Linguists need preservation of languages to study human language

In a recent article here at ScienceNordic, we argued that this year’s UN initiative International Year of Indigenous Languages is urgently needed in light of the global decline of minority and indigenous languages. In this article, we will delve into how and why we study these languages. Besides the human rights aspect of language extinction [...]

By |2019-02-23T12:41:19+00:00February 23rd, 2019|Languages|0 Comments

We still have no idea why humans speak over 7,000 languages

The thatched roof held back the sun’s rays, but it could not keep the tropical heat at bay. As everyone at the research workshop headed outside for a break, small groups splintered off to gather in the shade of coconut trees and enjoy a breeze. I wandered from group to group, joining in the discussions. [...]

By |2019-01-26T14:21:45+00:00January 26th, 2019|Languages|0 Comments

The Small Island Where 500 People Speak Nine Different Languages

On South Goulburn Island, a small, forested isle off Australia’s northern coast, a settlement called Warruwi Community consists of some 500 people who speak among themselves around nine different languages. This is one of the last places in Australia—and probably the world—where so many indigenous languages exist together. There’s the Mawng language, but also one [...]

By |2018-11-27T13:53:52+00:00November 27th, 2018|Languages|0 Comments

On a Mission to Save Languages From Extinction

NEW YORK—There are 800 different languages spoken among New York’s 8.5 million residents, and unfortunately, that number may be decreasing. One man is on a mission to make sure the city and the world don’t lose their linguistic diversity. The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger states that 230 languages have died since [...]

By |2018-11-05T20:43:08+00:00November 5th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages, Wikitongues|0 Comments

Switzerland’s invisible linguistic borders

It was one of the shortest train rides I had ever taken: just 10 minutes and one stop from the Swiss city of Neuchâtel. Yet when I disembarked in the small municipality of Ins, everything seemed, somehow, different. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Something about the architecture perhaps? People’s body language? [...]

By |2018-07-03T14:48:50+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Languages, Linguistic borders, Switzerland|0 Comments

How Wikitongues is saving world languages from linguicide

“In the next 80 years, 3,000 languages are expected to disappear.” That’s what it says on the homepage of the Wikitongues website. And then it adds: “We won’t let that happen.” Last week, ‘we’ was Daniel Bogre Udell, one of two original founders of Wikitongues, and Kristen Tcherneshoff, its volunteer-in-chief. The frontline of their fight: [...]

By |2018-06-24T13:58:43+00:00June 24th, 2018|Languages, Linguicide, Wikitongues|0 Comments

Why it’s okay for bilingual children to mix languages

Few would consider mastering more than one language a bad idea. In fact, research points to a number of cognitive, economic and academic advantages in being bilingual. Parents who speak different languages understand the family home is an important setting to learn both, and seek various ways to help their children thrive bilingually. One of [...]

By |2018-06-21T10:25:52+00:00June 21st, 2018|Bilingual, Bilingualism, Children, Languages|0 Comments

More than 2,000 of the world’s languages are dying out

As a child, Kanako Uzawa treasured her school vacations, when she traveled from Tokyo to her family farm in Nibutani, a remote village in northern Japan. “There were rice fields extending into the distance,” she says. “It was all very green with fresh air… It was paradise for kids.” Uzawa, who was born in Tomakomai, [...]

By |2018-05-24T13:51:13+00:00May 24th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages|0 Comments

Why teachers shouldn’t be afraid of other languages being spoken in the classroom

More than 20% of all primary school and 16% of secondary school children in the UK speak languages other than English. And there are now more than 360 languages spoken in British classrooms. But more often than not, in mainstream schools in the UK, the “home languages” of children can be sidelined at best, and [...]

By |2018-05-23T00:55:42+00:00May 23rd, 2018|Education, Languages|0 Comments

How Do Languages Evolve? This Game Is Finding The Answer!

A team of researchers led by Dr. Olivier Morin at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany have released a mobile app, the Color Game, designed to study how human languages evolve. Dr. Morin's team identified a problem in how traditional language studies are conducted; participants are often given [...]

By |2018-05-21T20:54:01+00:00May 21st, 2018|Evolution of language, Languages|0 Comments