ITANAGAR: Of the 196 languages listed as endangered throughout the world by the UNESCO, 36 of them are local languages of Arunachal Pradesh, which are facing the threat of extinction in the absence of any attempt for their proper documentation.
The languages facing extinction threat in the state include Koro, Miji, Nath, Bugun, Meyor, Tangam and Puroik, representatives of the Foundation for Endangered Languages and Central Institute of Indian Languages (Mysore) told a workshop here.
Prof J P Tamuli from Gauhati University, in his keynote address on Monday said that the vulnerability of tribal languages in North East, including Arunachal Pradesh, was due to homogenisation of languages, unwritten languages and bigger languages having dominating influence on smaller ones.
“Another area that remains grim is that when our oral languages do not percolate down to the younger generations. A language is the mirror of a community and we cannot afford to lose our oral traditions. We must preserve them”, Prof Tamuli said. He also pitched for a ‘help us to help you’ method to be adopted by the communities and the investigators (the field level linguists) besides using the modern-day technologies and introducing mother tongue based multilingual activities to make the foundation of language education a strong one.
“The time has come when we should do something by using the platforms of village panchayats, schools and legislators and empower ourselves to identify the endangered languages and act accordingly for their preservation,” state Finance Minister Mr Setong Sena said,
He called upon academicians, linguists, intelligentsia and village panchayats to make concerted efforts for proper documentation and preservation of all the tribal languages, including those facing the threat of becoming extinct.
A three-day workshop on the ‘status of unwritten and endangered languages of Arunachal Pradesh’ began here Monday.
The workshop-cum-symposium is being organised by the Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies under Rajiv Gandhi University in collaboration with the Guwahati-based North East Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts.