News FocusPROFILE: DENNY MORE

Learning to Speak the Amazon's Languages

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Science  11 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5592, pp. 353-355
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5592.353

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Summary

Of the estimated 1200 languages spoken in the Amazon Basin 500 years ago, at least three-quarters have disappeared. Many of the remaining languages are spoken by 50 or fewer individuals. Linguist Denny Moore is recording these endangered languages. He and his team also hope to reconstruct the extinct language from which some of the modern versions evolved.