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©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited!

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Presentation on theme: "©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited!"— Presentation transcript:

1 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited!

2 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Have you ever wondered… how children learn to speak?

3 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Have you ever asked… why there are so many different languages in the world?

4 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Do you know… where English came from?

5 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Have you noticed… some languages have many more speakers than others?

6 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Have you wondered… how many languages it is possible to learn?

7 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Strange for you, normal for me! Do you know what language this is? Can you hear any sounds different from English?

8 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Xhosa The language you have heard is spoken in South Africa. Can you name a famous Xhosa speaker? Nelson Mandela

9 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What do you think? “Languages belong to everyone; so most people feel they have a right to have an opinion about it” What is your opinion? Maybe it will change as you find out more…

10 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Do you agree with these opinions? 2.The bigger the language the better it is 1. Sign language is not a real language

11 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Do you agree with these opinions? 3. Some languages are more beautiful than others 4. Grammar tells us how to write correctly

12 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! So many questions! There are many different questions about language. Here are some answers… can you match them up?

13 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 1. What is the most polite language? A. Korean B. Turkish C. Chinese Answer: There are 7 levels of politeness which are used to show respect to the addressee. A. Korean

14 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 2. What is the oldest writing system still in use? A. Korean B. Turkish C. Chinese This dates from around 1200 BC and although it has changed since then it is still used by millions of people. Answer: C. Chinese

15 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 3. What seems to be the loudest language? A. Korean B. Turkish C. Chinese This was measured in a study in 1970 which set out to measure speakers over various distances. Answer: B. Turkish

16 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 4. What is said to be the most frequently spoken word on the planet? A. The B. OK C. ilunga Answer: First coined as a joke in Boston newspapers and meaning oll korrekt (a conscious misspelling of "all correct") it is now commonly used and understood worldwide. B. OK

17 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 5. What is said to be the most frequently word in English? A. The B. OK C. ilunga This is number one in the top 10 most frequent words in British English - as measured in the British National Corpus. Answer: A. The

18 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 6. What is considered to be the hardest word to translate? A. The? B. OK? C. ilunga? A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third. Answer: C. ilunga *‘ilunga’ comes from the language Tshiluba spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo *

19 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What would have happened if you hadn’t learnt to speak as a child? Evidence from discoveries of ‘wild children’ suggest that if you hadn’t learnt your first language by the age of 13 you probably wouldn’t be able to learn after that.

20 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! How many languages is it possible for one person to learn? If you have the time any number! The most multilingual person still living is Ziad Fazah who speaks 58 languages.

21 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Ziad Fazah speaks all these languages: Albanian German Amharic Arabic Armenian Azeri Bengali Burmese Bulgarian Cambodian Cantonese Mandarin Wu Sinhalese Singapore English Korean Danish Dzongkha Spanish Finnish French Fijian Greek Hebrew Hindi Dutch Hungarian Indonesian English Icelandic Italian Japanese Swahili Lao Malay Malagasy Mongolian Nepali Norwegian Papiamento Persian Polish Portuguese Pashto Kyrgyz Romanian Russian Serbo-Croatian Swedish Tajik Thai Czech Tibetan Turkish Urdu Uzbek Vietnamese

22 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What makes a word beautiful? No word is inherently more beautiful than another. In polls it is often the sound, meaning or the connotation of a word that makes it beautiful.

23 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What makes a word beautiful? For example: mother (English) Rhabarbermarmelade (rhubarb jam in German) sommarvind (summer breeze in Swedish)

24 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Does size matter? There are over 6,000 languages in the world, some with lots of speakers and some with very few speakers, some are in remote places and some stretch across the whole world.

25 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 1. What is the BIGGEST language in the world (most speakers) A. English? B. Burumakok? C. Mandarin Chinese? Answer: This is generally agreed to top the list of most speakers with some 880 million first language speakers C. Mandarin

26 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 2. What is one of the smallest language in the world (fewest speakers) A. English? B. Burumakok? C. Mandarin Chinese? Answer: Burumakok, in West Papua New Guinea, is spoken by fewer than 300 people B. Burumankok

27 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 3. Which is the richest language A. English? B. Burumakok? C. Mandarin Chinese? Answer: English is spoken as a first language by the wealthiest economies A. English

28 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 4. Which language has the most sounds? A. English? B. !Xũ? C. Kâte Answer: !Xũ is an African language which has 141 phonemes (a unit of sound that distinguishes meanings of words) including a large number of clicks B. !Xũ

29 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 5. Which language is the most widespread? A. English? B. !Xũ? C. Kâte Answer: 28% of the world’s land area is occupied by countries having English as their official language A. English

30 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! 6. Which language has the highest percentage of second language speakers A. English? B. !Xũ? C. Kâte Answer: 93% of speakers of this language spoken in New Guinea are second language speakers C. Kâte

31 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Fact or fiction? Many popular ‘facts’ about language are not necessarily true and many are still in dispute.

32 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Here are some ‘facts’ about language, can you spot which are true? Answer true or false Hint, some may be both!

33 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages can be dangerous! False True: Esperanto is an invented language that was banned in several countries by authoritarian regimes e.g. Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, China. True

34 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages can be bought and sold False True: in Vanuatu (South Pacific island) a community sold their language to their neighbours and couldn’t use it any more! True

35 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages never change False False: languages change all the time borrowing from each other, making up new words (as new things are invented), losing others as they go out of fashion! TrueFalse

36 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages can die False True: about 417 languages are under threat of extinction which means that they don’t have children among their speakers. True

37 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages can kill False True: big languages can kill smaller ones by being the language of education or by their speakers being more economically powerful. English, Spanish, Portuguese are the biggest killers! True

38 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! You can’t just make up a new language False False: new languages have been created, the most successful of these being Esperanto (an international language created in 1887). Klingon was made up for a TV programme. Do you know which one? TrueFalse

39 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages have relatives False True and false: most languages are related to other languages. There are 30 different language families — English belongs to the Indo-European family. Basque (spoken in Spain) can’t be traced to any family — it is known as an isolate. TrueFalseTrue

40 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Animals can’t learn to speak False True and false: chimps have been taught some language (especially sign language) but they don’t have the ability to pronounce human language. Birds can mimic human sounds e.g. parrots and lyrebirds, but they don’t understand what they are saying. True False

41 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Languages can solve crimes False True: criminals have been identified from their writing or speech. For example, the uncle of a murdered teenager was identified as her killer by text messages he sent from her phone (pretending to be her). True

42 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! English is the easiest language to learn False True and false: it is a matter of opinion only. English has been variously voted both easiest and hardest to learn. TrueFalseTrue

43 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Eskimos have up to 400 words for snow False False: this is known as the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax which grew from a suggestion that there were four or more words for snow and the number kept getting bigger! There are probably no more than 15 words in fact and English has nearly that many! TrueFalse

44 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Not all languages have separate words for ‘he’ and ‘she’ False True: Finnish ‘hän’ covers he and she and most African languages don’t make the distinction. True

45 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! And there is much, much more As you can see languages are a big and interesting subject to study. And it is not just about learning new languages. It’s about finding the answers to many more questions about language.

46 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Who has the answers? People who are interested in the big questions about language have often studied a subject called linguistics.

47 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What is linguistics? “Linguistics is about the history of language and how language works.”

48 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! What is linguistics? “Linguistics helps us understand why human language is the way it is.”

49 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Descriptive not prescriptive Linguistics is not about how we should speak or write. Instead, it’s about how we speak and write in reality.

50 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Here are a few questions that students of linguistics may investigate:

51 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! How do we make speech sounds and how do we understand them?

52 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Why do some languages seem to be considered more important than others?

53 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Why do language neighbours such as English and French appear to be so different from each other?

54 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Why do speakers from different parts of the same country often use different accents and dialects? Image ©

55 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Why can you say “John sent a text to me” but not “sent me text a John to”?

56 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Stop press! Look at these recent news headlines. What do you think the stories have in common?

57 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! It’s Hinglish, innit? Hinglish — a hybrid of English and south Asian languages, used both in Asia and the UK — now has its own dictionary.

58 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! ‘Chatty George’ talks himself up George is a chat robot who speaks 40 languages.

59 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! Cows also have regional accents Dairy farmers have noticed their cows had slightly different moos, depending on which herd they came from.

60 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! They wouldn’t be news without linguistics! All these stories are about language, and they wouldn’t have hit the headlines without someone, somewhere, showing an interest in them.

61 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! A few more things to consider Linguistics can be useful in society: It has helped to solve crimes (forensic linguistics). It can help to understand illnesses such as strokes (which can damage the speech area of the brain).

62 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! A few more things to consider It can develop new technologies (voice recognition software). Did you know that spellcheckers were built by linguists?

63 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited! So, why study linguistics? To find the answers to these unlimited questions about language… and much more!

64 ©Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studieslanguage unlimited!


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