Language death  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In linguistics, language death (also language extinction, linguistic extinction, and sometimes pejoratively as linguicide) is a process that affects speech communities where the level of linguistic competence that speakers possess of a given language idiom is decreased.

Total language death occurs when there are no speakers of a given language idiom remaining in a population where the idiom was previously used (i.e. when all native speakers die). Language death may affect any language idiom, including dialects and languages.

The study of language loss at the individual level focuses on what is lost - a first language (L1) or a second language (L2) - and where it is lost - in an L1 or L2 environment.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Language death" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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