Archive for the ‘Americas’ Category

Languages with only one speaker

28 April 2013

According to “World’s 18 most endangered spoken languages,” there were 18 languages listed in the UNESCO Atlas of Endangered Languages with only one speaker in April 2010. (Thanks to LoL for the link to this article.)

According to the Atlas, there are now 19, but in many cases, the Ethnologue has different information. The languages listed in the Atlas with only one speaker are (by continent):

Africa

1. Bikya (byb) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

2. Bishuo (bwh) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

Asia

3. Pazeh (uun) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

North America

4. Patwin (pwi)

5. Tolowa (tol)

6. Wintu-Nomlaki, or Wintu (wnw) – the Ethnologue says there are no known native speakers

Oceanian, including Indonesia

7. Dampelas (dms)

8. Lae, or Aribwatsa (laz) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

9. Laua (luf) – the Ethnologue says there are no speakers

10. Volow (mlv) – the Ethnologue lists this and Dagmel as dialects, each with one speaker

11. Yarawi, or Suena (sue) – the Ethnologue says there are 3,600 speakers

South America (other than Brazil)

12. Chaná – it appears to not be listed in the Ethnologue (gqn appears to be different); (qs1 – Linguist List code)

13. Pémono, or Mapoyo-Yabarana (pev)

14. Taushiro (trr)

15. Tinigua (tit) – the Ethnologue says there are two speakers

16. Yaghan, or Yagán (yag)

Brazil

17. Apiaká (api)

18. Diahói, or Parintintín (pah)

19. Kaixána, or Kawishana – it appears to not be listed in the Ethnologue; (qsw – Linguist List code)

Texting and rapping in endangered languages

2 July 2011

According to “Hip-hop, texting may help save world’s languages” on the Miami Herald website, teenagers who love to send text messages by mobile phone are doing so in endangered languages, giving renewed hope for revitalization. Languages cited include:

    • San Francisco del Mar Huave (hue)
    • San Mateo del Mar Huave (huv)
    • San Dionisio del Mar Huave (hve)
    • Santa María del Mar Huave (hvv)

In addition, hip-hop music has become a vehicle for expression in endangered languages, including:

See “Huilliche hip-hop song 1” and “hip-hop in Aka – Songe Nimasow” on the Enduring Voices channel of YouTube for two rap songs.

News in Brief: Brown bag at UNM, Xibe revival, WA conference

12 April 2011

Brown bag lunch at the University of New Mexico on April 13, Wednesday, focused on the Americas. ‘Indigenous Planning in the Americas’ Focus of Presentation

Xibe (sjo) revival in China. Video in English after Xibe lead-in. Xibe is related to Manchu (mnc) and employs the same writing script. Revival of a dying language

The Western Australia State Language Conference is now in progress. Irra Wangga