Last month on the EL trail

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It's been a while since I've been on the endangered languages beat. Here are a couple of links of recent writings on the topic for those who are interested.


  1. Chris Croy said,

    August 6, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    From the first link: "Raising sheep, yaks, and goats on the Siberian steppe is so central to Tuvan life that the vocabulary for livestock is embedded with detailed information about each animal’s age, gender, fertility, coloration."

    I bet Eskimo's have at least twice as many words for snow as they do for livestock.

  2. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    August 7, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    @Chris Croy: Having large numbers of terms for livestock actually seems pretty likely to me. Consider English's generous store of words for chickens (chicken, chick, hen, rooster, cock), cattle (cattle, cow, bull, ox, calf, heifer, beef, veal), pigs (pig, sow, boar, piglet, hog, pork), sheep (sheep, ewe, ram, lamb, mutton), deer (deer, stag, hind, doe, fawn, buck, venison), horses (horse, stallion, mare, nag, foal, gelding, yearling, filly, colt, pony), and so on. I could obvious be wrong, but somehow I doubt that any language could have as many words for snow.

    (Unfortunately, while I think the above litany demonstrates that the claim is probably true, I think it also demonstrates that the claim is probably not interesting!)

  3. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    August 7, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    s/I could obvious/I could obviously/

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