Saturday, July 7, 2012


From "Vanishing Voices," text and photo piece by Russ Rymer and Lynn Johnson in the July 2012 issue of National Geographic, the term means "a necklace of yellow stone beads." It is a word from India's Aka language, whose speakers number between 1000 and 2000.  According to the magazine, "The Aka have more than 26 words to describe beads."

My questions are

Direct: Why does the Aka language have so many (is 26 many?) words to describe beads?

Tangential: What do linguists mean when they say a language has died of natural causes?

An endangered language: matchstick or shooting star?
[photo: The Telegraph]

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