Friday, September 20, 2013

126.4 - And Another Thing: new language being born

And Another Thing: new language being born

More cool stuff: There's a lot of concern among linguists over the fact that a lot of languages around the world are dying. However, they've now discovered one that's just been born.

It was created by children living in a remote village called Lajamanu in northern Australia. The language is called Walpipi rampaku, which means "light Walpiri."

The local language is Walpiri, now also called "strong" Walpiri. It's an aboriginal language which is spoken among about 4,000 Australian Aborigines.

But Walpiri rampaku contains elements of English, Walpiri, and Kriol, which is an English-based creole that developed in the late 1800s. Walpiri rampaku has recently emerged as a mother tongue among children, and a lot of the people under 35 years old in this village speak light Walpiri as their native language.

And the cool thing is, light Walpiri can't be a pidgin, because a pidgin requires non-native speakers, and it can't be a creole because a creole is a combination to two languages and this language actually has its own grammatical rules. This is a genuine language.

It is now so well-established among the young people in this village that the elders are wondering if Walpiri itself, the so-called strong Walpiri now, will survive. Because while the younger generation speaks both light Walpiri and strong Walpiri, they have the former as their own, preferred, native language and the concern is that in another generation the original Walpiri will disappear in the face of a new language.


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