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Research Chatter

Conversation with Ted B. about Unidentified Languages

I was wondering one day how many unidentified languages there are aroung the world so I skyped an expert. These were his comments.  I took notes. [my comments]
Feel free to correct this Ted if you remember differently.  🙂

139 estimated unknown languages in China.
185 South East Asia.
25 in India.

Ethnologue total is the same as then 4 years ago because languages are dying out.

6909 living languages in the 16th edition of the Ethnologue.

Living languages = 7360.
So we are about 90% done with language list. Leaves 700 languages unidentified.
[I figured 80%]

Southern Pakistan, needs work.

Nepal brand new effort with government. Will prove more languages.

Philippines 15 more languages to research.

Indonesia – Sumatra Have some languages.

Irianjaya – Have some languages.

New Guinea and Papua – still finding more small languages.

Socio-linguistic Criterion and Functional.

Socio-linguistic count to find out (Functional definition).

[a better term here could be unclassified, as there are areas where different languages are known to exist they just don’t know what they are, no survey yet]

This conversation took place on about the 15th of August 2009