What is linguistic diversity, and why is it so important? The current issue of Terralingua’s E-Magazine, Langscape, “The Case for Linguistic Diversity”, sheds light on these questions and illuminates them with new insights. This issue introduces our readers to one of Terralingua’s innovative projects, the Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD), and provides a comprehensive companion to the work of ILD developers David Harmon and Jonathan Loh. “If linguistic diversity is part and parcel of the diversity of life in nature and culture, then any loss in linguistic diversity is a loss in the vitality and resilience of the whole web of life.” Luisa Maffi, from Introduction to Langscape 8.
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Language Diversity Index Tracks Global Loss of Mother Tongues. David Braun of National Geographic News Watch interviewed Maffi, David Harmon, and Jonathan Loh about the Index of Linguistic Diversity. “For the past several years, we had been hearing anecdotal reports about endangered languages–how we’re losing languages by the day, how we may lose 50-90 percent of languages before the end of the century. But nobody had any reliable quantitative data to corroborate these claims,” says Luisa Maffi, co-founder and director of Terralingua. “But now a new Index of Linguistic Diversity (ILD), the first of its kind, shows quantitatively, for the first time, what’s really happening with the world’s languages.”
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