A to Z Challenge / A to Z of Endangered Languages

Lengilu

Hi guys! As promised, I’m carrying on with the A to Z Challenge and I’m now at the letter L, so today we’re going to learn about the language Lengilu.

Lengilu | A-Z of Endangered Languages | 学习Sprachen

Lengilu is a language spoken in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, by only four people (Lewis, 2016), meaning that it is almost extinct. There really is not that much information about the language, except a little from Moseley (2007) about Lengliu’s grammar: “It has focussing syntax and verb structure […] The distinction between active and passive expression in the verb is a central feature. Word order is subject-verb-object, in the passive it is object-subject-verb.”

Moseley (2007) also mentions that Lengilu appears to have receded under pressure from the Lundayeh (or Lun Bawang) language, which, despite being a mainly oral language, is beginning to change and evolve with the spread of the internet and interest from linguists. It appears then, that though Lengilu will most likely disappear within the next few decades, Lundayeh, in contrast, may make more of a comeback.

References

Lewis, M. Paul, Gary F. Simons, and Charles D. Fennig (eds.). 2016. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Nineteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com.

Moseley, C., ed., 2007. Encyclopedia of the World’s Endangered Languages. Oxon: Routledge.

Further Reading

The Guardian: Language at risk of dying out – the last two speakers aren’t talking

Wikipedia: Lun Bawang language

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