Linguistic diversity
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LinguisticMuch important traditional knowledge of biodiversity and its uses is embedded within indigenous languages, yet Arctic languages face an uncertain future. Twenty languages have become extinct since the 1800s, with ten of these extinctions taking place after 1990. Of these extinctions, one was in Finland, one in Canada, one in Alaska, and seventeen in the Russian Arctic. The remaining Arctic indigenous languages are decreasing in vitality as the number of speakers decreases. Only four out of 44 languages surveyed displayed either no change or an increase in absolute number of speakers and proportion of speakers. The increasing rate of language extinction emphasizes the need to increase our understanding of the cultures and traditions contained within these languages, and to increase efforts aimed at revitalizing them.