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Chapter 5: Languages
Key Issue #4 Where Did English and Related Languages Originate & Diffuse? L. O. 5. 4. 1: Understand the classification of languages by severity of threat to their survival. Languages are spread through globalization and preserved through local diversity. However, global diffusion of English has created efforts to preserve local languages. L. O. 5. 4. 2: Understand how some lesser-used languages are being protected Celtic languages were widely spoken in the British Isles before the Germanic Invasions. These languages are being preserved through the efforts of advocacy groups and government agencies L. O. 5. 4. 3: Understand geographic factors resulting in isolated and extinct languages Thousands of languages once in use are now extinct. Isolation has preserved some languages L. O. 5. 4. 4: Understand processes of creation of new languages New languages are being invented, others revived and more preserved in an attempt maintain local cultures.
Why do Local Languages Survive? • The distribution of a language is a measure of the fate of a cultural group. • English has diffused around the world from a small island in Europe because of the dominance of England U. S. over other territory on Earth’s surface. • Many linguists believe that the development of alphabets and the resulting literary traditions have contributed to the complexity and dominance of particular cultures, and thus particular nations around the globe.
Why do Local Languages Survive? • Most likely the invention of agricultural societies, alphabets, and the resulting efficient record keeping, provided a means for these societies to dominate other illiterate societies more easily. • Literacy is thus one of the critical tools that explains why countries such as the U. K. , France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and the U. S. have had such a dramatic impact on the languages spoken around the world today.
Endangered Languages • Of the 7, 102 living languages, 2447 are considered to be endangered today - Of these endangered languages, 916 are considered dying languages. • The regions with the largest number of dying languages are the South Pacific, Latin America and North America
Australia/ New Zealand • Although English remains the dominant language of Australia and New Zealand, the languages that predate British settlement survive in both countries. • Australia - 1% of the population is Aboriginal and now being preserved • New Zealand – 14% of population is Maori, descendants of Polynesian people who migrated there around 1, 000 years ago
United States – Endangered Languages • The U. S. has 61 languages in trouble and 142 languages dying. • Five endangered Native American languages are reawakening including the Dakota’s Siouan language spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes
Preserving Languages • The United Nations had a program since 2003 to preserve endangered languages • Endangered languages, such as those belonging to the Celtic branch or Indo. European, are experiencing resurgence today.
Celtic -Welsh • The revival of Irish (One of two official languages in the Republic of Ireland), Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh is linked to nationalistic movements in these parts of the British Isles. • Other Celtic languages include Cornish and Breton.
• Isolation from others has helped to preserve some of these languages. • An isolated languageis one unrelated to any other language or family. • Basque is the only language currently spoken that survives since the period before the arrival of Indo-European speakers. Isolated Languages Basque
Isolated Languages Basque • The diffusion of Indo-European languages demonstrates that a common ancestor dominated much of Europe before recorded history. • Spoken by 666, 000 people in the Pyrenees Mountains of northern Spain and southwestern France – Every attempt made to link Basque to the common origin of Indo-European languages has been unsuccessful.
Extinct Languages • Languages can become extinct through the loss of an entire people or through linguistic evolution over time. • However the pressures of economic and social acculturation (which means - the assimilation of cultural traits such as language by one group under the influence of another), are responsible for the most of today’s losses. • An extinct language is one that was once used by people in their daily activities but is no longer in use.
Extinct Languages • The United Nation identifies 231 languages as recently extinct/ Ethnologue estimates 367 languages have become extinct since 1950 (6 per year) • Many African languages have become extinct because of linguistic effects on European colonialism. • The loss of many languages is a reflection of globalization - to be part of a global economy and culture is the cause of the demise of many traditional and indigenous languages.
Growing Languages • New languages develop and ancient languages are revived. • Hebrew is a rare example of an extinct language that has been revived.
Growing Languages • The revival of Hebrew is associated with the Zionist movement and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. • It is one symbol of Israeli nationalism
AP HUG GEO - Class Questions 5. All of the following are true of language isolates like the Basque and Ainu EXCEPT A) They have no demonstrable connection to other known existing would languages • B) Constructed languages like Esperanto also fit within the definition of a language isolate • C) They often exist in geographically isolated areas, but not exclusively. • D) Many language isolates are in danger of extinction due to declining number of native speakers. • E) Korean, for which no connection to other Sino-Tibetan languages has been proven, is considered the most widely spoken language isolate • B – All other statements are true – the Esperanto is a constructed language containing elements of existing languages