The loss of language means the loss of a social, cultural and spiritual heritage. Up to now, the extinction rate of human language reaches more than 40%. According to Prof. Stephanus Djawanai, M. A, language loss means the erosion or extinction of ideas, which also means the loss of human means to know and gather knowledge. â€œLanguage loss also means the loss of distinctive ways to speak about experience, life and world,â€ he explained at UGM Senate Hall, Wednesday (4/11).
That statement was delivered by the man born in Bajawa, Flores, on 10 October 1943 during his inauguration as the Professor of Faculty of Cultural Sciences. The alumnus of Linguistics, University of Michigan in the USA, delivered his inauguration speech entitled â€œLanguage Study, Human Study.â€ He said that human race needs the diversity of ethno-linguistic forms for their sustainability and greater creativity.Â The ethno-linguistic diversity is expected to solve more humanity problems. â€œIt is also expected to re-humanize the human who has been influenced by material aspects, to maintain esthetic, intellectual, and emotional skills in gaining higher level of humanity,â€ he conveyed.
He also explained that the singularity of language suggests that it is the language that gives identity to humanity and humanism. Since the fetal stage, humans have already listened and absorbed languages. The explanation about language and â€˜mindâ€™ have not produced a complete human theory, because human is misterium tremens et fascinans, which means â€˜fearful and fascinating mystery.â€™ They can not be reduced into a list of characteristics which can be applied instantly as homo sapiens, homo lequens, homo ludens, animal rationale (rational animal), and animal simbolicum (creator of symbols).