Consequences of Language Endangerment
Around 6,000 to 5,000 languages are spoken throughout the globe today, however, it is expected that the number may decline to hundred from thousands or even below than that. As huge pressures are being faced by different communities more than ever. These pressures are mostly related to integration with regional invaders, forces or powerful neighbors which eventually lead to the loss of their own ethnic identities and their own languages.
More importantly, these pressures on languages can be military, political, religious, cultural, social, or economic or any collection of them. The individuals that can directly influence mostly are the minorities. Yet still, over the human history course, the bearers of most of the diversified languages do exist. They involve marginalized European individuals like the Basques, the Provencal, the Frisians, and the Irish, the tribal and national minorities of Oceania, Asia, and Africa speaking of thousands of more languages, the Native peoples of the Americas who are in small numbers, and the tribes of Papua New Guinea who alone have around 900 different languages.
It has been argued by various linguists that one of the extremely serious issues in the current globalized world is language endangerment as it is the one that can result in enormous scientific and humanistic consequences. The impacts of shift on communities and language loss are being considered by many anthropological linguists and sociolinguists. The procedure indeed is complexed; despite the fact, it includes different kinds of pressures. However, the loss itself at times can be both voluntary or involuntary. In either case, it is mostly perceived as the loss of a symbol of defeat by some colonial power or a loss of social identity then can take place due to the abandonment of languages. It can also forward down from one generation to another.
Moreover, the loss is not only confined to the loss of identity. But, most of the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural life of individuals be reflected through languages. This can include emotions, behavior, unique habits, ways of communicating with children, humor, communication styles, everyday greetings, technical vocabulary, oratory, poetry, ceremonies, myths, and prayers. When a language is lost, all of these factors are gone or may require to be refashioned in some other language with different grammatical structures, sounds, and word categories. As linguists are present throughout the communities. Thereby, various traditions may be lost in case of any language shifts.