LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Today is World Languages Day

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is World Languages Day, and it seems appropriate to announce a happy but increasingly uncommon event: the discovery of a previously unknown language in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Koro, as the language is called, is spoken by hill tribes living in the northeastern state of India called Arunachal Pradesh, near the borders with China and Burma. Its discovery bucks a trend, since linguists have estimated that at least half of the roughly 7,000 extant human languages will be dead or moribund – meaning that children will not be able to speak them – by 2100. In fact, Koro was first identified by a team of Indian language surveyors in 2003, but its findings were never published. The three linguists who announced their "discovery" of Koro last month travelled to the remote Indian province as part of National Geographic's Enduring Voices project, to record two other, little-known languages belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family, Aka and Miju, and rediscovered Koro by accident.

The Independent

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