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Re: OT: Semi-OT: Linguist battles to save 'lost' Eritrean language

From:Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 2:25
Sounds fascinating!  A new Semitic language?  Surely Marie-Claude
Simeone-Senelle and Martine Vanhove would've written some form of description of

Wesley Parish

Quoting Gregory Gadow <techbear@...>:

> I found this article and thought it might be of interest to the > liguists > in the group. > > Linguist battles to save 'lost' Eritrean language > Tuesday May 10th, 2005 11:59. > > ASMARA, May 10 (AFP) -- Nearly a decade after accidentally discovering > a > previously unknown language on an Indian Ocean archipelago off the > Eritrean coast, a French linguist is fighting to save the unwritten, > untaught tongue. > > "Dahaalik is part of humanity's heritage and must be preserved," said > Marie-Claude Simeone-Senelle, who with colleague Martine Vanhove, found > Dahlak island fishermen conversing in the unusual vernacular nine years > ago. > > Puzzled by words and usage that did not correspond to the two main > languages of the region -- Afar and Arabic -- the pair at first thought > it > was a dialect of Tigray, but later ascertained it was a distinct > entity, > she said. > > Although close to Arabic and Tigre, Dahaalik was determined to be a > language in itself due to its markedly different phonetics, morphology > and > syntax, but had languished in obscurity on the isles off the port of > Massawa. > > "Before 1996, no one had heard of Dahaalik," said Simeone-Senelle, a > Afro-Asiatic language specialist at the French National Centre for > Scientific Research (CNRS). > > "We have to find out how it appeared," she said. "For the moment, we > don't > know when it emerged." > > Now spoken by only about 3 000 people on the three islands and not > currently taught in schools, Dahaalik, whose origins remain a mystery, > is > in danger of dying out, she said. > > > The rest of the article (not printed due to copyright considerations) > can > be read on-line at > > > Gregory Gadow >
"Sharpened hands are happy hands. "Brim the tinfall with mirthful bands" - A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge "I me. Shape middled me. I would come out into hot!" I from the spicy that day was overcasked mockingly - it's a symbol of the other horizon. - emacs : meta x dissociated-press