are between 6000[3] and 7000 languages currently spoken, and that between 50 and 90% of them will have become extinct by 2100.[2] The 20 most common languages, spoken by more than 50 million speakers each, are spoken by 50% of the world’s population, but most languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people.[2]

The first step is in language death is potential endangerment. This is when a language faces strong external pressure, but there are still communities of speakers who pass the language to their children. The second stage is endangerment. Once a language has reached the endangerment stage, there are only a few speakers left and children are, for the most part, not learning the language. The third stage of language extinction is seriously endangered. During this stage, a language is unlikely to survive another generation and will soon be extinct. The fourth stage is moribund, followed by the fifth stage extinction.

Many projects are under way aimed at preventing or slowing this loss by revitalizing endangered languages and promoting education and literacy in minority languages, often involving joint projects between language communities and linguists.[4] Across the world, many countries have enacted specific legislation aimed at protecting and stabilizing the language of indigenous speech communities. Recognizing that most of the world’s endangered languages are unlikely to be revitalized, many linguists are also working on documenting the thousands of languages of the world about which little or nothing is known.

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