90pc of world's languages may be wiped out by end of 21st century

   May 8, 10:45 am

London, May 8 (ANI): Experts have warned that many of the world's languages could become extinct if more is not done to protect threatened environments.

It's little reported next to the extinction of species, but as 'wild' areas are industrialised, languages are being wiped out at a frightening rate, according to Penn State University researchers.

Experts estimate that by the end of the century between 50 and 90 percent of the world's languages may have disappeared.

With them disappear the stories and culture unique to those languages. Instead, an industrial 'world culture' takes over.

"We looked at regions important for biodiversity conservation and measured their linguistic diversity in an effort to understand an important part of the human dimension of these regions," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Larry Gorenflo, of Penn State University, as writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"What ends up happening when we lose linguistic diversity is we lose a bunch of small groups with traditional economics.

"Indigenous languages tend to be replaced by those associated with a modern industrial economy accompanied by other changes such as the introduction of chain saws," he stated.

A New research found that seventy per cent of languages are in biodiversity hotspots - the most threatened locations on earth - or wilderness areas.

With species disappearing 1000 times faster than at any other time, experts predict a grim future for many human tongues.

And as local languages are replaced by more universal ones local traditions and values disappear to be replaced by industrial ones, researchers said.

They argue that linguistic and biological diversity are linked, with the loss of one affecting the other.

"These regions - hot spots and high biodiversity wilderness areas - often contain considerable linguistic diversity, accounting for 70 percent of all languages on Earth," Dr Gorenflo wrote.

"Moreover, the languages involved frequently are unique to particular regions, with many facing extinction," he noted.

The researchers first looked at 35 biodiversity hot spots, which comprise only 2.3 percent of the Earth's surface but contain more than half the world's vascular plants and 43 percent of terrestrial vertebrate species.

In these 35 hotspots, the researchers found 3,202 languages - nearly half of all languages spoken on Earth. These hotspots are spread throughout the world's continents with the exception of Antarctica.

They also examined linguistic diversity in five high biodiversity wilderness areas, whose remaining habitat covers about 6.1 percent of the Earth's surface and contains about 17 percent of the vascular plant species and 6 percent of the terrestrial vertebrate species.

These regions contained another 1,622 languages, with many languages are unique to particular areas and are spoken by relatively few people, making them susceptible to extinction.

"In many cases it appears that conditions that wipe out species wipe out languages," concluded Gorenflo. (ANI)

Blocking this gene cuts excessive fat, finds study Jul 30, 12:55 pm
Washington DC, July 30 (ANI): Scientists have found that it is possible to reduce fat by blocking the expression of a certain gene in patients.
Full Story
ICAR lab artificially breeds milkfish for first time in India Jul 29, 4:28 pm
Chennai, July 29 (ANI): For the first time in India, Chennai-based Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) succeeded in artificially breeding milkfish (Chanos chanos), locally known as "Paal Kendai" or "Poo Meen". Milkfish has the ability to grow in brackish water, seawater and even adapts to freshwater conditions.
Full Story
8-year-old receives world's first double hand transplant Jul 29, 2:22 pm
Washington DC, July 29 (ANI): Surgeons from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine have completed the world's first double hand transplant on an 8-year-old child.
Full Story
Life on Earth probably started as a hiccup rather than roar Jul 29, 1:18 pm
Washington DC, July 29 (ANI): A new research has looked into the origins of Earth and claimed that nearly 4 billion years ago, life on the planet probably started as a hiccup rather than a roar.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY