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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Language extinction is not new — however, languages are becoming extinct today at an alarming rate.
How Do Languages Become Endangered?
A language starts to become endangered when intergenerational transmission begins to decrease (i.e. the language ceases to be passed on to children as a first language). As older generations of speakers pass away, fewer and fewer people are left who speak the language.