Written by Dyami Millarson
It is asserted that those who wish to preserve local languages are clinging to the past. Speakers of minority languages would, therefore, be old-fashioned. However, speaking and transmitting local languages is no more clinging to the past than using and transmitting national languages or even world languages.
All living languages on this planet are linked to the past in one way or another. Languages do not just emerge at once in the present, but they take time to develop their distinct features; each language has a history, and so it is really, as mentioned before, no more true to say that local languages are clinging to the past than national languages.
It is, at the same time, true that small languages have a tendency towards linguistic conservatism, but this is to be seen as a curiosity rather than an impediment. Local languages have the same evolutionary potential as all other languages. When languages receive higher prestige for one or another reason, it does not preclude that small languages cannot evolve or adapt to suit contemporary needs and tastes.
We demonstrate with our blog that the language of Schiermonnikoog which has approximately 20-30 speakers, the language of Hindeloopen which has approximately 300 speakers and the language of the East of Terschelling which has approximately 100 speakers can be used as internet languages.
We can communicate using these small languages online in the same way as large languages such as English, Spanish and Chinese. This is due to inherent adaptability; there is no contemporary human condition that languages can theoretically not adapt to. Whenever something new is needed, it can be created building further upon the existing system that was inherited. Languages can add new parts to their existing system to make up for deficits that are experienced under new conditions.