Forgetting Language : Language change and language death as cases of forgetting

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GUTMAN, Ariel, 2015. Forgetting Language : Language change and language death as cases of forgetting. Workshop "Forgetting II". Jerusalem, 28. Okt 2012 - 29. Okt 2012. In: GALIZIA, Giovanni, ed., David SHULMAN, ed.. Forgetting : An Interdisciplinary Conversation. Workshop "Forgetting II". Jerusalem, 28. Okt 2012 - 29. Okt 2012. Jerusalem:Magnes Press, pp. 99-112. ISBN 978-965-493-846-4

@inproceedings{Gutman2015Forge-32051, title={Forgetting Language : Language change and language death as cases of forgetting}, year={2015}, isbn={978-965-493-846-4}, address={Jerusalem}, publisher={Magnes Press}, series={Martin Buber Society of Fellows Notebook Series}, booktitle={Forgetting : An Interdisciplinary Conversation}, pages={99--112}, editor={Galizia, Giovanni and Shulman, David}, author={Gutman, Ariel} }

2015 Forgetting Language : Language change and language death as cases of forgetting eng Languages change constantly, either because of “internal” factors, or because of “external” pressures, namely contact with other languages. In extremis, these pressures may cause the total disuse of a language, a situation which has been termed “language death”. Can these changes be seen as cases of forgetting? The paper examines some cases of language change and language death, and evaluates the pertinence of the notion of “forgetting” to these processes. Two points are underlined: First, a distinction must be made between individual-level and cultural-level forgetting, as no individual speaker is forgetting the language in the process of language change. Second, forgetting is never merely the loss of information: whenever a linguistic item is lost, it is necessarily replaced by another one. Thus, forgetting cannot be seen as the consequence of language change, but it is rather its driving motor.<br />The role of linguists and the emerging discipline of “language documentation” will be examined as well. Is the creation of a “language archive” an anti-dote to language forgetting? Can a language archive help in the revival, or reminiscence, of a language? So far, no language archive has lived up to such a hope. The revival of Modern Hebrew, though, shows that the process of language death is not necessarily irreversible. 2015-11-03T15:04:26Z 2015-11-03T15:04:26Z Gutman, Ariel Gutman, Ariel

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