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Language - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Language. One of the oldest and complex culture traits on earth. A systematic way of Communicating:. Signs Symbols Gestures Marks Vocal Sounds. History. In prehistoric past there were around 10,000 different languages. Now there are between 5,000 and 7,000

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One of the oldest and complex culture traits on earth.

a systematic way of communicating
A systematic way of Communicating:





Vocal Sounds

  • In prehistoric past there were around 10,000 different languages.
  • Now there are between 5,000 and 7,000
  • Africa and Asia are the most linguistic rich continents. Why do you think this is?
  • (Rugged terrain and social customs limit interaction
language families
All languages belong to a language family
  • A collection of many languages, all which come from the same original tongue, but have evolved different characteristics
  • Depending on history, they can sound very different
Language Families
indo european

*50% of the world speak this

*Dominant in: Europe, Russia, North and South America, Australia, India and Southwest Asia

*Includes: Germanic, Celtic, Romance, Slavic

sino tibetan family
Sino- Tibetan Family

*20% of the world

*Mostly SE Asia & China

*Includes: Japanese, Mandarin Chinese (#1), Tibetan, Korean

  • Final 30% of the world speak:
    • Afro-Asiatic
    • Niger-Congo
    • Altaic
    • Austronesian
  • Geographically distinct versions of a single language
  • Why? Because of the history, social, & geographic differences
  • Example:
  • English
  • Recognized through Accents
  • Different words:
    • American South: Y’all
    • Australian: “mates”
language diffusion
Language Diffusion
  • Occurs when migration, trade, war, or some other event exposes one group of people to the language of another
  • Result: A word with parts of each language
  • German: Hausfrau = Housewife
official languages
Official Languages
  • Language in which all government business takes place
  • Canada: Quebec: Language dispute between French and English

Language Extinction

Cultural Extinction:

Whole culture is wiped out due to war or disease

Reviving of some: Celtic in Scotland; Hebrew after WWII in Isreal

  • No longer in use by any living people
  • Causes: Colonialism; Economic globalization; social and economic pressures
  • Ability to read and write
  • Varies
    • U.S. 95%
    • Niger: Men—24% and Women—less than 9%
    • Tool of Oppression by some governments, lack of money
linguist beliefs
Linguist Beliefs
  • Creation of agricultural societies, alphabet and record keeping is what allows dominance of specific language.
  • Literacy is the critical tool that explains why UK, France, USA have such a dramatic impact on the languages spoken today.