In a previous post I wrote about the parallels between the loss of languages and the loss of biodiversity. I was interested in the external forces that drove both biodiversity and languages to the margins, often resulting in extinction. A recent article discusses the findings of a new report which establishes a direct link between the loss of biodiversity and loss of languages. The authors of the report claim that “the steep declines in both languages and nature mirror each other”, and “linguistic diversity is declining as fast as biodiversity – about 30% since 1970.”
Arundhati Roy writes about the vital importance of retaining sustainable knowledge and practices of the indigenous communities in India in her article Re-imagining a world beyond capitalism and communism. She argues that the way forward exists in a space outside of the dominant ideologies of capitalism and communism.
What are the parallels between the loss of languages and the loss of biodiversity?
In We Haven’t Spoken For All Languages, Claire Bowern discusses the loss of languages around the world and the efforts to catalogue and ‘save’ these dying languages. The loss of languages is a concern as languages are the repository of so much more than just words, grammar and speech. As Bowern eloquently explains:
A world of our own making is an interesting essay exploring the past, present and future, connected through a single image of the earth taken from one of the missions to the moon in the 1960s. This image was later called ‘Earthrise’. The essay asks if we are about to embark on a brave new age, the Antropocene – an age of humans.
‘Earthrise’ – Photo: NASA