07-15-2013, 05:25 PM #1On Time Out
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
World's newest language discovered in the isolated Australian village of Lajamanu
World's newest language discovered in remote Australian town (but only 350 people speak it and they're all under 35). (Daily Mail)
A new language has been discovered in a small outback Australian town.
The language, now known as Light Warlpir, is used in Lajamanu, a tiny desert community located half-way between Darwin and Alice Springs, on the edge of the Tanami Desert.
All residents speak traditional 'strong' Warlpiri and some speak Kriol, an English-based creole developed in the late 19th century.
Carmel O'Shannessy, a professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor documented the discovery of Light Warlpiri, first discovered the language when she began working in a school in the Northern Territory where traditional Warlpiri was being taught to children.
She noticed that some of the students appeared to switch between several languages in conversation.
'After a while, I realised this switching took place in every sentence, and I decided to investigate it," O'Shannessy said.
'Once I recorded children speaking, I looked at the patterns and I could see that there were very striking systematic patterns. It was then that I realised this was a system of its own.'
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