Language News: Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongues – NatGeo News Watch

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National Geographic is covering the publication of a new scholarly article about the diversity of languages on our planet and the catastrophic predictions about how many will be left at the end of the next century.

The scholarly article, written by David Harmon and Jonathan Loh, appears in the journal of Language Documentation & Conservation.  The National Geographic article (linked below) features an interview with these two and with Luisa Maffi which highlights their Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD), a calculation of how many language we have left and where they are.  

In addition to the important work on language diversity and language distinction, this article also provides data about the language which are most commonly spoken.  English is in third place, which might surprise some people.  

Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongues – NatGeo News Watch.

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About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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