Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Saving the mother tongue 6/2

Carly Yuenger

On today's show we speak with linguist Daniel Kaufman and Ho-Chunk Nation Language Division Manager Richard Mann about the growing interest among researchers and native speakers in preserving endangered languages.

For some, it's about identity, for others it's about the human story and the idea that linguistic diversity is as important as biodiversity or cultural diversity. For still others, preserving languages that are on the brink of extinction is essential to the scientific study of language and the human mind. No matter which was you look at it, there's something magical in hearing a language you've never heard or in speaking with someone in their native tongue for the first time, telling us that the preservation effort is worth it.

Check out the video below for an after-show conversation between Jean and Richard Mann:

Take a listen to the program, or help fill in the conversation by leaving a comment below with your thoughts and experiences of "the mother tongue." Then, check out the rest of our "World of Language Series."

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