One of the first things you learn in Oaxaca is that it contains a majority of Mexico's indigenous peoples. "The state of Oaxaca is the most linguistically diverse area of Mesoamerica and its 36,820 square miles (95,400 km2) contain at least 100 mutually unintelligible linguistic variants
"The principal language used in Oaxaca city and the region of Oaxaca is Mexican Spanish, however, the geographical topography throughout the Valles Centrales (Central Valleys) has lead to isolation between communities. Thus each ethnic group has managed to maintain their own distinct sense of identity, preserving traditional norms and along with them, their language.
The Oaxaca languages which continue to be used on a regular basis around the entire region are attributed to each of the 16 ethnic groups which inhabit the region. ...
Many of these languages continue to be used frequently and are in no danger of language death, however, there have been warnings about little used Ixcatec, Chontal and Zoque. There are some moves to raise awareness to encourage schools to take notice of each child's mother tongue and provide ample education in this language. For now however, the future of the majority Oaxaca's languages is safe and will continue to thrive in their induvidual communities, adding to the richness of the culture." (What Oaxaca)
Today's topic was triggered by an article on texting, another fascinating topic.
"Samuel Herrera, who runs the linguistics laboratory at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Mexico City, found young people in southern Chile producing hip-hop videos and posting them on YouTube using Huilliche, a language on the brink of extinction.
Herrera also discovered teens in the Phillippines and Mexico who think it's "cool" to send text messages in regional endangered languages like Kapampangan and Huave.
Almost as soon as text messaging exploded on the world stage as a means to reach anyone, anywhere, and anytime, young people began to find a way to scale it back, make it more exclusive and develop their own code or doublespeak to use on the widely-used devices. ... In fact, according to Dr. Gregory Anderson, young people need to be the ones reviving a dying language. The director of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages in Salem, Oregon, says that somewhere between the ages of six and 25, people make a definitive decision whether or not to say to stay or break with a language.
'If the language isn't being used by their peer group, then they reject it categorically,' Anderson concluded."
Stay tuned for an upcoming discussion of texting expressions and other new words now incorporated into the Online Oxford Dictionary.