JUNE 28 2011 02:25h
Endangered language studied in Spain
The language Calo is spoken by Romani people, sometimes referred to as Gypsies, in Spain, and is one of about 5,400 languages researchers believe could become extinct before the end of this century, researchers say.
A study by Sweden's University of Gothenburg found the language may be saved because Romany adolescents have a positive attitude toward speaking and preserving the language.
'"In Spain there is considerable interest in reintroducing Calo by letting young Romanies learn the language in school," study author Pierre Andersson said. "The potential for success is largely determined by the future speakers' attitudes to the language and its [current] speakers."
Andersson studied the attitudes of both Romanies and non-Romanies to Calo and its speakers among a total of total of 230 adolescents ages 14-15.
"The results show that the adolescents, who claim to belong to the ethnic group Romanies, have positive attitudes to both Calo and Calo speakers," he said.
"The same can be said about those who have frequent contact with the language, meaning that it is spoken by somebody in their household.
"These reintroduction projects are very important to minority groups, since they may mark the end of a long history of discrimination and they facilitate appreciation of and respect for these people's ethnic heritage, both among themselves and in other groups in society."
MADRID, June 27 (UPI) -- An endangered language in Spain may be saved through a push to encourage it among the country's Romani youth, researchers say.