Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tongue Tied

The scenic,sun-kissed shores of Andaman and Nicobar islands recently let out a collective sigh of grief and mainland was shrouded in a veil of eerie silence.The only surviving speakers(Boro and Boa)of two great Andamanese languages(Khoro and Bo)had breathed their last.Their passing admist the sound of the lapping waves,also echoed a death knell -not just for two native tongues,but also for the historical,cultural and ecological wisdom accumulated over thousands of years by their ancestors who spoke that language.It might not be too long before witness a similar tragedy again.
Experts says that as many as 196 languages in India are on the brink of extinction today.According to a study by UNESCO,the world loses one language  every 14 days.Which means,in less than 100 years,the human civilisation will be bereft of more than half of its 7000 languages.

A countdown to extinction seems inevitable for several languages in India.While developing over the extinction of languages,one of the fundamental questions we face is why and how does a mother tongue die?
 Professor Anvita Abbi,from the Centre for Linguistics,School of Language,Literature and Cultural Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University who has undertaken a project called "Vanishing Voices of the Andamanese"
 to document the languages spoken by the tribes in these islands,believes that time is running out for many languages in the Indian subcontinent.
She reveals,"There are just about 50 people remaining who speak the Great Andamanese languages like Sare and Jeru.The other two languages in this category,Khoro and Bo,were lost following the death of the last speakers.About 150 years ago,the religion could boast of 10 languages under the Greater Andamanese."

So,we have to do something for the vanishing languages of our own civilisation and religion we should atleast put this topic to the government concern so that these things may not happen.


Anonymous said...

hey i have writtn ds article in my site a few days ago!!!wht a coinxidnce???

ravali said...

hey yes it is a coincidence but this was actually my thoughts which i share in my blog,consider me a socialist,hehe.thank you for your comment.keep visiting.