Tag Archives: Pitkern

English’s offspring

English is descended from Anglo-Saxon, which is descended from Proto-Germanic. French is descended from Latin. Both are descended from Proto-Indo-European. Fine, fine. What about the future? What will be descended from English?

Future? What about the present? English already has descendants! I talk about a few of them in my latest article for the BBC:

How English gave birth to surprising new languages


What do we do when a language is dying?

The Pitkern language is dying. It’s dying because it has a small number of speakers and it’s not the language of opportunity for the youngest generations, who are moving away to Australia and New Zealand. Even the Pitkern-language version of Wikipedia has been proposed for closure – twice. What can we do? What should we do? Is saving endangered languages like saving endangered species? Are there reasons to let a language die? I look at all this in my latest article for The Week… and when it comes to Pitkern, there’s an additional twist. Read it now:

Why do we fight so hard to preserve endangered languages?