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LANGUAGE. Language is the means through which all other cultural values are communicated. What is Language?. Language : a system of communication through speech. A collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning.

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LANGUAGE

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LANGUAGE

Language is the means through which all other cultural values are communicated


What is Language?

  • Language: a system of communication through speech. A collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning.

  • Many languages have a history of written communication but it is not necessary.


Language

  • The distribution of language results from a combination of interaction and isolation

  • Every language originates in a particular location and diffuses to other locations through the migration of it’s speakers.

  • It is directly correlated to migration, the continuing connections between groups will determine the language similarities


LANGUAGE

  • Where are English language speakers distributed?

  • Why is English related to other languages?

  • Where are other language families distributed?

  • Why do people preserve local languages?


Where are English Speakers distributed

  • English is the official language in 50 countries. 1/3 of the world lives in a country where English is the official language.


Where did English come from?

English is distributed throughout the world because of English migrants who colonized the world.


Origin of English

  • Celts arrive speaking Celtic around 2000 B.C.

  • 450 A.D. Tribes from Europe push Celts into Northern and Western Britain (now Scotland and Wales).

  • Invading tribes were

    Angles, Jutes and

    Saxons


Modern English evolved from the primary language spoken by Angles, Jutes and Saxons when they migrated 1,500 years ago


Other Contributions

  • So why is English so different from German?

    • England was conquered by Normans (from Normandy France) in 1066.

    • French became the national Language for 300 years.

  • The English we know resulted from the combination of French (spoken by leaders) and the Germanic language (spoken by the common people).


Dialects

  • Dialect: a regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation.

  • Dialects result from isolation and new experiences.


LANGUAGE

  • Where are English language speakers distributed?

  • Why is English related to other languages?

  • Where are other language families distributed?

  • Why do people preserve local languages?


Language relations

Definitions:

  • Language family: a collection of languages related through a common ancestral language (before recorded history).

  • Language branch: a collection of languages related through a common ancestral language (several thousand years ago)

  • Language group: collection of languages within a branch that share common origin in the relatively recent past and display relatively few differences.


Language Family Trees


Romance

The Indo-European branch is the most extensively spoken language in the world (3 billion people)


Origins of the Indo-European Family

  • Uncertain because it would have existed thousands of years before written records. Linguist use similar root words to try to trace back a “Proto-Indo-European” beginning”

  • Diffusion through warfare and conquest

    VS

    Diffusion through peaceful food sharing


Through Kurgan Conquest?


Through shared successful agricultural practices?


Over time differences within the Indo-European Family emerged as a result of isolation


The Germanic Branch

English is part of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family because the language was spoken by Germanic tribes that invaded England 1,500 years ago


The Indo-Iranian branch

  • The branch with the most speakers

    • Includes more than 100 individual languages, spoken by 1 billion people

Romance


Romance Branch

Evolved from Latin

(spoken by the Romans 2,000 years ago)

Romance


4 most widely used (French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese) developed separately thanks to physical boundaries


LANGUAGE

  • Where are English language speakers distributed?

  • Why is English related to other languages?

  • Where are other language families distributed?

  • Why do people preserve local languages?


Where are other language families distributed?


LANGUAGE

  • Where are English language speakers distributed?

  • Why is English related to other languages?

  • Where are other language families distributed?

  • Why do people preserve local languages?


Why do people preserve local languages?

  • Language is intimately linked to the fate of ethnic groups

    • English has flourished at the expense of other ethnic group’s languages

  • Today Difficulties arise because of competing languages, often along the boundaries between languages


Peace through decentralization


The Dominance of English

  • Lingua franca: a common language if international communication

    • Pidgin: a simplified form of a lingua franca

  • Lingua Franca’s of the past achieved dominance through migration and conquest.

  • Today English diffuses rapidly around the world through the snowball effect because of commerce, ease of travel and changes in technology.


The language of e-commerce


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