Choosing linguistic autarchy

An indigenous language in southern Mexico is in danger of disappearing because its last two speakers have stopped talking to one another.

The two elderly men in the village of Ayapan, Tabasco, have drifted apart, said Fernando Nava, head of the Mexican Institute for Indigenous Languages.

Are they really the last two speakers left?  The odd part of the story is this:

Dr Nava played down reports of an argument between the two Ayapan residents, both in their 70s.  "We know they are not to say enemies, but we know they are apart.  We know they are two people with little in common," he told the BBC News website.

They nonetheless have been nominated to play the role of linguistic saviors:

The indigenous languages institute is trying to encourage more local people to speak Ayapan Zoque, and hopes the two men will pass the language on to their families.


Comments for this post are closed