Linguistic and Ecological Diversity

Suzanne Romaine

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199744084
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Linguistic and Ecological Diversity

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After outlining the current state of linguistic diversity and language endangerment, this chapter examines the nature of the geographic interface between linguistic and ecological diversity. It explains why the extinction of languages is part of the larger picture of near-total collapse of the worldwide ecosystem, and why languages are vital parts of complex local ecologies that must be supported if global biodiversity is to be maintained. In view of the strong relationship between areas of potential endangerment for species and for languages and their associated cultures, the chapter suggests that integrated strategies need to be developed to ensure the survival of both human diversity and biological diversity on our rapidly globalizing planet.

Keywords: linguistic diversity; biolinguistic diversity; language endangerment; globalization; biological diversity

Article.  7990 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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