Languages do not “die”, they are persecuted: A Scottish Gael’s perspective on language “loss” (by Dr Paul Meighan-Chiblow)

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Pòl air a’ mhachair ann an Uibhist a Deas (Paul on the machair in South Uist)

Two-thirds of the world’s 7000-7500 languages are Indigenous languages. One-third of Indigenous languages are experiencing language loss and “as many as 90% are predicted to fall silent by the end of the century” (McCarty, 2018, p. 23). However, languages do not simply “die”, nor do they magically disappear. All languages change over time, but language shift, endangerment, or “death” is not natural nor is it unavoidable.

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