ERIC Number: ED445515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages.
Nettle, Daniel; Romaine, Suzanne
This book holds that the evolution of the mind has given rise to great diversity of language and culture, each going along with a distinct adaptation to life specific ecosystems or geographical areas. Much like the wealth of plant and animal species is essential to biodiversity and ecological balance, diversity in the world's languages is vital to social balance. The same trend toward monocultures, deforestation, and urbanization recognized to threaten biodiversity threatens languages as well. Making an explicit link between language survival and environmental issues, it is argued that the extinction of languages is part of the larger picture of the progressive collapse of the global ecosystem. The struggle to preserve the rainforest cannot be separated from the struggle to maintain diverse cultures, and that the causes of language death, like that of ecological destruction, lie at the intersection of ecology and politics. Homage is paid to some of the world's last speakers of endangered languages. The book is divided into 8 chapters, with a detailed list of illustrations, references and suggestions for further reading, a bibliography, and an index. Illustrations, figures, and tables appear throughout. (KFT)
Descriptors: Cultural Maintenance, Ecology, Environmental Influences, Foreign Countries, Language Maintenance, Language Skill Attrition, Linguistics, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Oxford University Press; 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314; Tel.: 212-726-6000; Fax: 212-726-6447; www.oup.com; ($27.50).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A