Lost Tongues and the Politics of Language Endangerment

By some estimates, thousands of the world's 6,700 languages will be lost before the turn of the next century. What are the factors that drive a language to the brink of extinction, and what allows others to prosper--or simply to survive? Salikoko Mufw...

Summary

By some estimates, thousands of the world's 6,700 languages will be lost before the turn of the next century. What are the factors that drive a language to the brink of extinction, and what allows others to prosper--or simply to survive? Salikoko Mufwene, professor and chair of the department of linguistics at the University of Chicago, explains how globalization, colonialism, politics, and race relations affect how and why we speak the way we do. Copyright 2002 The University of Chicago.