Don't Cry for Eyak
THE SOURCE: “The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English” by John McWhorter, in World Affairs Journal, Fall 2009.
In 2008, the last native speaker of Eyak died in southern Alaska. Her death, and that of her mother tongue, was the subject of international news media attention. Observers mourned the loss of another indigenous language, one of thousands that are expected to meet the same fate in the next 100years.
Get over it, says Columbia University linguist John McWhorter. The passing of these languages is not as meaningful as some think, and strenuous efforts to keep them alive are unlikely tosucceed.
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