Month: February 2013

Waking a Sleeping Language

An instructor once told our class that it was possible to resurrect a dead language, or rather, to awaken a sleeping language. He used Latin as an example (some say it is a sleeping language because of its lack or scarcity of native speakers, and some say it really isn’t because there’s the Vatican). Nevertheless, Latin was used only as an example.

Now that instructor told us that in order to revitalize Latin (or to grant Latin some native speakers), you ought to:

1. Learn Latin (from phonology to syntax to grammar, etc.)

2. Bear a child.

3. Expose said child to your variety of Latin.

4. Latin becomes the child’s L1 or native language.

5. Thus, you have the first native speaker of Latin.

I actually thought that was a good idea at first…and why not? Here’s a way to revive a dead sleeping language.

But I don’t know about you. Do you have any brighter ideas how we can revive sleeping languages? That is, of course, assuming that we have the structure of that language documented thoroughly.

Oh and should Latin be considered a sleeping language?

Fragment by Jos…

Fragment by Jose Garcia Villa

Anchored Angel