Last speaker of ancient language Bo dies in India’s Andaman Islands

February 5th, 2010 - 1:30 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 5 (ANI): Reports indicate that the last speaker of Bo, which is one of the world’s oldest languages, has died at the age of 85 in India’s Andaman Islands.

Professor Anvita Abbi, a leading linguist, told the BBC that the death of Boa Sr was highly significant because the ancient language of Bo has come to an end, as no else in the world can speak it.

“After the death of her parents, Boa was the last Bo speaker for 30 to 40 years,” she said.

“She was often very lonely and had to learn an Adamanese version of Hindi in order to communicate with people,” she added.

Professor Abbi said that Boa Sr’s death was a loss for intellectuals wanting to study more about the origins of ancient languages, because they had lost “a vital piece of the jigsaw”.

“It is generally believed that all Andamanese languages might be the last representatives of those languages which go back to pre-Neolithic times,” she said.

“The Andamanese are believed to be among our earliest ancestors,” she explained.

“The extinction of the Bo language means that a unique part of human society is now just a memory,” SI Director Stephen Corry said.

Languages in the Andamans are thought to originate from Africa, with some estimated to be even 70,000 years old.

The islands are often called an “anthropologist’s dream” and are one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world.

But, two languages in the Andamans had now died out over the last three months and that this was a major cause for concern. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |