Sunday, November 18, 2007
Reference: Keeping languages alive, Bangkok Post, November 18, 2007
Languages are dynamic communication tools. They are not static. They evolve over time in Darwinian fashion as our communication needs change. Some die off even as new ones are born. The job of historians is to record history, not to preserve it, nor to keep it from changing. The appropriate response to the expected disappearance of thousands of arcane languages each spoken by a handful of people, is to record these data for posterity rather than to force people to continue to speak a language that no longer serves their communication needs. Ethnologists appear to have lost their way on this issue. It's the Bambi Principle.