The French Basque Country has been subject to intense French-language pressure exerted over the Basque-speaking communities. Basque was both persecuted and excluded from administration and official public use during the takeover of the National Convention (1792-1795), War of the Pyrenees and the Napoleonic period. The compulsory national education system imposed early on a French-only approach (mid-19th century), marginalizing Basque, and by the 1960s family transmission was grinding to a halt in many areas at the feet of the Pyrenees.
By the 2010s, the receding trend has been somewhat mitigated by the establishment of Basque schooling (the ikastolak) spearheaded by the network Seaska, as well as the influence of the Basque territories from Spain.
According to Fañch Broudic, Breton has lost 80% of its speakers in 60 years. Other sources mention that 70% of Breton speakers are over 60. Furthermore, 60% of children received Breton from their parents in the 20s and only 6% in the 80s. Since the 1980s, monolingual speakers are no longer attested.
On the 27 October 2015, the Senate rejected the draft law on ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages driving away the assumption of Congress for the adoption of the constitutional reform which would have given the value and legitimacy to regional languages such as Breton.
Corsican was long employed as a conglomerate of local vernaculars in combination with Italian, the official language in Corsica until 1859; afterwards Italian was replaced by French, owing to the acquisition of the island by France from Genoa in 1768. Over the next two centuries, the use of French grew to the extent that, by the Liberation in 1945, all islanders had a working knowledge of French. The 20th century saw a wholesale language shift, with islanders changing their language practices to the extent that there were no monolingual Corsican speakers left by the 1960s. By 1995, an estimated 65 percent of islanders had some degree of proficiency in Corsican, and a small minority, perhaps 10 percent, used Corsican as a first language.
In Southern Schleswig, an area that belonged to Denmark until the Second Schleswig War, from the 17th to the 20th centuries, there was a language shift from Danish and North Frisian dialects to Low German and later High German. Historically, most of the region was part of the Danish and North Frisian Language area, adjacent in the South to the German-speaking Holstein. But with the reformation in the 16th century German became church language and in the 19th century also school language in the southern parts of Schleswig. Added to this came the influence of German-speaking Holsatian nobility and traders. German was (occasionally) also spoken at the royal court in Copenhagen. This political and economic development led gradually to a German language dominating in the southern parts of Schleswig. Native dialects such as the Angel Danish or Eiderstedt Frisian vanished. In the Flensburg area, there arose the mixed language Petuh combining Danish and German elements. As late as in 1851 (in the period of nationalization) the Danish government tried to stop the language shift, but without success in the long run. After the Second Schleswig War the Prussians introduced a number of language policy measures in the other way to expand the use of (High) German as the language of administration, schooling and church service.
Today, Danish and North Frisian are recognized as minority languages in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Cumans, seeking refuge from the Mongols, settled in Hungary and were later Magyarized. The Jassic people of Hungary originally spoke the Jassic dialect of Ossetic, but they fully adopted Magyar, forgetting their former language. The territory of today's Hungary was formerly settled by Slavonic tribes, which gradually assimilated to Magyar. Also, language shift may have happened in Hungarian pre-history, as the prehistoric culture of Magyars shows very little similarity to that of speakers of other Uralic languages.
An example is the shift from Hebrew to Aramaic in the land of Israel during the time of Classical Antiquity. Another example is during the Middle Ages, in the land of Israel, shifting from Aramaic to Arabic through the advent of Islam. A third shift took place in Modern times, under the influence of Zionism, from Jewish languages such as Yiddish, Ladino and various dialects of Judeo-Arabic to Modern Hebrew.
The Italian peninsula, the Po river basin and the nearby islands are home to various languages, most of which are Latin-derived. Italy would be politically organized into states until the late 19th century.
Since the times of the Renaissance, a trans-Italian language was developed in central Italy, based on Florentine Tuscan; in light of its cultural prestige, it was used for formal, literary and written purposes among the literate classes from the various states of mainland Italy, Sicily and Corsica (France), sidelining the other dialects in education and formal settings. Thus, literary Florentine was established as the most representative dialect of Italy long before its political unification in 1861, Tuscan having been officially adopted by the preunitarian states. Italian further expanded as a common language for everyday use throughout the country after World War II.
Most other languages, with the exception of those spoken by specific ethno-linguistic groups, long served as local vernaculars alongside Italian; therefore they have been mislabelled "dialects" by their own speakers, but they are still usually spoken just as much as standard Italian in a diglossic spectrum with little conflict.
For instance, the local Venetian dialects in Northeast Italy are widely used and locally promoted in the region; after all, Italian had been an integral part of the Republic of Venice since the 14th century, whose elites used to revere the most prominent Tuscan authors and tuscanize their own speech as well. On a survey made by Il Gazzettino in 2015, 70% of respondents told they spoke Venetian "very or quite often" in the family, while 68% with friends. A much lower percentage reported to use it at work (35%); the local dialect is less used in formal situations. However, the frequency of use within the family networks and friendship stopped respectively at -4 and -11 percentage points, suggesting a slow morphing to Italian, while the use in the workplace dropped to -22 percentage points. A visible generational gap has also been noted, since the students and young people under the age of 25 are the social group where the use of dialect fell below the threshold of absolute majority (respectively 43 and 41%). Nonetheless, despite some tendencies signalling the slow advancement of standard Italian, the local dialects of Veneto and the Province of Trieste are still widely spoken alongside Italian; like in much of Italy, the presence of Italian in Northeast Italy does not seem to take anything away from the region's linguistic heritage.
Like the aforementioned case of Northeast Italy, even in Southern Italy and Sicily the local dialects from the Italo-Dalmatian family are widely used in combination with standard Italian, depending upon the social context. More specifically, Italian as the prevalent language spoken among family members is spoken the least in Campania (20,7%), Calabria (25,3%) and Sicily (26,6%), contrary to frequency of use of the local dialects (Basilicata, 69,4%; Calabria 68,6%; Campania, 75,2%; Sicily, 68,8%).
Trentino's Cimbrian, a Germanic language related to Bavarian, was spoken by at least 20,000 people in the 19th century, with 3,762 people in 1921 and fewer than 300 in 2007. The same scenario goes for Mòcheno and Walser.
Unlike the neighbouring island of Corsica (France) and elsewhere in today's Italy, where Italian was the standard language shared by the various local elites since the late Middle Ages, Italian was first officially introduced to Sardinia, to the detriment of both Spanish and Sardinian (the only surviving Neo-Latin language from the Southern branch), only in 1760 and 1764 by the then-ruling House of Savoy, from Piedmont. Because of the promotion and enforcement of the Italian language and culture upon the Sardinian population since then, the majority of the locals switched over to such politically dominant language and no longer speak their native ones, which have seen steady decline in use. The language has been in fact severely compromised to the point that only 13℅ of the children are able to speak it, and today is mostly kept as a heritage language. With the exception of a few sparsely populated areas where Sardinian can still be heard for everyday purposes, the island's indigenous languages have by now been therefore largely absorbed into Italian; the language contact ultimately resulted in the emergence of a specific variety of Italian, slightly divergent from the standard one.
Before the 1930s, Italian was the only official language of Malta, although it was spoken by only the upper classes, with Maltese being spoken by the lower class. Even though English has replaced Italian as a co-official language alongside Maltese, the Italian-speaking population has since grown, and the growth of English in the country now threatens the status of Maltese. A trend among the younger generations is to mix English and Italian vocabulary patterns, in making new Maltese words. For example, the Maltese word "bibljoteka" has been overtaken by "librerija", formed from "library" and an Italian ending. In addition to mixing English with Italian, Maltenglish involves the use of English words in Maltese sentences. Trends show that English is becoming the language of choice for more and more people, and is transforming the Maltese language.
Guarani, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guarani (endonym avañe'ẽ [aʋãɲẽˈʔẽ] 'the people's language'), an indigenous language of South America belonging to the Tupi–Guarani family of the Tupian languages, is one of the official languages of Paraguay (along with Spanish), where it is spoken by the majority of the population, and where half of the rural population is monolingual. Guarani is one of the most-widely spoken indigenous languages of the Americas and the only one whose speakers include a large proportion of non-indigenous people. This represents a unique anomaly in the Americas, where language shift towards European colonial languages has otherwise been a nearly universal cultural and identity marker of mestizos (people of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry), and also of culturally assimilated, upwardly mobile Amerindian people.
Paraguayan Guarani has been used throughout Paraguayan history as a symbol of nationalistic pride. Populist dictators such as José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia and Alfredo Stroessner used the language to appeal to common Paraguayans, and upon the advent of Paraguayan democracy in 1992, Guarani was enshrined in the new constitution as a co-equal language along with Spanish. Jopara, the mixture of Spanish and Guarani, is spoken by an estimated 90% of the population of Paraguay. Code-switching between the two languages takes place on a spectrum where more Spanish is used for official and business-related matters, whereas more Guarani is used in art and in everyday life.
Instances of language shift appear to have occurred twice in the history of the Parthian Empire: once before its foundation, when the Parni invaded Parthia, eventually losing their Eastern Middle Iranian language and adopting Parthian instead.; secondly, after the fall of the Parthian Empire, Parthian speakers shifted to Middle Persian or Armenian.
In the Philippines, Spanish-speaking families have gradually switched over to English since the end of World War II until Spanish ceased to be a practical everyday language in the country.
Another example would be the gradual death of the Kinaray-a language of Panay as many native speakers especially in the province of Iloilo are switching to Hiligaynon or mixing the two languages together. Kinaray-a was once spoken in the towns outside the vicinity of Iloílo City, while Hiligaynon was limited to only the eastern coasts and the city proper. However, due to media and other factors such as urbanization, many younger speakers have switched from Kinaray-a to Hiligaynon, especially in the towns of Cabatuan, Santa Barbara, Calinog, Miagao, Passi City, Guimbal, Tigbauan, Tubungan, etc. Many towns, especially Janiuay, Lambunao, and San Joaquin still have a sizeable Kinaray-a-speaking population, with the standard accent being similar to that spoken in the predominantly Karay-a province of Antique. Even in the province of Antique, "Hiligaynization" is an issue to be confronted as the province, especially the capital town of San José de Buenavista, undergoes urbanisation. Many investors from Iloílo City bring with them Hiligaynon-speaking workers who are reluctant to learn the local language.
One of the problems of Kinaray-a is its written form, as its unique "schwa sound" is difficult to represent in orthography. As time goes by, Kinaray-a has disappeared in many areas it was once spoken especially in the island of Mindoro and only remnants of the past remain in such towns as Pinamalayan, Bansud, Gloria, Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro and Sablayan, Calintaan, San Jose, and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro, as Tagalog has become the standard and dominantly recognised official language of these areas.
Palawan has 52 local languages and dialects. Due to this diversity, internal migration and mass media, Tagalog has effectively taken over as the lingua franca on the island.
In Luzon, the regions of Camarines Norte and Pampanga have seen a shift to Tagalog.
After Singapore's independence in 1965, there was a general language shift in the country's interracial lingua franca from Malay to English, which was chosen as the first language for the country. Among the Chinese community in Singapore, there was a language shift from the various dialects of Chinese to English and Mandarin Chinese. Until the 1980s, Singaporean Hokkien was the lingua franca of Chinese community in Singapore, which has since been replaced with English and Mandarin today. There has been a general language attrition in the use of Chinese other than Mandarin Chinese, especially amongst the younger segments of the Singaporean population.
The progressive dominion exerted by the Kingdom of Castile over Spain in as much as it gained political power throughout centuries, contributed to the expansion of its language at the expenses of the rest. The accession of the Castilian House of Trastamara to the Crown of Aragon by mid-15th century saw the gradual displacement of the royal languages of the Crown of Aragon, Aragonese and Catalan, despite the prolific Valencian literature in Catalan in this period. Nebrija's Gramatica castellana (1492), sponsored by the new Spanish monarch Ferdinand II of Aragon, was meant to help expand Castilian, "the companion of the Empire". As the Crown of Castile expanded, its different governmental officials at different levels required their subjects to use or understand Castilian and sideline other vulgar languages, or vernaculars. It often meant the use of interpreters in lawsuits, which could tilt the outcome of the case, e.g. the Basque witch trials, and the increased use of Castilian in assemblies and decision-making bodies, and documents, despite not being the commonly understood language in a number of areas, like most of the Basque districts (Navarre, Álava, etc.), Catalonia, Galicia, Asturias, parts of Aragon, etc.
As Aragonese retreated to the sub-Pyrenean valleys, Arabic vanished by the early 17th century, when forced cultural assimilation of the Moriscos was coupled with expulsion (completed in 1614). The arrival of the Bourbons (1700) intensified the centralization of governmental structures and the imposition of Castilian as the only language for official purposes, replacing in 1716 Catalan as the language of Justice Administration in the relevant territories (Nueva Planta Decrees). Unlike Catalan, Basque was never a language written on official documents, but was equally affected. It lost ground to Castilian in all its buffer geographic areas, as well as main institutions as a communication language, after a number of decrees and orders established Castilian as "the national language of the Empire" during Charles III's reign; printing in languages other than Spanish was forbidden (1766), and Castilian was the only language taught in school (1768).
The Peninsular War was followed by the centralization of Spain (Constitutions of 1812, 1837, 1845, 1856, etc.), with only the Basque districts keeping a separate status until 1876. Compulsory education in 1856 made the use of Castilian (Spanish) mandatory, as well as discouraging and forbidding the use of other languages in some social and institutional settings. Franco and his nationalist dictatorship imposed Spanish as the only valid language for any formal social interaction (1937). By the early 21st century, Spanish was the overwhelmingly dominant language in Spain, with Basque, Catalan, and Galician surviving and developing in their respective regions with different levels of recognition since 1980. Other minorized languages (Asturian, Aragonese) have also seen some recognition in the early 21st century. Catalan, sharing with Basque a strong link between language and identity, enjoys a fairly sound status. Basque competence has risen during the last decades, but daily use has not risen accordingly. The Endangered Languages Project has classified Asturian as being at risk and Aragonese as endangered.
Taiwanese aborigines used only Austronesian languages before other ethnic groups conquered Taiwan. After widespread migration of Han peoples from the 17th to the 19th century, many Taiwanese Plains Aborigines became Sinicized, and shifted their language use to other Sinitic tongues, (mainly Taiwanese Hokkien). Additionally, some Hakka people (a Han Chinese ethnic subgroup) also shifted from Hakka Chinese to Hokkien (also called Hoklo). This happened especially in Yongjing, Changhua, Xiluo, Yunlin, etc. They are called Hoklo-Hakka (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ: Ho̍k-ló-hak, Pe̍h-oē-jī: Hô-ló-kheh, Hanzi: 福佬客).
When Taiwan was under Japanese rule, Japanese became the official language, with the Japanese government promoting Japanese language education. It also led to the creation of Yilan Creole Japanese, a mixture of Japanese, Atayal language, and Hokkien in Yilan County. In World War II, under the Japanification Movement, Chinese was banned in newspapers and school lectures, and the usage of Japanese at home was encouraged, so many urban people turned to using Japanese. In 1941, 57% of Taiwanese could speak Japanese.
After the ROC government established rule over Taiwan in 1945, it forbade the use of Japanese in newspapers and schools, and promoted the Guoyu movement (Chinese: 國語運動) to popularize Standard Mandarin, often through coercive means. In the primary education system, people using local languages would be fined or forced to wear a dialect card. In the mass media, local languages were also discouraged or banned, and some books on the romanization of local languages (e.g. Bibles, lyrics books, Pe̍h-ōe-jī) were banned. In 1975, The Radio and Television Act (Chinese: 廣播電視法) was adopted, restricting the usage of local languages on the radio or TV. In 1985, after the draft of the Language and Script Law (Chinese: 語文法) was released by the Ministry of Education, it received considerable opposition because it banned the use of Taiwanese unofficial languages in the public domain. In response, some Hakka groups demonstrated to save their language. After 1987 when martial law was lifted, the Guoyu movement ceased.
The shift towards monolingual Mandarin was more pronounced among Hakka-speaking communities, attributed to Hakka's low social prestige. Before the KMT took over the island from Japan, the Hakka were expected to learn both Hokkien and Japanese. However, the lack of a significant Japanese-speaking base for gaining and then retaining Japanese fluency meant that most Hakka learned only Hokkien. When the KMT fled to Taiwan from mainland China, most mainlanders settled mainly in northern Taiwan, close to Hakka-speaking areas, thus spurring a linguistic shift from Hokkien to Mandarin within the Taipei area. As the bulk of economic activity centered around patronage networks revolving around Mandarin-speaking KMT membership, most of the Hakka became Mandarin monolinguals, due to a shift in social mobility formerly centered around Hokkien. Elsewhere, although the Hokkien speech-community shrank within the population, most Hokkien-speaking households have retained fluency in Hokkien, helped by the liberalization of Taiwanese politics and the end of martial law.[specify]
Nevertheless, Taiwanese Mandarin has become the most common language in Taiwan today, and the most common home language of Taiwanese youth. In the population census of 2010, Mandarin is the most common home language in the Taipei metropolitan area, Taoyuan, Matsu, aboriginal areas, some Hakka-majority areas, as well as some urban areas of Taichung and Kaohsiung. Conversely, the ability of Taiwanese to speak ethnic languages is strikingly on the decline.
Studies have suggested an elite cultural dominance-driven linguistic replacement model to explain the adoption of Turkish by Anatolian indigenous inhabitants.
Gaelic has long suffered from its lack of use in educational and administrative contexts, and was long suppressed. The shift from Gaelic to Scots and Scottish English has been ongoing since about 1200 CE; Gaelic has gone from being the dominant language in almost all areas of modern-day Scotland to an endangered language spoken by only about 1% of the population.
With the advent of devolution, however, Scottish Gaelic has begun to receive greater attention, and it has achieved a degree of official recognition when the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act was enacted by the Scottish Parliament on 21 April 2005. Gaelic medium education in Scotland now enrolls more than 2000 students a year. Nevertheless, the number of native speakers continues to decline, and it is a minority language in most of the traditional Gàidhealtachd, including all census areas outside of the Outer Hebrides.
Cockney English, traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners has been predicted to be replaced by Multicultural London English (MLE) or 'Jafaican' within 30 years as Cockneys move out of London. The new language is theorised to have emerged as new migrants spoke their own forms of English such as Nigerian and Indian and contains elements from "learners’ varieties" as migrants learn English as a second language.
Although English has been the majority language in the United States since independence in 1776, hundreds of aboriginal languages were spoken before western European settlement. French was once the main language in Louisiana, Missouri, and areas along the border with Quebec, but the speaking has dwindled after new waves of migration and the rise of English as a lingua franca. Californio Spanish became a minority language during the California Gold Rush; it has largely been overtaken by English and Mexican Spanish, surviving mainly as a prestige dialect in Northern and Central California. German was once the main language in large areas of the Great Plains and Pennsylvania, but it was suppressed by anti-German sentiment during the First World War.
Since the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, French has declined heavily in Vietnam from being a government language and primary language of education in South Vietnam to being a minority language limited to the elite classes and elderly population. Today, French is spoken fluently by only slightly over 5% of the Vietnamese population. The language shift from French to Vietnamese occurred earlier in the north due to Viet Minh and later communist policies enforcing Vietnamese as the language of politics and education. However, since the late 1990s, there has been a minor revival of French in Vietnam.
American linguist Joshua Fishman has proposed a method of reversing language shift which involves assessing the degree to which a particular language is disrupted in order to determine the most appropriate method of revitalising.