Language Chapter 5
A little joke… • What do you call a person who speaks multiple languages? • A polyglot • What do you call a person who speaks two languages? • bilingual • What do you call a person who speaks only one language? • American!...or monolingual • Explanation-only 30% of students graduate from HS with 3 or more years of a foreign language.
Language Diversity • 7,299 languages in the world • Only 10 languages are spoken by at least 100 million people • 100 languages are spoken by at least 5 million people • 70 languages are spoken by between 2 and 5 million • The remaining 6,000 languages are spoken by less than 2 million
Language Basics • Language- a system of communication through speech, a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meeting. • Literary tradition-a system of written communication. • Official Language- a designated system of communication used by the government for laws, reports, and public objects such as signs, money, and stamps.
English • English is spoken fluently by 500 million people. • English is an official language in 50 countries (there are about 200 countries) • 2 billion people live in a country where English is an official language (there are about 6.5 billion people in the world) • English was first diffused west from England in 1600’s to the colonies in North America. Ireland in the 1600’s as well. South Asia mid 1700’s. South Pacific in late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Southern Africa late 1800’s. • Recently, the US has been responsible for diffusing English to the Philippines in 1899 in Spanish-American war. After 1946 independence English was retained as an official language.
English Speaking Countries Fig. 5-1: English is an official language in 50 countries, including some in which it is not the most widely spoken language. It is also used and understood in many others.
Origin of English • Celtic was the original language of the British Isles • In 450AD tribes from mainland Europe invaded (Agles, Jutes, and Saxons) Germanic Tribes • English evolved from the language spoken by the Angles, Jutes, and Saxons. • England was invaded by the Normans in 1066 from France (they spoke French) they made French the official language for the next 300 years. They then went to war with France and English was popularized again.
Dialects • Dialect- is a regional variation of language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling, or pronunciation. • Standard language- a dialect that is well established and widely recognized as the most acceptable for government, business, education, and mass communication. • Develops out of isolation or nationalist spirit to diverge from another culture (Webster ignored English spelling an grammar of England)
Why is English Related to Other Languages • Language Branch- a collection of languages related through a common ancestral language that existed several thousand years ago. • Indo-European Branch- Most Western Languages come from the Indo-European branch. • Indo-European – Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Romance, BaltoSlavic • Germanic (Language Group- a collection of languages within a branch that share a common
Indo-European Language Family Fig. 5-5: The main branches of the Indo-European language family include Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, and Indo-Iranian.
Kurgan Theory of Indo-European Origin MarijaGimbutas- The Kurgans were nomadic herders, they migrated in search of grasslands for their animals. They took them westward through Europe, eastward to Siberia, and southeastward to Iran and South Asia. Fig. 5-9: In the Kurgan theory, Proto-Indo-European diffused from the Kurgan hearth north of the Caspian Sea, beginning about 7000 years ago.
Anatolian Hearth Theory of Indo-European Origin Colin Renfrew- believed they diffused from Anatolia (Turkey) westward to Greece and from Greece westward towards Italy, Sicily, Corsica, France, Spain, and Portugal Fig. 5-10: In the Anatolian hearth theory, Indo-European originated in Turkey before the Kurgans and diffused through agricultural expansion.
Distribution of Other Language Families • Classification of languages • 8 Major Language Families • Distribution of language families • Sino-Tibetan language family • Other East and Southeast Asian language families • Afro-Asiatic language family • Altaic and Uralic language families • African language families
Language Families of the World Fig. 5-11: Distribution of the world’s main language families. Languages with more than 50 million speakers are named.
Major Language FamiliesPercentage of World Population Fig. 5-11a: The percentage of world population speaking each of the main language families. Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan together represent almost 75% of the world’s people.
Language Family Trees Fig. 5-12: Family trees and estimated numbers of speakers for the main world language families.
Chinese Ideograms Fig. 5-13: Chinese language ideograms mostly represent concepts rather than sounds. The two basic characters at the top can be built into more complex words.
Language Diversity & Uniformity • Preserving language diversity • Hebrew: reviving extinct languages • Celtic: preserving endangered languages • Multilingual states • Isolated languages • Global dominance of English • English as a lingua franca • Diffusion to other languages
Online Population, 1996 - 2005 Fig. 5-1.1: English is still the largest language on the internet, but there has been rapid growth in many others, especially Chinese.