Language Loss: Native American Languages Essay

Language Loss: Native American Languages Essay

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If one walks through one of the large cities’ streets in our country. They will hear and experience a variety of languages. Our history and tradition of being a land of immigrants is reflected in the languages we speak. This means that the USA is home to a vast number of languages, one would be hard pressed to find a language that is not spoken in the U.S. The official list as the number of languages spoken in the United States go as high as 322. The most spoken and prominent languages in the country being English, Spanish, and French. English has the highest number of speakers with 215 million. Spanish is the second most spoken language with 28 million speaker. The French language is the third most spoken language with a million and a half speakers in the U.S (Many Languages).
If one goes through the list of languages that are spoken in the U.S. They would recognize familiar languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, or Greek. Each of these languages have their own large number of speakers. But if one is continuing through the list they would begin to see less familiar languages each with dwindling number of speakers. The numbers for these languages dwindle from the millions to the hundred thousands, continuing to the tens of thousands, to the hundreds and even down to the tens (Many Languages).
Among this long list of languages there is a group of Native American languages. These are the languages that are spoken by the Native American population. The most prominent Native American language being the Navajo language with 178 thousand speakers. The number of speakers continually decrease until we reach the bottom of the list. At the bottom of the list is the Kalispel language with a mere four speakers. This is a tremendous gap of speake...

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...ngerment." Stabilizing Indigenous Languages (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. .
"Many Languages, One America." Many Languages, One America. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Moskowitz, Clara. "Native Americans Fight to Save Endangered Languages." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
"Preserving Native American Languages." The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
Weston, Jennifer, and Barbara Sorensen. "Awakening a Sleeping Language on Cape Cod: The Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project | Cultural Survival." Awakening a Sleeping Language on Cape Cod: The Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project | Cultural Survival. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Woodbury, Anthony C. "Linguistic Society of America." What Is an Endangered Language? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.

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