Instructions: Read the article and choose the correct word options.
Language at Risk of Dying Out (Adapted from the Guardian).
The language of Ayapaneco has been spoken/spoken/have spoken in the land now known as Mexico for centuries. It has survived the Spanish conquest, seen in/for/off wars, revolutions, famines and floods. And/With/But now, like so many other indigenous languages, it's at risk of extinction. There is/There are/Exist just two people left who can speak it fluently - but they refuse to talk with/to/for each other. Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Valeazquez, 69, live 500 meters apart/within/between in the village of Ayapa in the tropical lowlands of the southern state of Tabasco. It is not clear because/when/whether there is a long-buried argument behind their mutual avoidance, but people who know/known/knew them say they have never really enjoyed each others company. "They don't have a lot in common," says Daniel Suslak, a linguistic/lingual/language anthropologist from Indiana University, who is involved with a project to produce a dictionary of Ayapaneco. Segovia, he says, can be "a little prickly" and Velazquez, who is "more stoic," rarely likes to leave his home. The dictionary is part of a race against time to revitalize the language after/while/before it is definitively too late. "When I was a boy everybody spoke it/them/they ," Segovia told the Guardian by phone. "It's disappeared little by little, and now I suppose it might die with me." Suslak says Ayapaneco has rarely/sometimes/always been a "linguistic island" surrounded in/by/with much stronger indigenous languages. Its demise was sealed by the advent of education in Spanish in the mid 20th century, which for several decades included/has included/include the explicit prohibition on indigenous children speaking anything else. Urbanisation and migration from the 1970s then ensured the break-up of the core group of speakers concentrated in the village.
There are 68 different indigenous languages in Mexico, further subdivided into 364 varieties/vary/variations . A handful of other Mexican indigenous languages are also in danger of extinction. The National Indigenous Language Institute is also planning a last attempt to get classes going in that/which/who the last two surviving speakers can pass their knowledge onto other locals. Suslak says the language is particularly rich in what he calls sound symbolic expressions that often take their inspiration from nature, such as kolo-golo-nay, translated as "to gobble like a turkey."
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