Presentation on theme: "AS Linguistics, Unit 1 Introduction to language: a taste of the world’s languages."— Presentation transcript:
AS Linguistics, Unit 1 Introduction to language: a taste of the world’s languages.
How much do you know about world languages? How many languages are spoken in the world? Which are the top 4 languages in terms of number of speakers? What do English and Dutch have in common? 1,000 – 2,000 2,000-3,000 More than 3,000
Why is it so difficult to count the number of speakers? Population movement, e.g. through war,famine,migration. Population increases Multilingual communities- what is the ‘mother tongue’? How do we label languages? What is a ‘fluent speaker’ ? Does it count if you can read,but not speak a language? Reliability of reports/questionnaires
Families of Languages The metaphor of a language ‘family’ or ‘family tree’ is used to explain historical relationships between languages Linguists use the COMPARATIVE method as a way of systematically comparing languages so that they can prove a historical relationship between them.If they have a common ancestor, they are COGNATE languages.
Which family does English belong to? Indo-European is the name given to the family of languages that first spread through Europe and many parts of Southern Asia. The Indo-Europeans were a semi-nomadic people who lived in the steppe (grassy plains) region of southern Russia around 4,000 BC From 3500 BC, they spread into Europe
Indo-European If the vocabulary of EXTANT (still existing) I.E languages is compared,we can find out about the life-style of the I.Es. The vocabulary includes many references to family/animals/farming. Words for trees and plants give us clues about which part of Europe they lived in.
Our father….. Our father,who art in Heaven… Pater noster,qui es in caelis Unser Vater,der Du bist im Himmel Onze vader,die in de hemelen zijt English Latin German Dutch
The Germanic family There are several branches, as a result of the Germanic tribes migrating from Northern Europe in the first millennium BC Anglo –Saxon is recorded from the 8th Century English falls into the West Germanic branch, along with, for example, Frisian,German, Yiddish, Dutch, Afrikaans.