What do endangered species and minority languages have in common? Both face the possibility of going extinct.
And, for the latter, researchers found at least one reason why. In a study published Wednesday in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B, researchers from the University of Cambridge in England found that economic growth contributes to vanishing languages. Here's how they did it:
Dr. Tatsuya Amano is a zoologist — not a linguist — at Cambridge and the study's lead author. He and other researchers used criteria from an international conservation organization — typically used for endangered animals — to evaluate the extinction risk for the world's 7,000 human languages.