We live in one of the periods of great extinction. Species and languages are disappearing. There is something poignant and touching about this; though nature is merciless and appears not to regret previous losses and only responds to loss by refilling the gaps with myriad new species (um, after a while). But it makes you think, doesn’t it? A language, a whole way of thinking, a mass of knowledge, lore, legend, myth–pffftt! GONE. Listen to the recording of this woman’s voice on the BBC page.
The last speaker of an ancient language in India’s Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85, a leading linguist has told the BBC.
The death of the woman, Boa Senior, was highly significant because one of the world’s oldest languages, Bo, had come to an end, Professor Anvita Abbi said.
She said that India had lost an irreplaceable part of its heritage.
Languages in the Andamans are thought to originate from Africa. Some may be up to 70,000 years old.