Presentation on theme: "Why do people preserve local languages?"— Presentation transcript:
1 Why do people preserve local languages? Key Issue #4
2 Preserving Language Diversity The distribution of language is a measure of the fate of an ethnic groupEnglish diffused around the world from a small islandIcelandic remains a little-used language due to isolationLanguage displays two competing geo trendsEnglish has become principal language of communication for the entire worldAt same time, local languages that are endangered by English are being protected and preservedPreserving Language DiversityExtinct languagesLanguages no longer spoken or read in daily activitiesToday estimated 473 almost extinct languagesOnly a few speakers leftNot teaching to children46 in Africa182 in Americas84 in Asia9 in Europe152 in PacificExamples:Spanish conquest of PeruGothic language in EuropeAttempts to preserve
4 Why is it important to preserve local languages? DiscussWhy is it important to preserve local languages?
5 Hebrew Reviving Extinct Languages Reviving Hebrew Hebrew is a rare case of an extinct language that has been revivedMost of Jewish Bible was written in HebrewLanguage of daily activity in biblical timesHebrew diminished in 4th century B.C.E.Only retained for religionAramaic replaced by ArabicIsrael 1948Hebrew became 1 of 2 official languagesWas symbolic of unity among different groups of peopleReviving HebrewDifficult jobHad to created new words for thousands of objects and inventions unknown in biblical timesPhones, cars, electricityEffort initiated by Eliezer Ben- YehudaCredited with invention of 4,000 new Hebrew wordsCreated the 1st modern Hebrew dictionary
6 Celtic Major language in the British Isles before invasions 2,000 years ago Celtic spoken in much of present-day Germany, France, and northern Italy, as well as in the British IslesToday Celtic on survives in:Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and FranceCeltic branch is divided into:Goidelic (Gaelic)Two languages survive:Irish and Scottish GaelicBrythonicSpeakers fled during Germanic Invasion to Wales, Cornwall, and France
7 Celtic Gaelic Brythonic IrishOne of two official languagesSpoken by 350,000 dailyScottish1% in Scotland speak itLarge body of literature existsBrythonicWelshWelsh language dominant until 19th centuryEnglish migrated to workEstimated 22% speak WelshCornishExtinct in 1777BretonIsolated peninsula250,000 speakersHas more French wordsSurvival of any language depends on the political and military strength of its speakersCeltic declined because the Celts lost most of the territory they once controlledIn 1300s Irish forbidden by English masters19th century- “tally sticks”Encouraged for jobs in 19th and 20th cent.Recent efforts to preserveWalesWelsh Language Society1988 Education ActMade it compulsory in schoolGovernment services, utilities, TVIrishIrish language TV station in 1996Revival led by young IrishCornishRevived in 1920sTaught in schoolsDispute over revival
8 Multilingual States Conflict Belgium Has difficulty reconciling the interests of the different language speakersSouthern BelgiumKnown as WalloonsSpeak FrenchNorthern BelgiumKnown as FlemingsSpeak a dialect of the Germanic language- DutchCalled FlemishLanguage sharply divides the countryAggravated by economic and political differencesHistorically Walloons dominated the GovernmentFrench was official state languageResponse to pressureDivided into two independent regionsFlanders and WalooniaRegional autonomy not enough for FlandersIssues with splitOther example: SwitzerlandFour linguistic regions
9 Conflict Place Languages Conflict Canada English and French French speakers, concentrated in Quebec, have fought for increased recognition and power against the English-speaking Canadian majority, Some have called for secession from Canada.BelgiumDutch and FrenchThe 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.CyprusGreek and TurkishThe Greek majority and Turkish minority compete for control of this island-country. Cyprus is divided by a “Green-line” partition separating the two cultures.NigeriaHausa, Yoruba, Ibo and nearly 230 othersHausa 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.
10 DiscussWhat does this tell you about the importance of language to one’s culture and identity?Is the US a multilingual state?
11 Monolingual States Definition: Contains speakers of only one language Because of the increasing pace of spatial-cultural interaction globally, few purely monolingual countries existJapanRelatively monolingual due to its stringent immigration lawsFranceFought to preserve monolingual heritageLaws to keep language “pure”Prohibit infusion of English
12 Isolated Languages Definition Basque A language unrelated to any other and therefore not attached to any language familyArise through lack of interaction with speakers of other languagesBasqueBest example in EuropeOnly language that survives from before arrival of Indo-European speakersUnable to link to any other language1st language in PyreneesIsolation preserved language
13 Global Dominance of English One of the most fundamental needs in a global society is a common language for communicationLanguage of international communication today is EnglishLingua FrancaLanguage of international communicationTo facilitate trade speakers would create a lingua franca by mixing elements of two languages into a common simple languageTerms means : language of the franksOther Lingua FrancasSwahili in East AfricaHindi in South AsiaIndonesian in Southeast AsiaRussian in former Soviet UnionPidgin languageA simplified form of a lingua francaLimited vocab and simplified grammarMix some elements of own languageNo native speakersAdopted through force usuallyFrench- CaribbeanRapid growth of EnglishReflected in high % of students learning English as a second language90% in European UnionJapanese have considered making English its 2nd national language
14 Global Dominance of English Expansion Diffusion of EnglishIn past a lingua franca achieved distribution through migration and conquestExample: LatinToday English has spread through Expansion diffusionTwo waysEnglish is changing through diffusion of new vocab, spelling, and pronunciationEnglish words are fusing with other languagesEbonicsDistinctive African American dialectInfluenced by forced migration from Africa and slaveryCommunication in codeWords: gumbo, jazzIn 20th century mass migration out of south led to preservation of dialectClassified as a distinct dialectDistinct grammar and vocabUse of double negatives“I ain’t going there no more”Controversial today
15 Global Dominance of English Diffusion of English to Other LanguagesEnglish words have been increasingly integrated into other languagesFranglaisLanguage a source of national pride and identity in FranceFrench are upset with domination of EnglishFrench is official language in 29 countries and was a lingua francaFrench upset that English is destroying “purity” of languageCowboy, jeans, hamburgerFrench Academy tried to reinforce FrenchStruck down in 1994 in courtEven more extreme in QuebecSurround by EnglishSpanglishEnglish diffusing into Spanish language thanks to 34 million Hispanics in U.S.Called Cubonics in MiamiSpanglish involves converting English words into Spanish formsShorts becomes choresNew words have been invented in Spanglish that do not exist in EnglishBecome widespread in popular cultureDenglishDiffusion of English words into German