DNA Analysis Reveals Missing Link in European Ancestry
Currently, the majority of languages spoken in Europe belong to the Indo-European family, a huge group comprising more than 400 languages and dialects spoken across Asia and Europe. In modern Europe there are also representatives of the Uralic, Mongolian, Turkic, and Semitic language families. This latest research supports the “Steppe hypothesis” that the Indo-European family of languages was introduced by inhabitants of the Russian steppes. However, it competes with the “Anatolian hypothesis”, according to which the first speakers of these languages were the Near Eastern farmers who moved to Europe seven or eight millennia ago. Link to the full article HERE
The effects of bilingualism on the white matter structure of the brain
This article fills an important gap in the literature on structural changes in the brain that are induced by speaking two languages. It has been suggested that early lifelong bilingualism affects the structure of white matter (WM) of the brain and preserves its integrity in older age. Here we show that similar WM effects are also found in bilingual individuals who learn their second language (L2) later in life and are active users of both languages. This finding presents a strong argument for the general benefits of additional language learning and the importance of language learning and use in a naturalistic environment. Link to the full article HERE
Language, Identity & Power- What Future for Minority Languages in Europe?
On 24 February 2015, Csaba Sógor MEP organized a conference entitled “Language, Identity & Power: What Future for Minority Languages in Europe”, with Herbert Dorfmann (EPP) and Jill Evans (EFA/Greens) MEPs, in cooperation with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the European Free Alliance (EFA) and the Centre Maurits Coppieters (CMC). The conference explored the different possible arrangements for linguistic minorities in Europe, evaluating how the European Union and the Council of Europe could strengthen minority and regional language protection and promotion within their legal framework. Many speakers agreed that the European Parliament has the right to initiate legislation, but it doesn’t use it sufficiently in terms of linguistic minority protection and promotion.
The high turnout to the conference showed the importance of implementing legal frameworks and concrete measures aimed at protecting and promoting regional and minority languages in Europe. Future activities on this topic are planned in order to raise more awareness and develop concrete strategies to reach these goals. Furthermore, the EPP Group is organizing a hearing on national minorities in Europe on the 22nd of April. Link to the full article HERE
App to revitalise an ancient language
Translations between the Wiradjuri and English languages - there will soon be an app for that, and the Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest at Dubbo will play a part in its development.
NSW Aboriginal affairs minister Victor Dominello on Sunday announced $185,000 in funding for the development of an app to support the maintenance and revitalisation of five Aboriginal languages in NSW.
He said the app, through mobile devices, would provide audio recordings of commonly used words and phrases in the languages of Bundjalung, Gamilaraay/ Yuwaalaraay/ Yuwaalayaay, Gumbaynggirr, Paakantji and North West Wiradjuri. Link to the full article HERE