Hebrew and Armenian as Case Studies of Language Endangerment and Rejuvenation

Alex Muck, Armine Mkrtchyan, Gagik Hovhannisyan, Fiona Choi, Sara Ohannessian

Language endangerment is an important yet relatively unknown threat in our world today. As the world continues to become more globalized, languages not spoken by the majority run the risk of dying out due to people adopting languages that are more widely spoken. This study focuses on how the speakers of minority languages, such as Hebrew and Armenian, view their language and its relation to their culture to assess the risk these languages face of being replaced or going extinct. Evidence was gathered from one-on-one interviews with native speakers of the language. These interviews shed light on the central themes surrounding the usage of these languages, primarily that they are important anchors for diasporic communities to connect more closely with their heritage, rather than just being used for communication. Based on our findings, we tried to understand how languages that face endangerment may be preserved so that the cultures that rely on them do not suffer from their loss.

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