. . . I consider it a plausible calculation that . . . the [21st] century will see either the death or the doom of 90% of mankind's languages . . .

Now let us compare the biological world situation . . . 7.4% of mammals and 2.7% of birds are endangered or threatened . . . I note the . . . view, held by many biologists, that 'half of the world's species will be extinct or on the verge of extinction by the end of the . . . century' . . .

Why is there so much more concern over this . . . threat to the world's biological diversity than over the far worse threat to its linguistic diversity . . . ?

Surely, just as the extinction of any animal species diminishes our world, so does the extinction of any language.

Michael Krauss, «The world's languages in crisis», in Language, vol.68, n.1 ; Washington, DC : Linguistic Society of America, march 1992 (excerpt La Litera información)


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