Paper: An Analysis of the Deaths of Languages of Many Cultures Throughout the History

It simply asks the rather vague and ambiguous question: “Does this person speak a language other than English at home?" But not “How well?" “How often?" or "Under what circumstances?" It causes language to fail, because we can not help that which language is dying. More often language death is the culmination of language shift, resulting from a complex of internal and external pressures that induce a speech community to adopt a language spoken by others. These may include changes in values, rituals, or economic and political life resulting from trade, migration, intermarriage, religious conversion, or military conquest. The prospects to survive a language are determined not by any intrinsic traits, or capacity for adaptation, but by social forces alone. Sometimes community decides for reasons of functional economy, to suppress a part of itself. Many multilingual parents no longer consider it necessary or worthwhile for the future of their children to communicate with them in a low-prestige language variety, and when children are no longer motivated to acquire active competence in a language which is lacking in positive connotations such as youth, modernity,technical skills, material success, education. The languages at the lower end of the prestige scale retreat from ever increasing areas of their earlier functional domains, displaced by higher prestige languages, until there is nothing left for them to be appropriately used about. Languages die from both internal and external causes, operating simultaneously. On the one hand, the process always reflects forces beyond its speakers’ control: repression, discrimination, or exploitation by other groups. On the other hand, except in the case of physical genocide, languages never succumb to outside pressures alone. There must be complicity on the part of speech community itself, changes in attitudes and values that discourage teaching its vernacular to children and encourage loyalty to the dominant tongue....