Saturday, October 16, 2010
Students often ask how many languages there are in the world, which is a trickier question to answer than you might guess at first. Several problems with identifying the number of languages revolve around varying definitions of language (as opposed to dialect) and language death; however, a more exciting issue with counting the number of languages is that linguists still haven't identified them all. A recent discovery of Koro, a language spoken in rural India, made the news last week, with stories about it in The New York Times and on CNN. Finding a new language is rather exciting and reminds us linguists that we still have more to discover about language.