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Volume XIV, Number 3 | April / May 2022


Home to an estimated eight hundred languages, the New York City borough of Queens has been called the “Noah’s ark of languages” by linguist Daniel Kaufman, an expert in endangered tongues. Most of the world’s last remaining speakers of Gottscheerish, a critically endangered Germanic dialect, live in the neighborhood of Ridgewood, while Vlashki, a dialect of Istro-Romanian, is believed to be more commonly spoken in Astoria than in Europe.

When the root lives on, the new leaves come back.

—Aeschylus, c. 458 BC

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