Re: Last speaker of Bo died

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Mon Feb 08 2010 - 03:47:25 CST

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    On 8 Feb 2010, at 05:08, Doug Ewell wrote:

    > Another perspective: We often hear that languages die because their
    > remaining speakers preferred to speak a more popular or mainstream
    > language, or to teach it to their children, to improve their
    > opportunities for economic success or reduce social isolation.
    > While anthropologically we would prefer to have more language
    > diversity in the world, not less, we can't completely disregard the
    > wishes of the native speakers in this regard. Maybe, just maybe,
    > nobody except Boa Sr spoke Aka-Bo for the last 30 years because
    > nobody else wanted to.

    A linguist here*) said that it takes typically three generations for a
    language to become extinct:

    In the first generation, one is speaking it generally, the next only
    among themselves. And the generation following that, the children,
    though they may understand it, do not want to speak it, as they do not
    have anybody to speak with.

    So for Övdalian (or Elfdalian, Älvdalska) here in Sweden, the language
    variation that departs the most from the main Swedish dialect, which
    is in this last stage towards becoming extinct, one tries to make
    songs for the children to sing and other activities, so that they will
    use it.



    Övdalian sample starts at about time 3:00.

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