One language disappears every 14 days

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One of the world’s 7,000 distinct languages disappears every 14 days, an extinction rate exceeding that of birds, mammals or plants, researchers said Tuesday.

At least 20% of the world’s languages are in imminent danger of becoming extinct as their last speakers die off, compared with about 18% of mammals, 8% of plants and 5% of birds.

The extinction of a language translates into a loss of knowledge, said K. David Harrison, associate director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and a linguist at Swarthmore College.

Read more: D. Harrison

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