Friday, 10 February 2017

What causes language extinction?

More recently,we heard that in no distance time,many African languages will go into extinction,or die. Many would ask: How can a language or languages with a great number of speakers ever go on extinct? Is it possible? When it was said in a Linguistics class that by the time all the old people die in their villages,having no longer any younger speaker to continue the use of their native language,many wonder if that could be the only cause for language extinction. We say no. Then what else are the causes of language extinction?

Among other things that could cause language go into extinct is natural disaster. This natural disaster include famine,which can make a  whole community of a language speaker run away from their community,separate from one another,and lost touch with one another. These people having left their community relocate to another speech community  where a different language is spoken,and before you know it,they would have started speaking a different language or languages,living theirs,since it is not the language of their present community.

Another type of natural disaster that could make a language go into extinct is genocide. This is a situation,whereby a whole community can be possibly raised down by war, battle,or diseases. There are no two ways that if no member of such community survives the plague,their language will go into extinct as there will be no one alive to speak it.

Another thing that can cause language extinction is code switching and code mixing. This is a situation whereby speakers of a language mix two different languages that are none related. Code switching  and code mixing can send languages into extinct in the sense that by the time speakers of a language pick up grammars from other languages,it then makes language speakers abandon some of their context.

Have you notice that Africans now love giving English names to their children,leaving behind their own native names? This too,can cause language extinction. In our next article,we are going to see how, borrowing names can cause language extinction. Please join us again!!!

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