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Language death and revival with particular focus on Celtic languages


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Perić, Ivan. (2015). Language death and revival with particular focus on Celtic languages. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Kalogjera, Damir].

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Language death is nowadays a very real and serious problem. It can affect any language and society across the world. There is not one language which can be considered safe over a long period of time. Some of them, e.g. English have really good chances to ensure their survival, but even their future cannot be guaranteed. Such languages should not, however, be concerned about their future for the time being. It is the small, minority languages which are under threat of disappearance and exactly these languages should be given a great deal of public attention and help in order to prevent them from disappearing. Each of the current 7, 102 languages in the world is equally important. Each of them has its own history, culture and communities, and none of these should be neglected. There is no backward or primitive language, because each language is beautiful in itself. To lose a language means to lose its speakers’ history passed down for generations. Language is also a very important integral part of its speakers’ identity – to lose one’s language would mean to lose one’s identity; losing a language would also mean losing a culture – crafts, clothing, dance, art, music, etc., all mutually interconnected via language, would be forgotten and lost if it was not for the language and the opportunities it provides for them to be used. Language diversity should not be seen as an obstacle to progress, but rather as a treasure – a treasure which is to be cherished and valued. If there is something to be done in order to slow down or even reverse language death, it is high time to roll up our sleeves and start working. Some people take the problem of language death for granted because the languages at risk are languages they may not have even heard of. They are not, however, aware of how fast their own languages can end up in same situations. Endangered or ‘safe’, precaution measures have to be taken to avoid language death. Revival models are the best precaution measures, because they try to slow down or stop language death. In order to succeed, these must be supported by both government and community. In cases where this union was formed, languages have been saved successfully. The six living Celtic languages described in this thesis find themselves at different levels of endangerment. Their future is by no means secure, mostly because they live for centuries next to the world’s most powerful language. On the other hand, if it was not for the revival movements, no matter how successful or unsuccessful they were, the position of the Celtic languages would definitely be much worse. Language revival models should therefore be supported no matter where, because they are the first step towards long term preservation of a language.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Kalogjera, Damir
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 12:22
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2015 12:22

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