Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dead Tongues

According to Ethnologue, an organization that studies dialects and provides them with written scripts, the following European dialects are dead:
  • Dalmatian (Italian dialect in Croatian)
  • Saami/Kemi (Finland)
  • Frankish
  • Polabean (Slavic language of Germany)
  • Cappadocian (Greek dialect of Turkey, community resettled)
  • Prussian (German dialect of Poland)
  • Slavonic
  • Guanche (Berber dialect of Spain)
  • Mozarabic (Spanish with Arabic influences)
  • Ubykh (Caucasian language, community forced into exile by Russia)
  • Gothic
  • Hiberno-Scottish
  • Manx
  • Norn
  • Knaanic (Judeo-Czech)
  • Shuadit (Judeo-Proven├žal)
  • Zarphatic (Judeo-French)
  • Karaim (Karaite language, related to Hebrew, nearly extinct)
Only six or seven of these dialects can be said to have died a natural death. The others were subjected to some sort of national or ethnic conflict, resettlement, or genocide.

(Thanks to Brdgt and Ralph Luker for the link.)

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