Is language extinction the hallmark of the Anthropocene?
Schlobohm, Gina. 2018. Is language extinction the hallmark of the Anthropocene? -- Lambda Alpha Journal, v.48, p.40-49
The Anthropocene is the geological epoch that we are currently living in and is characterized by human effects on the world and atmosphere on a global scale, starting around the 18th century (Crutzen & Stoermer 2000). The beginning of the Anthropocene is under debate but there are several topics that are focused on when discussing the Anthropocene. These topics primarily focus on climate change, extinction, industrialization, and globalization. All of these subjects lead back to human activity and the implications of those actions. One theme that is receiving little attention in relation to the Anthropocene is that of language extinction. The previously listed topics all depend on language. How could industrialization have occurred if humans were not able to cooperate and build factories to produce goods? Would transportation technology have advanced into automobiles if there was no way to communicate ideas? These events were set into motion by the abilities of people to communicate needs, ideas, and experiences. All aspects of the Anthropocene center around human activities and their influence on the world but little attention is drawn to how they were able to achieve their aspirations.