Scientists have warned that half of all the 6800 unique human languages which exist today will have disappeared by the end of the century. Valuable ethnographic and cultural information disappears when a language is lost.
Studies of different languages have already revealed vastly different ways of representing and interpreting the world. Some Native American languages, for example, reveal a completely different understanding of the nature of time.
But just as many minority languages are dying out, the languages that dominate the globe, such as Chinese, English and Spanish, are becoming increasingly varied and complex. [Via: NewScientist.com news service]