Ishi was the last surviving member of the Yahi, a subdivision of the Yand Indian tribe of northern California. Living in virtual isolation from white society, he and a small group of fellow Yahi pursued their traditional way of life well into the 20th century. In 1911, after the last of his kinspeople had died, Ishi came to live in the University of California anthropology museum in San Francisco. There, he worked with linguists and anthropologists to preserve a record of Yahi language and culture. In these recordings, Ishi recorded and interpreted Yahi myths, songs, and historical narratives, which represents a range of subjects, both spoken word and song, performed by this last remarkable survivor of his tribe, the Yahi. Ishi died of tuberculosis in 1916. With the death of Ishi not only he died, but also a primitive culture and a language died. Today many languages are globally dying, because there are not enough people to speak that language. As many as half of the estimated 6,000 languages spoken on earth are dying; that is, they are spoken only by adults who no longer teach them to the next generation. An additional 40 percent may soon be threatened because the number of children learning them is declining measurably.
In other words, 90 percent of existing languages today are likely to die or become seriously embattled within the next century. Those leaves only about 600 languages, 10 percent of the world’s total, that remain relatively secure for now. The majority of languages in human history have passed from the scene they have fallen victim to predators, changing environments, or more successful competitors. Today, the death of the language is proceeding generically and globally, but especially in the Americas, Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Modern cultures, abetted by new technologies, are encroaching on once-isolated peoples with drastic effects on their way of life and on the environments they inhabit. Destruction of lands and livelihoods; the spread of consumerism, individualism, and other Western values; pressures for assimilation into dominant cultures; and conscious policies of repression directed at indigenous groups these are among the factors threatening the world’s biodiversity as well as its cultural and linguistic diversity. There are many reasons why languages die. There is no right estimate that how many people can speak a particular language fluently, since the Census has no way of knowing whether these are fluent speakers.
The Term Paper on Language in culture: conference on the interrelations of language and other aspects of culture
Anthropology Introduction This essay will focus on evaluating the claim that culture is perfectly understood as a symbolic classification system. Culture can be defined as cumulative deposit of beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, values, experience, roles, meanings, spatial relations, hierarchies, notions of time, possessions and material objects obtained by a group of individuals in the ...
It simply asks the rather vague and ambiguous question: “Does this person speak a language other than English at home?” But not “How well?” “How often?” or “Under what circumstances?” It causes language to fail, because we can not help that which language is dying. More often language death is the culmination of language shift, resulting from a complex of internal and external pressures that induce a speech community to adopt a language spoken by others. These may include changes in values, rituals, or economic and political life resulting from trade, migration, intermarriage, religious conversion, or military conquest. The prospects to survive a language are determined not by any intrinsic traits, or capacity for adaptation, but by social forces alone. Sometimes community decides for reasons of functional economy, to suppress a part of itself. Many multilingual parents no longer consider it necessary or worthwhile for the future of their children to communicate with them in a low-prestige language variety, and when children are no longer motivated to acquire active competence in a language which is lacking in positive connotations such as youth, modernity, technical skills, material success, education.
In Richard Lederer’s article “All American Dialects”, he states the ironic truth that “most of us are aware that large numbers of people in the U.S. speak very differently than we do.” (152) How is it that one language can have so many speech communities? It is because of the way our nation was developed. Our language is a mixture of culture and lifestyle that has diverted our English dialect, so ...
The languages at the lower end of the prestige scale retreat from ever increasing areas of their earlier functional domains, displaced by higher prestige languages, until there is nothing left for them to be appropriately used about. Languages die from both internal and external causes, operating simultaneously. On the one hand, the process always reflects forces beyond its speakers’ control: repression, discrimination, or exploitation by other groups. On the other hand, except in the case of physical genocide, languages never succumb to outside pressures alone. There must be complicity on the part of speech community itself, changes in attitudes and values that discourage teaching its vernacular to children and encourage loyalty to the dominant tongue.
Pragmatic parents tend to see advantages in raising their children mostly or entirely in English, the language of social and economic mobility. Thus every step toward modernization puts the indigenous tongue at a greater disadvantage. Gradually its sphere of usage contracts to home and hearth, religious rituals, and traditional ceremonies. In theory, stable bilingualism offers a possible antidote to language loss, but the odds for maintaining this balance decline to the extent that traditional cultures decline, thereby shrinking the domains of the ancestral tongue. Some tribes still need expert help to complete orthographies, grammar books, and dictionaries. Virtually all need assistance in developing and publishing curriculum materials. Bilingual education programs for example, at community-run schools like Rough Rock on the Navajo reservation are a major tool for promoting native-language literacy. Another key task is teacher training, complicated by the fact that Indian language speakers often lack academic credentials, while outsiders lack essential cultural and linguistic knowledge. As a result, these projects must draw on cultural resources available on reservations, relying especially on elders, the true experts in these languages.
Tribal initiative and control are essential to the success of revitalization efforts because language choices are a matter of consensus within each community. This goal is quite possible to achieve, as we know from the miraculous revival of other languages. Heroic efforts are now being made on behalf of languages with only a few elderly speakers. For other languages, especially those still being learned by children taught in bilingual education programs, and receiving tribal support, there is considerable hope. In practice, however, limited progress is being made in retarding the pace of language shift overall. This bleak situation is unlikely to change without a stronger commitment at all levels and without a substantial infusion of new resources.
CONTENT Introduction... 3 Main body 1. Language acquisition... 42.The stages of language acquisition... 52. 1. The pre linguistic stage... 72. 2.Babbling... 72. 3. One-word utterances... 92. 4.Two-word utterances... 102. 5. Telegraphic speech... 132. 6.Language learning during the pre-school period... 163. The critical period... 174. The summary of behaviour's to expect of children with normally ...