Language
Why do people preserve local languages?
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Preserving Language Diversity
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The distribution of language is a
measure of the fate of an ethnic
group
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Preserving Language Diversity
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 Languages no longer spoken or
English diffused around the world
from a small island
Icelandic remains a little-used
language due to isolation
read in daily activities
 Today estimated 473 almost extinct
languages
 Only a few speakers left
 Not teaching to children
 46 in Africa
 182 in Americas
 84 in Asia
 9 in Europe
 152 in Pacific
 Examples:
 Spanish conquest of Peru
 Gothic language in Europe
Language displays two competing geo
trends
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Extinct languages
English has become principal
language of communication for the
entire world
At same time, local languages that
are endangered by English are
being protected and preserved
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Attempts to preserve
Language hotspots
Hebrew
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Reviving Extinct Languages
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Hebrew is a rare case of an extinct
language that has been revived
Most of Jewish Bible was written in
Hebrew
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Reviving Hebrew
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 Language of daily activity in biblical
times
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Hebrew diminished in 4th century
B.C.E.
Difficult job
Had to created new words for
thousands of objects and
inventions unknown in biblical
times
 Phones, cars, electricity

Effort initiated by Eliezer BenYehuda
 Only retained for religion
 Credited with invention of 4,000
 Aramaic replaced by Arabic
new Hebrew words
 Created the 1st modern Hebrew
dictionary
Israel 1948
 Hebrew became 1 of 2 official
languages
 Was symbolic of unity among
different groups of people
Celtic
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Major language in the British Isles
before invasions
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Today Celtic on survives in:
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2,000 years ago Celtic spoken in
much of present-day Germany,
France, and northern Italy, as well as
in the British Isles
Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France
Celtic branch is divided into:
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Goidelic (Gaelic)
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Two languages survive:
 Irish and Scottish Gaelic
Brythonic
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Speakers fled during Germanic
Invasion to Wales, Cornwall, and
France
Celtic
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Irish
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One of two official languages
Spoken by 350,000 daily
Scottish
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Gaelic
1% in Scotland speak it
Large body of literature exists
Welsh language dominant until 19th century
 English migrated to work
 Estimated 22% speak Welsh
Cornish
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Celtic declined because the Celts lost most of
the territory they once controlled
In 1300s Irish forbidden by English masters
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Extinct in 1777
Breton
Isolated peninsula
250,000 speakers
Has more French words
19th century- “tally sticks”
Encouraged for jobs in 19th and 20th cent.
Recent efforts to preserve
Welsh
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Brythonic
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Survival of any language depends on the political
and military strength of its speakers

Wales
 Welsh Language Society
 1988 Education Act
 Made it compulsory in school
 Government services, utilities, TV
Irish
 Irish language TV station in 1996
 Revival led by young Irish
Cornish
 Revived in 1920s
 Taught in schools
 Dispute over revival
Multilingual States
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Conflict
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Belgium
 Has difficulty reconciling the
interests of the different language
speakers
 Southern Belgium
 Known as Walloons
 Speak French
 Northern Belgium
 Known as Flemings
 Speak a dialect of the
Germanic language- Dutch
 Called Flemish
 Language sharply divides the
country
 Aggravated by economic and
political differences
 Historically Walloons
dominated the Government
 French was official state
language
 Response to pressure
 Divided into two independent
regions
 Flanders and Waloonia
 Regional autonomy not
enough for Flanders
• Issues with split
 Other example: Switzerland
 Four linguistic regions
Conflict
Place
Languages
Conflict
Canada
English and
French
French speakers, concentrated in Quebec, have fought for
increased recognition and power against the Englishspeaking Canadian majority, Some have called for secession
from Canada.
Belgium
Dutch and
French
The Dutch-speaking north and French-speaking south
compete for power and control. The nation’s capital city,
Brussels, is located in the Dutch-speaking south, but most
inhabitants are French speakers.
Cyprus
Greek and
Turkish
The Greek majority and Turkish minority compete for
control of this island-country. Cyprus is divided by a “Greenline” partition separating the two cultures.
Nigeria
Hausa, Yoruba,
Ibo and nearly
230 others
Hausa speakers in the north, Yoruba in the southwest, and
Ibo in the southeast paint a divided Nigeria in which some
230 other languages complicate Nigeria’s unification.
English was declared the official language as an attempt to
create a toll of common communication.
Monolingual States
 Definition:
 Because of the increasing pace
of spatial-cultural interaction
globally, few purely
monolingual countries exist

Japan
 Relatively monolingual due to
its stringent immigration laws
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France
 Fought to preserve
monolingual heritage
 Laws to keep language
“pure”
 Prohibit infusion of English
Isolated Languages
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Definition
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A language unrelated to any
other and therefore not
attached to any language family
Arise through lack of interaction
with speakers of other languages
Basque
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Best example in Europe
 Only language that survives from
before arrival of Indo-European
speakers
 Unable to link to any other
language
 1st language in Pyrenees
 Isolation preserved language
Global Dominance of English
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One of the most fundamental needs in a
global society is a common language for
communication
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Language of international communication
today is English
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Lingua Franca
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Language of international
communication
To facilitate trade speakers would
create a lingua franca by mixing
elements of two languages into a
common simple language
Terms means : language of the franks
Other Lingua Francas
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Swahili in East Africa
Hindi in South Asia
Indonesian in Southeast Asia
Russian in former Soviet Union
Pidgin language
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A simplified form of a lingua franca
 Limited vocab and simplified
grammar
 Mix some elements of own
language
 No native speakers
 Adopted through force usually
 French- Caribbean
Rapid growth of English
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Reflected in high % of students learning
English as a second language
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90% in European Union
Japanese have considered making
English its 2nd national language
Global Dominance of English
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Expansion Diffusion of English
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In past a lingua franca achieved
distribution through migration
and conquest
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Ebonics
 Distinctive African American
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 Example: Latin
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Today English has spread
through Expansion diffusion
 Two ways
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 English is changing through
diffusion of new vocab,
spelling, and pronunciation
 English words are fusing with
other languages
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dialect
Influenced by forced migration
from Africa and slavery
 Communication in code
 Words: gumbo, jazz
In 20th century mass migration
out of south led to preservation
of dialect
Classified as a distinct dialect
 Distinct grammar and vocab
 Use of double negatives
 “I ain’t going there no
more”
Controversial today
Global Dominance of English
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Diffusion of English to Other Languages
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English words have been increasingly
integrated into other languages
Franglais
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Language a source of national pride and
identity in France
French are upset with domination of
English
French is official language in 29
countries and was a lingua franca
French upset that English is destroying
“purity” of language
 Cowboy, jeans, hamburger
 French Academy tried to reinforce
French
 Struck down in 1994 in court
 Even more extreme in Quebec
 Surround by English
Spanglish
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English diffusing into Spanish
language thanks to 34 million
Hispanics in U.S.
 Called Cubonics in Miami
Spanglish involves converting English
words into Spanish forms
 Shorts becomes chores
New words have been invented in
Spanglish that do not exist in English
Become widespread in popular
culture
Denglish
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Diffusion of English words into
German
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Why do people preserve local languages?