September 06, 2010

A sensible attitude towards language extinction

Kurt F. J. Heinrich writes in a letter to Science about the extinction of languages:
We may, as outsiders, deplore such an evolution, but language is a practical tool. We do not advocate returning to the steam engine, the slide rule, or the logarithmic table. The drastic reduction of the number of languages is natural, unavoidable, and—from the viewpoint of communication and integration into a world community—desirable.

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