Research on 2,400 languages shows nearly half the world’s language diversity is at risk

Tree of languages.

The UN has declared 2022–2032 the Decade of Indigenous Languages. Image: Pexels/Jorge Luis

Hedvig Skirgård
Postdoctoral researcher, Australian National University
Simon Greenhill
Associate Professor, University of Auckland
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We had to read a lot of books for the Grambank project.
The research team built up Grambank by reading many books about language rules. Image: Conversation/Hedvig Skirgård
World map of languages included in the Grambank dataset.
The colour represents grammatical similarity – the more similar the colours, the more similar the grammars. Image: Conversation/Skirgård et al. (2023)

Barplot of grammatical diversity (functional richness) across regions. Light green shows the current diversity, dark green shows the remaining diversity left after endangered languages are removed.
Light green shows current diversity, dark green shows the remaining diversity left after endangered languages are removed. Image: The Conversation/Author

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