Central Australian endangered languages : so what?

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Abstract

250 years ago Australia was the home to 250-300 distinct Indigenous languages. All of these languages had dialects, which brought the total number of Indigenous languages spoken in Australia to between 800 and 1100 languages and dialects. This was a very large number of languages on a world scale. Currently it is estimated that only 18 Australian Indigenous languages are likely to survive for any length of time. Even though these languages are categorised as 'strong' and situated in remote areas, experiencing less pressure from the more dominant languages, it may not be enough to save them. The Australian Government's commissioned National Indigenous Languages Survey Report stated that if the current trend continues, no Australian language will be spoken in Australia by 2050. This is disturbing for many reasons and these reasons include the effects of such a loss on Indigenous children's education across Central Australia. These reasons are the subject of this paper. [Author abstract, ed]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalDialogue
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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