To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bob Holman's "Language Matters" (PBS) on the World's 3000 Endangered Languages

A beautiful and important PBS documentary in which Bob Holman carries forward the fight to save endangered languages (3000 of them) and their attendant poetries. Language Matters asks what we lose when languages die, and how we can save them.  Writes Norman MacAfee in The Huntington Post ):
 “There are 6,000 languages in the world, and half are endangered. Those 3,000 will be gone by the end of this century if we don't do something. What are we going to do? That is the situation outlined in a new PBS documentary, Language Matters with Bob Holman, by David Grubin and Bob Holman.
"Why is saving endangered languages important?
"These 3,000 endangered languages are part of the history, and the prehistory, of humanity. They are part of prehistory because many are only spoken languages, not written, passed orally from generation to generation, down the millennia.

 Rupert Manmurulu (Australia) and Bob Holman
credit: PBS,
Language Matters with Bob Holman

 "As the linguist David Crystal writes, 'Each language is a vision of the world. Each language says something different about what it means to be human compared with any other language.'"

A great step forward toward a new & revitalized ethnopoetics.

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