Summary Of The Film 'The Linguists'

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The film “The Linguists” follows linguists Gregory Anderson and David Harrison on their journey to learn about and document endangered languages in Bolivia, India, Arizona, and Siberia. Through their quest, they are able to interact with some of the few remaining speakers of languages that are near death and they manage to make an impact on how these communities view their heritage language. Focusing on the moribund languages of Siberia and Arizona, it becomes evident that speakers of the heritage language feel a love for the language and the culture it represents, but went through periods of oppression and embarrassment for being speakers of a minority language that ultimately shaped their attitudes on the language. The film highlights the Chemehuevi language of a Native American tribe in Arizona, where there is only one remaining speaker. The speaker is forced to repeat words to himself and replay recordings in Chemehuevi over and over again so that he can keep the language alive, since there is no one else who knows the language. This exemplifies how drastically endangered this language is, as it is only survived by one speaker. It is evident that this man has a love for his language and a cultural attachment to it because he does not give up in keeping it alive, even if it means having to talk to himself repeatedly. The local majority language that killed off Chemehuevi was English, as it kept being imposed on younger generations until it was ultimately the only

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