were placed on an ENDANGERED list.
This means actions need be taken to locate,understand and retrieve
languages of the people and lands beneath our changed Empires&borders.
For some,it may be too late-no native speakers of ancient languages exist
for Raetic,Etruscan or Lemnian(part of the Tyrrhenian language family)
Agglutinate Elamite was once spoken in Mesopotamia (along with Sumerian &Akkadian),
but its pictograms and logographic symbols pre-date Sumerian cuneiform,and remain lost to us.
The Hittite Empire of the Mitanni Kingdom spoke Hurrian.We cannot translate .
Ancient Vinca ("Old European")pre-dates both Sumerian Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics.A mystery!
The Siculi of Sicily came from Liguria or Latium.They spoke Sicel.We cannot translate.
Same with Ainu from Hokkaido.Even using Japanese Kana characters,its meanings are lost to us.
As are Sumerian cuneiform meanings.BUT Basque languages survive because they are still spoken!(Unlike Etruscan)
North and South Picene was spoken by the Picentes people of Italy.They have long gone.We do not understand Picene
The secret is simple-do not exterminate indigenous.Languages are lost to us when their speakers are muted,
whether by death or proscription.Let living tongues wag in diversity and oral vernacular.
Let us learn from our elders and ancestors.Always,often and well-let us listen,preserve and tell our children
the many ways speech protects and preserves our genetic,linguistic and cultural heritages..
"The first prayer is listening.The second prayer is respect!"