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Re: World Lingos

From:SMITH,MARCUS ANTHONY <smithma@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 29, 2000, 21:34
On Tue, 29 Aug 2000, Raymond Brown wrote:

> Yes, I should've been more careful about making generalizations. But I > think your "This is not completely the result of massacre and genocide, but > is due in large part to the opression of linguistic minorities." in fact > re-inforces part of what I was trying to say. People do not, generally, > _willingly_ abandon their languages (I know there are exceptions). It is > massacre, genocide, even plague or disease and, so very often, just plain > oppression of minorities that kills of languages. But that these things > are required to kill the language off is proof enough, surely, that it did > not die easily - it had to be killed.
There are other reasons as well. For instance, if there are more people speaking English around you than the language of your parents, you will probably be more comfortable with English. I met a Japanese family a couple weeks ago who speak nothing but Japanese in the home, yet their daughter cannot speak a word of it. Understand it, yes. If you surround a whole culture like that -- Native Americans often are -- then the language can gradually drift out. No intentional oppression - just the logistics of what a child puts his or her efforts into learning. Native language not worth it -- dump it. Sad but true. Marcus