There are over 6000 languages in the world, but many of them are endangered. Often, they structure their grammar in really weird ways, like keeping track of absolute directions instead of left/right, or needing to specify how one got some information.
There are lots of reasons why studying and preserving endangered languages are important:
- Studying word lists can help you trace the history of a group of people better than archeological evidence can
- Knowledge of descendant languages of an ancient language can help you decipher an ancient script
- Language can affect cognition in lots of weird ways, need wide range of languages as examples of what is possible
This book was recommended to me by [redacted], and it was an interesting read about linguistics. Despite only being 230 pages, it was slower to read than expected.