Friday, January 25, 2008

Oldest Native Eyak Speaker Dead

Marie Smith Jones, the last full-blooded member of Alaska's Eyak Indians and the last fluent speaker of their native language, has died. She was 89. The Eyaks live near Prince William Sound, Alaska.

She worked with a linguist to compile an Eyak dictionary and grammar.

Undoubtedly there is a need to provide a record of the Eyak language in digital form on the internet.

There are 7,000 unique languages spoken on this planet. One language is lost every two weeks. Now another human language and part of a culture are gone.

A recent movie, The Linuists, describes the relevance of this, as well as the pursuit of some lesser known languages.

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