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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: A Celtic language spoken in... southern England Reply with quote

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090219/ts_afp/worldlanguagesunesco

Quote:

Certain languages are even showing signs of a revival, like Cornish, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, southern England, and Sishee in New Caledonia.


Funny that they list Manx as dead, but are very positive about Cornish. I would say Manx is ahead of Cornish in a lot of ways, but that Cornish has the potential to have far more speakers. But again, on the flipside, Manx is much easier for Irish and Scottish Gaelic speakers to pick up, than Cornish with Welsh and Breton, so I'm told.

Quote:
2,500 languages threatened with extinction: UNESCO

by Amer Ouali Amer Ouali 2 hrs 8 mins ago
2,500 languages threatened with extinction: UNESCO AFP/File Foreign language dictionaries at a Paris bookstore in 2006. Of the 6,900 languages spoken in the world,

PARIS (AFP) The world has lost Manx in the Isle of Man, Ubykh in Turkey and last year Alaska's last native speaker of Eyak, Marie Smith Jones, died, taking the aboriginal language with her.

Of the 6,900 languages spoken in the world, some 2,500 are endangered, the UN's cultural agency UNESCO said Thursday as it released its latest atlas of world languages.

That represents a multi-fold increase from the last atlas compiled in 2001 which listed 900 languages threatened with extinction.

But experts say this is more the result of better research tools than of an increasingly dire situation for the world's many tongues.

Still there is disheartening news.

There are 199 languages in the world spoken by fewer than a dozen people, including Karaim which has six speakers in Ukraine and Wichita, spoken by 10 people in the US state of Oklahoma.

The last four speakers of Lengilu talk among themselves in Indonesia.

Prospects are a bit brighter for some 178 other languages, spoken by between 10 and 150 people.

More than 200 languages have become extinct over the last three generations such as Ubykh that fell silent in 1992 when Tefvic Esenc passed on, Aasax in Tanzania, which disappeared in 1976, and Manx in 1974.

India tops the list of countries with the greatest number of endangered languages, 196 in all, followed by the United States which stands to lose 192 and Indonesia, where 147 are in peril.

Australian linguist Christopher Moseley, who headed the atlas' team of 25 experts, noted that countries with rich linguistic diversity like India and the United States are also facing the greatest threat of language extinction.

Even Sub-Saharan Africa's melting pot of some 2,000 languages is expected to shrink by at least 10 percent over the coming century, according to UNESCO.

On UNESCO's rating scale, 538 languages are critically endangered, 502 severely endangered, 632 definitely endangered and 607 unsafe.

On a brighter note, Papua New Guinea, the country of 800 languages, the most diverse in the world, has only 88 endangered dialects.

Certain languages are even showing signs of a revival, like Cornish, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, southern England, and Sishee in New Caledonia.

Governments in Peru, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Mexico have been successful in their efforts to prevent indigenous languages from dying out.

UNESCO deputy director Francoise Riviere applauded government efforts to support linguistic diversity but added that "people have to be proud to speak their language" to ensure it thrives.


Quote:

Certain languages are even showing signs of a revival, like Cornish, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, southern England, and Sishee in New Caledonia.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can visit the UNESCO site here: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=EN&pg=00136
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cornish language extinct, says UN

The Cornish language has been branded "extinct" by linguistic
experts, sparking protests from speakers.

Thirty linguists worked on Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger,
compiled by United Nations group Unesco. They also said Manx Gaelic
was extinct.

Cornish is believed to have died out as a first language in 1777.

But the Cornish Language Partnership says the number of speakers has
risen in the past 20 years and there should be a section for
revitalised languages.

The Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, published by Unesco,
the cultural section of the United Nations, features about 2,500
dialects.

There are thought to be about 300 fluent speakers of Cornish.

But Jenefer Lowe, development manager of the Cornish Language
Partnership, said there were thousands who had a "smattering" of the
language.

"Saying Cornish is extinct implies there are no speakers and the
language is dead, which it isn't," she said.

"Unesco's study doesn't take into account languages which have
growing numbers of speakers and in the past 20 years the revival of
Cornish has really gathered momentum."

Last year the partnership agreed a single written form of Cornish
which brought together several different forms of the language.



Mrs Lowe said: "There's no category for a language that is
revitalised and revived.

"What they need to do is add a category.

"It should be recognised that languages do revive and it's a fluid
state."

Christopher Moseley, an Australian linguist and editor-in-chief of
the atlas, told BBC News he would consider a new classification.

He said: "I have always been optimistic about Cornish and Manx.

"There is a groundswell of interest in them, although the number of
speakers is small.

"Perhaps in the next edition we shall have a 'being revived'
category.

"[Cornish] is among a group of languages that turned out not to be
extinct but merely sleeping."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/cornwall/7900972.stm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/39Manx-language-is-very-much.5005402.jp

'Manx language is very much alive'

23 February 2009

THE Manx language is very much alive – whatever the United Nations
might say!

Manx is listed as extinct in a new edition of the Atlas of the
World's Languages in Danger produced by the UN's Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

It's news that may come as a surprise to the pupils of the Bunscoill
Gaelgagh in St John's – and is the cause of frustration for Manx
language officer Adrian Cain who insists the development of the Manx
language in the past 25 years has been 'truly remarkable'.

In a statement released to coincide with International Mother
Language Day, UNESCO says its atlas mentions among the languages that
have become extinct as 'Manx, which died out in 1974 when Ned
Maddrell fell forever silent'.

Cornish is another language declared extinct.

Mr Cain said he was inundated with calls and emails on Friday morning
after the atlas was launched.

He said: 'The Manx language is very much alive, growing and relevant,
whatever UNESCO might say.'

But he was scathing in the evidence offered to support claims that
Manx Gaelic was dead.

He said: 'This didn't come as too much of a surprise, as the previous
night I had already made some comments to UNESCO about the report and
had been frustrated to see that their research had been limited to
one book printed in 1993.

'More frustrating were the links posted to me from articles printed
on websites and newspapers around the world, all of which made the
bold comment that: "the Manx language was thought to have died out in
the mid-19th century".

'This "fact" seems to have been accepted without question. Such a
factoid is not only erroneous but is as wide of the mark as stating
the "Isle of Man is a tropical paradise located in the Pacific
Ocean".'

He explained: 'By the turn of the 20th Century the language was in a
perilous state. Nevertheless, it continued to be spoken, by a
dwindling number of native speakers but thankfully, a growing band of
Manx people who learnt the language from them.

'The linguistic link was never lost so, by the time of Ned Maddrell's
death in December 1974, attitudes had changed towards Manx Gaelic.
What has happened since the 25 years since his death has been truly
remarkable.

'There now exists a Manx Gaelic School (Bunscoill Ghaelgagh) where
over 50 primary school-aged children receive all their education
through the language, Manx is an option in all Island schools, a
growing number of students are doing GCSE and A level Manx whilst the
language continues to be a visible reminder of the Island's
uniqueness.'

>> Learn to count in 10 in Manx with Adrian Cain (video)

When Bunscoill Ghaelgagh opened in 2001, it had nine pupils. Today it
has 55 pupils on its books and from September its number will rise to
over 60.

All Key Stage One lessons are conducted in Manx. In Key Stage Two,
all but English are conducted in Manx.

Head teacher Julie Matthews says many parents now learning Manx too.

Christopher Moseley, an Australian linguist and editor-in-chief of
the atlas, said he would consider a new classification.

He said: 'I have always been optimistic about Cornish and Manx.

'There is a groundswell of interest in them, although the number of
speakers is small. Perhaps in the next edition we shall have a 'being
revived' category.'

He added that Manx was among a group of languages that turned
out 'not to be extinct but merely sleeping'.

It's not the first time the death of the Manx language has been
announced prematurely.

A year ago, the Oxford English Dictionary got in a lexographical
muddle when it defined Manx as a 'the now extinct Celtic language
formerly spoken in the Isle of Man, still used for some ceremonial
purposes.'
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