Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

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Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  MurielB le Dim 4 Sep - 19:56



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_language

Wichita is an extinct Caddoan language once spoken in Oklahoma by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

Hi everyone !
I find it very sad when a language is dying because each language offers a unique perception of the world. When a language is dead, the whole wide world is diminished.

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  Sleipnir le Sam 15 Oct - 14:29

Hello,

I'm not sure it's sad. Languages that disappear are just not needed anymore. I guess I'm saying that because I live in France where all the local languages ( the so-called patois ) are dead or about to be.

I know that talking about the usefulness of a language is somehow awkward but why do people stop transmitting their native languages, why do people learn English if if it's not because it's useful?

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  MurielB le Sam 15 Oct - 16:24

Hi Sleipnir
Thanks a lot for sharing your view point on that subject and welcome to that forum. The way you express yourself shows that you speak very good English and i enjoyed reading what you have written. Anyway I think that a language is much more than useful. I would say that a language is a chain which passes the strength or weakness of the past onto the present. In other words our ancestors' language  and culture are transmitted  to us and are part of our unconscious self.  A couple of years ago I read a very interesting book from Anne Ancelin showing that our ancestors' life, culture, way of speaking had an impact on our own life.
http://www.babelio.com/livres/Ancelin-Schtzenberger-Aie-mes-aieux-/126623

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  gerardM le Sam 15 Oct - 18:04

Hi Sleipnir,

Welcome to the Café polyglotte sur le Net \

Regarding your words, I won't respond exhaustively but just thru a few short sentences.
- there're oodles of useless things in the world: it's named culture: paintings, novels, history, films, danses, old buildings, etc
- there're oodles of useless things in France and our politicians had to fight, explain and got "Exception culturelle"; several other countries just didn't understand, then other European countries approved France...
- many patois were killed! They were forbidden by "Paris". in the Middle Ages already, the Langue d'Oc was attacked though it was far richer than the Langue d'Oï but the south of France was not keen on weapons, and Eleanor d'Aquitaine didn't help (she rather betrayed)
- in Brittany a few decades ago, there were posters on buses that said: "It's forbidden to spit and to speak Breton"; at schools, in France, speaking patois was punished and the faulty students humiliated
- in the regions, useless things are coming back (danses, signs in patois...) in addition to French, English and other invader's customs.

~~ edit
Nowadays scientists are very happy to unearth old Inca cities, study the civilization and are keen on discovering marvels they could do.

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  Remy le Dim 16 Oct - 10:23

I know Wichita. For it's the title of a song from Cats on trees.

Sleipnir,
welcome,
people speak english because it is very useful, when they travel or work all over the world.
But diversity make richness, as the dicton says. It's important to keep national languages and even local patois, because it's part of our roots. It doesn't mean we are old fashioned, but it is part of our personality. We are not robots...Smile

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  Sleipnir le Dim 16 Oct - 16:48

Hello and thank you for your kind welcome messages.

To put it in a nutshell I'm greatly in favor of minority languages or patois in France. I don't see that many signs of their reviving but I would love to. My point was that people choose what's best for them. The Wichita people now speak English and you can't blame them.

@gerardM: nothing prevent the Bretons from speaking their language anymore, yet they don't. I guess those posters only made them change languages faster.
@MurielB: I have an email from you but I can't reply anywhere so I'll answer here. I'm from Metz. I speak French and English, along some German and Spanish . Of course I'm interested in many others but I'm not proficient enough in any of them.

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  gerardM le Dim 16 Oct - 17:41

Hi,

> The Wichita people now speak English and you can't blame them.
True that Culture is something for the rich, and this is not at the base of Maslow's pyramid of needs.

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  Sleipnir le Dim 16 Oct - 18:26

Hi,

Has the mother tongue something to do with wealth? I don't think so. If culture is in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs it's maybe part of stage 3: belonging.

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  MurielB le Dim 16 Oct - 20:09

Thanks a lot Sleipnir. I have just updated your profile !

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Re: Last remaining speaker of the Wichita language dies at 89

Message  gerardM le Dim 16 Oct - 23:08

Hi Sleipnir,
Sleipnir a écrit:Hi,

Has the mother tongue something to do with wealth? I don't think so. If culture is in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs it's maybe part of stage 3: belonging.
> True that Culture is something for the rich
I meant that in my youth, in my birth region (Provence), we didn't have any sign in Provençal.
I personally didn't care much about this dialect nor the guys who fought for it (Mistral, the Felibrige, etc.); langue d'Oc was not that important; afterwards, I realized how rich and advanced these pays de Langue d'Oc were.

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