1 / 43


LANGUAGE. Language Introduction. Language= one of the oldest, most geographically diverse and most complex cultural traits on earth Prehistoric past – at least 10,000 languages spoken Today 5,000-7,000 Africa and Asia = most linguistically diverse continents

Download Presentation


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript


  2. Language Introduction • Language= one of the oldest, most geographically diverse and most complex cultural traits on earth • Prehistoric past – at least 10,000 languages spoken • Today 5,000-7,000 • Africa and Asia = most linguistically diverse continents • New Guinea = most diverse country w/ isolated tribes speaking over 900 lang

  3. Language Introduction • Language is critical b/c it’s the means by which other cultural values are communicated • United Nations 6 official languages: • Russian Spanish • French English • Chinese Arabic

  4. 5.1 Where is English Distributed? • Look at English as a case study of how lang is diffused • Eng spoken by ½ billion people (2nd behind Mandarin Chinese). Nearly all Chinese speakers in China but English speakers distributed across the globe • Eng = official lang of 42 countries, more than any other lang

  5. English Diffusion • Diffusion of English is a result of migration/colonization/imperialism. Every time the English colonized a place, they made English the official lang. Modern day English speaking countries is a map of colonialism: • To N. America – 17th C • Ireland 17th C • S. Asia mid 18th C • S Pacific late 18th C • S. Africa late 19th C

  6. English Origins • How did English dominate the British Isles in the first place and why is it classified as a Germanic language? • Celtic tribes arrive @ 2000 BC • 450 AD 3 Germanic tribes from present day Denmark and Germany, the Angles, Jutes, and Saxons invade. Push Celts to remote N and W parts of the island and rename it “Angle’s Land” (i.e. England)

  7. Origins of English – cont’d • 1066 England is conquered by French speaking Normans who est French as the official lang for 300 yrs. When French lose control, English returns as official lang. During that 300 yrs, Germanic lang was used by the common people and French used by the leaders/conquerors….the two mingled to form new lang of Eng.

  8. Dialects of English • Dialects: regional variation of a lang distinguished by distinctive vocab, spelling, and pronunciation • Ex: Southerners say ya’ll, Australians say “mate” • American and British English = diff dialects • Differ b/c of isolation – evolved independently during 18th and 19th C

  9. Dialects of English – cont’d • Noah Webster created 1st American dictionary, wanted unique American dialect to increase national pride

  10. Dialects of English – Con’t Webster……. • Ex: substituted “s” for “c” in many words (“defence” to “defense”) • Ex: eliminated “u” from words like “honour” and “colour” • Changed pronunciation

  11. Dialects of English – cont’d • Dialects within the US – existed originally b/c of differences in dialects among original settlers • Dialects continue today mostly in the east (esp South and New England) • Isogloss: word usage boundary for any word not used nationally (ex: pop, ya’ll, hoagie) • Dialects become less prominent b/c of mobility

  12. Soda v. Pop Dialect

  13. Examples of Regional Vocab • ALLIGATOR PEAR An avocado in New Orleans. • BETTY A beauty in Los Angeles. • BUBBLER A drinking fountain in Wisconsin. • BUGGY A shopping cart in the South. • BULKIE A sandwich roll in Boston. • CABINET A milkshake in Rhode Island. • FRAPPE A milkshake in Boston. • GAPER'S BLOCK A traffic jam because of rubbernecking in Chicago. • GOOBER A peanut in the South. • HOT DISH A casserole in Wisconsin and Minnesota. • IRON DOG A snowmobile in Alaska. • JIMMIES Ice cream sprinkles in Boston. • KITTY-WAMPUS Cater-corner in Wisconsin. • NEB To nose into someone else's business in Pittsburgh. • PARTY BARN A drive-through liquor store in Texas. • POKE A bag in Pittsburgh. • ROTARY A traffic circle in New England. • SHOOTS O.K. in Hawaii. • SKROK To spit in Buffalo. • STAND ON LINE To stand in line in New York. • WALLERED Useless or wrecked in the Southwest. • WOOLIES Dustballs beneath your bed in Pennsylvania

  14. Language Families • All lang belong to a family – collection of many lang which come from same original tongue, long ago, b/f written history but have since evolved w/ diff characteristics (i.e. have same ancestor)

  15. Indo-European Family • I-E family = largest family…spoken by over 50% of world • Families divided into smaller branches and groups • I-E as 8 branches, 4 BIG ones • Germanic Branch: dominant in N and W Europe (Swedish, Dutch, Danish, English, Norwegian)

  16. Indo-European Family – cont’d • Indo-Iranian Branch: branch w/ most speakers (over 100 lang spoken by over 1 bill people) • Indic (Eastern) Group: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh (Hindi, Urdu) • Iranian (Western) Group: Iran, Afghanistan (Persian, Kurdish, Pathan)

  17. Indo-European Family – cont’d • Balto Slavic Branch – Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian • Romance Branch evolved from Latin spoken by Romans 2,000 yrs ago. Conquering Romans diffused their lang through the empire. After fall of empire, regions were isolated and lang developed distinctly

  18. Indo-Euro Lang Family Tree

  19. Indo-Euro Family – most widely diffused language

  20. Pidgins and Creole Languages • When 2 groups meet w/ diff lang a new lang with new characteristics of both emerges. • Pidgin: simplified form of lingua Franca (usually forms as a simple trade lang); no native speakers; used for communication among speakers of 2 diff. languages (i.e. hodge podge combination - ex. African slaves) • Creole: lang combined between colonizers and colonized/indigenous peoples - blended • Ex: French Creole in Haiti

  21. Indo-European Ancestor? • Called Proto-Indo-European – difficult to prove b/c existed thousands of yrs before written history. 2 theories…. • Kurgan Hearth: Russia/Kazakhstan, N. of Black Sea, spread by nomadic herders • Anatolian Hearth: present day Turkey – spread by farmers

  22. Other Lang Families • Indo-European – 50% • Sino Tibetan – 20% (Chinese, Cantonese, Thai) • Afro-Asiatic 5% - Middle East – Arabic, Hebrew • Niger-Congo 5% - Africa (Africa – most diverse languages…unknown #. Over 1,000 distinct lang and several thousand dialects. Nigeria alone has over 200 distinct lang. • Austroneasean – 5% SE Asia • Dravidian 5% - parts of India

  23. Global Lang Families

  24. Language Preservation • Distribution of a lang is a measure of the fate of an ethnic group. Lang displays the 2 competing geographic trends: GLOBALIZATION Versus LOCAL DIVERSITY

  25. Language Extinction • No longer in use by any living people • Thousands have become extinct over history but process has accelerated in recent past • Colonialism in 18th and 19th C and globalization of 20th C driven many lang to extinction • Ex: when Spanish arrive in Amazon found over 500 lang. Today 57 survive, half of which will die in next few yrs as elderly speakers pass away

  26. Language Extinction – cont’d • Pressures of econ and social acculturation responsible for today’s extinction (i.e. adoption of cultural traits like lang by one group under the influence of another) • Lang ext can lead to cultural extinction: an entire culture obliterated by war, disease, acculturation. When a culture and its lang disappear it takes w/ it a tremendous amnt of history

  27. Language Extinction • “To lose my mother tongue would be like being forced into language exile. I would lose my family’s history and culture.” • James Jansen – director of “In Language We Live” – documentary on extinct languages •

  28. Language Extinction

  29. Language Revival • Movements to revive near extinct lang • Parts of Scotland, Ireland, Wales – revive Celtic • Hebrew revived after WW II when Israel became a state. Hebrew made one of two official lang (with Arabic). B/x that Hebrew was used primarily for religious services and was not commonly spoken. • (Official lang: all govnt business occurs in this lang – schools, documents, road signs, etc.)

  30. Official Languages…. • Lang given a unique status in the constitution of countries • Govnt’ makes a declarative statement • Typically lang used in nation’s legislative bodies • Over half the countries in the world have official languages • Some have one; others have more than one • USA doesn’t have an official language….should we?

  31. Official Languages

  32. Multi Lingual States • Have multiple official lang – can cause difficulty • Belgium- Walloons in S speak French, Flemings in N speak Flemish. Lang boundary sharply divides country. Each region has own elected assembly that runs their region and often antagonism betwn the two.

  33. Multi Lingual States • CANADA – French and English. Quebec has had separatist movement in past. Separation only voted down by slim majority

  34. Multi Lingual States • Basques – Pyrenees mountains in N. Spain, ETA – separatist movement – engaged in terrorist attacks

  35. Global Dominance of English • Globalization produces a need for a common lang of communication. Today that lang is English. • Lingua Franca: when people of diff lang need to communicate quickly and efficiently they use a lingua franca…a lang of international communication. (ex: Russian was t he lingua franca of USSR)

  36. English = Global Lingua Franca • Polish airline pilot flying over France speaks Eng to air traffic control • Eng = official lang in many factories and businesses around the globe • Most info on WWW = in Eng • Lang of pop culture = Eng • Among EU countries, 83% of high scholars speak Eng

  37. English = Lingua Franca • Japanese schools require 6 yrs of Eng and Japanese government has considered making Eng an official 2nd lang • Universities around the globe that teach in Eng are often most competitive b/c students feel it’s necessary to enter global economy

  38. Modern English is very difficult to learn for non-native speakers b/c of odd spellings, unusual grammar rules, lots of exceptions to the rule (Eng is hodge podge of Celts, Welsh, Normans, Vikings, mixed with Romance languages, etc.)

More Related