Is the Language Vanishing?

The ethnologue tells that the Awjila language is moribund, meaning that language will vanish sooner or later.

Town of Awjila, the place where this Berber language is spoken
Plan of Awjila from Scarin 1937 (insert between pp. 76 and 77).

Despite this fact found in Ethnologue, I found a blog about the language and that tells that this Berber language is used a lot in the Facebook. So perhaps the possibility to use their own language in written form is going to save the language — who knows?

The last speaker of a language

What is common to these persons: Tevfic Esenç, Red Thundercloud, Laura Somersal, Ned Maddrell and Dolly Pentreath?

They are the last speakers of a language. When these persons passed away, also a language ceased to exists in our world.

  • Tevfic Esenç was the last speaker of Ubykh.
  • Red Thundercloud was the last speaker of Catawba Sioux
  • Laura Somersal was the last speaker of Wappo
  • Ned Maddrell was the last speaker of Manx
  • Dolly Pentreath was the last speaker of Cornish


Sami people

There is the tendency in Finland to tell that Finland is for the Finns and they should therefore all talk Finnish. And they moreover tell that Swedes were conquerors (when they arrived 1000 years ago the “Finnish” shores) and implanted Swedish, and the Russians tried that (200 years ago), too.

With that background, I couldn’t but laugh for myself as I encountered a map like this in a book about the root of the Europeans.

Sami people in Northern Europe AD 0.
Sami people AD 0.

On the map areas 1 and 2 represent the Sami people around AD 0. Area 3 is area that the Sami inhabited during XIV and XV centuries.

And the area 2 is the area where the Finnish (first tribes, nowadays government) have pushed the Sami away. So with this background, the ongoing linguistic and cultural aggression towards the Sami, Swedish speaking Finns and other linguistic minorities can be seen as a continuum for what has gone on for more than 2 millenniums.

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