A parrot saved a dying tongue: truth or fiction?

There are many languages in the world that are on the verge of extinction. One such language is the language of eastern Australia, spoken by only a few people. But in 2018 news broke that this dying language had been saved thanks to a parrot named Cecilia.

The story of Cecilia began in the 1960s when the parrot was caught in Australia and brought to Britain. A few years later, he ended up at a zoo in London, where he was heard by members of the Australian community. They learned that Cecilia spoke a language that was already thought to be dead.

Members of the Australian community contacted linguists and linguistic anthropologists to find out exactly how much Cecilia spoke the language. It turned out that the parrot did speak a language of eastern Australia that was already thought to be lost.

Cecilia became a real star in the Australian community in Britain. She visited schools and universities where students and pupils learned the language of eastern Australia using recordings of Cecilia’s voice. The parrot became a symbol of hope for those struggling to preserve the language.

However, not all scholars agree that Cecilia actually saved a dying language. Some believe that the parrot cannot replace living speakers of the language and that its voice cannot convey the complexity of the language.

Despite this, Cecilia has become a symbol of hope for those struggling to preserve dying languages. Many people have begun to realize that preserving language is not only about preserving cultural heritage, but also about preserving knowledge about the world and how humans interact with nature.

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