Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Language revival is the revival, by governments, political authorities, or enthusiasts, to recover the spoken use of a language that is no longer spoken or learned at home. Language death is the process by which a language ceases to be used by the people who formerly spoke it. Language revival seeks to bring back a language that is dead or endangered.
Perhaps the most celebrated example of successful language revival is the Hebrew language, which now exists as a living tongue in daily use in the state of Israel. Other official attempts to revive endangered languages, such as the promotion of the Irish language in the Republic of Ireland (see Gaelic Revival), have met with less success. Some other endangered languages that have been the subject of revivalist campaigns by enthusiasts or governments include:
In Europe, in the 19th and early 20th century, local languages' use declined as central governments imposed their language as the standard (this was the case in France, Spain or Italy). In the last few decades, local nationalism and human rights movements have made a more multicultural policy standard in European states. Campaigns have raised the profiles of local languages to such an extent that in some European regions, the local languages have acquired the status of official languages, along with the national language.
The Council of Europe's action in this area (see European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages) is in contrast to the European Union's granting of official status to a restricted number of official languages (see Languages of the European Union).
The UN estimates that more than half of the languages spoken today have fewer than 10,000 speakers and that a quarter have fewer than 1,000 speakers and that, unless there are some efforts to maintain them, over the next hundred years most of these will become extinct.
The Endangered Language Fund is a fund dedicated to the preservation and revival of endangered languages.
- List of revived languages
- List of extinct languages
- List of endangered languages
- Language policy
- Minority language
- Regional language
- List of language regulators
- Finland's language strife
- Endangered Languages : Language Loss and Community Response (ISBN 0521597129)
- Language Death (ISBN 0521012716)
- Vanishing Voices (ISBN 0195152468)
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