The Language Counting Paradox

From MinuteEarth.

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Lots of languages and species are going extinct, but because others keep getting found or described, the official counts of languages and species are still increasing.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
– Language death: when a language loses its last known native speaker.
– Species extinction: the termination of a species by the death of its last member.
– the world’s foremost authority on the languages of the world and their current status.

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David Goldenberg | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Lizah van der Aart | Storyboard Artist
Sarah Berman | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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Lizah van der Aart • Sarah Berman • Cameron Duke
Arcadi Garcia i Rius • David Goldenberg • Melissa Hayes
Alex Reich • Henry Reich • Peter Reich
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Anderson, S. (2012). Languages, Species, and Biological Parallels. Oxford University Press Blog.

McWhorter, J. (2016). What’s a Language, Anyway?. The Atlantic. Retrieved from:

IUCN RedList. (2024). Summary Statistics.

Ritchie, H. (2022). How Many Species Are There? Our World in Data.

Eberhard, Dave. (2024). Personal Communication. Senior Linguistics Consultant for Ethnologue.

Brown, E. (2018). Millennial Aboriginal Australians Have Developed Their Own Language. Atlas Obscura.