Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Guardian: Half of living languages face extinction

Half of living languages face extinction

The Guardian reports on Cambridge University's World Oral Literature Project

The article mentions that Gamilaraay and Southern Pomo still have speakers, but Laghu and Old Kentish Sign Language haven't.

Mark Turin gives an overview of the project and its history, stating that, although it is only updated by academics at the moment, he hopes that in the future, it will become a "Wikipedia-style web 2.0 project"

Mention is made of major collections that have been, or could be lost, having been stored in personal collections rather than archived. Turin tells story of Reverend John Whitehorn, who donated tapes that he had been keeping at home since the 1950s, after the Cambridge Museum of Anthropology accepted artefacts he donated, but didn't know what to do with his recordings.

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