Dying Languages

Topics: Linguistics, Writing, Cognition Pages: 2 (539 words) Published: April 9, 2013
El 50 Comparison paper

The first article which is Kenan Malik's "Let Them Die" is an essay which comes to conform to declining statuses of the languages and the inevitable deaths of their lives. He states in the first few paragraphs about the mere facts that protecting dying languages are a lost cause and some people such as anthropologists and some linguists that the death of languages is also the death of the culture itself. He disagrees to the fact that the death of languages are caused by influences of globalization and of ancient cultures which are said by some preservationists. He contradicts them saying that it is actually beneficial that communication improves and so does human well being. He also is pointing out that preservationists disregard the facts of these languages to be connected into the mainstream culture and exclude themselves from the advantages or rather the benefits from it.

The second essay which is written by Napoli and Lee entitled "What do we do when Languages Die? And who cares?" Is more one why we need to preserve languages despite it's irreversible faith of dying. In the essay, she has three main points why languages should be kept alive, at least for the meantime. Their first point is that languages encode whole culture and belief systems. Their second point is that languages are structured and shows insights on how human minds organizes information. Their third point is that language death goes down the same road as the erosion or decay of our human knowledge base.

As far as comparing these two essays, Malik stands on the grounds to let languages die out to help benefit the development of communication and human well being seeming to be like a capitalist in linguistics. For Napoli and Lee, their standpoint is that we should at least record languages since they embody culture, belief systems, that languages can show the structured and insights of human mind organization, and if left unnoticed, the erosion of human...
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