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Chapter 5.1: Where Are English-Language Speakers Distributed?

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1 Chapter 5.1: Where Are English-Language Speakers Distributed?

2 Language- a system of communication through speech, it is a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning Literary Tradition- a system of written communications Global distribution of languages results from two geographic processes: interaction and isolation Once groups begin to interact, both of their languages slowly begin to change

3 Origin and Diffusion of English
Languages originate at a particular place and diffuses to other location through migration The location of English-speakers illustrates the process by which language is distributed worldwide It is spoken fluently by half a billion people (second only to Mandarin) and is the official language in 42 countries. Two billion people live in countries where it is an official language even if they can’t speak it

4 English colonies English migration to colonies led to spread of English English diffused to north America in the early 1600’s Most recently the United States has been responsible for the diffusion of English

5 Origins of English in England
No record until the Celts arrived in 2000 BC Around 450 AD groups from Europe invade and push the Celts north Germanic tribes known as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (Anglo-Saxons) Viking invasions begin to change the language The Norman invasion (1066) changed the language drastically. The Normans force the French language on the British The English language is a mixture of German, French and Viking languages

6 Dialects of English A dialect is a regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation Speakers of one dialect can usually understand a speaker of another dialect Widespread diffusion of English has led to many dialects (US vs. English vs. Australians)

7 Some languages have a certain dialect that is chosen as the standard language, which is used for government, business, education, and mass communication (British Received Pronunciation (BRP)

8 Differences between British and American English
During the 18th and 19th centuries the countries were relatively isolated from each other

9 The languages differ in three ways
Vocabulary- new objects and experiences in America (animals, Indian names, inventions) elevator called lift, trunk called a boot, flashlight called a torch Spelling- differed because the US wanted to establish an independent identity. Noah Webster (creator of 1st American dictionary and grammar books) purposely changed spelling of words to create national pride Pronunciation- most communications were by letter or written rather than through voice transmission, so the languages slowly diverge

10 US Dialects The English of the original colonists determined the future speech patterns for communities because later immigrants adopted their style of language when they moved to the US Split into three distinctive dialects: New England, Southern, Middle Atlantic The majority of the US speaks Middle Atlantic English (Midwest and Western US) since most western settlers came from the Middle Atlantic states

11 Chapter 5.2: Why is English Related to Other Languages?

12 English is part of the Indo-European language family.
Language families are a collection of languages that share a common ancestor that existed long before recorded history. The Indo-European language family is the largest of the language families (3 billion).

13 Indo-European Branches
Language Branches: collection of languages with a common ancestor that existed several thousand years ago. They can be traced through archeological evidence and are much more similar than language families Divided into eight different branches The four most common branches are Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Romance, and Balto-Slavic

14 Indo-European Language Family

15 Germanic Branch English is part of the Germanic Branch (remember that pesky German invasion of England?) Language group: collection of languages within a branch that shares a relatively recent past and display relatively few differences in grammar and vocabulary

16 English is part of the West Germanic group of languages
Languages in this branch include German (West, High, Low), Dutch (Netherlands), Flemish (Belgium), Afrikaans (South Africa), Norwegian, Swedish, etc.

17 Indo-Iranian Branch Is the largest Indo-European branch including over 100 languages spoken by 1 billion people Indic (Eastern group) Includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh India has 18 official languages (Hindi, Urdu, English) and many others are spoken in the country as well Iranian (Western group) Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan

18 Balto-Slavic Branch Romance Branch
Divided into East, West, South, and Baltic groups East group is predominantly Russian, West is Polish, South is Serbo-Croatian South languages are so similar that most people can understand the other languages Romance Branch Can be traced back to Latin spoken by the Roman Empire 2000 years ago Includes Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French Originally diffused by the Romans, later diffused through European imperialism

19 Origin and Diffusion of Indo-European
Linguists cannot agree on where Indo-European originated or the path by which it spread Two theories on the diffusion: war/conquest or peaceful sharing of food One theory states that the first speakers the Kurgans of Russia (4500 BC). Originally migrated for food, but later conquered much of Europe and South Asia

20 Another theory claims the Anatolians (2000 years earlier) were the original speakers.
They spread through migration and agricultural practices rather than war. However it was originally spread, after generations of isolation individual groups evolved distinct languages

21 Chapter 5.3: Where Are Other Language Families Distributed?
Although several thousand languages are spoken in the world, they can be organized logically into a small number of language families.

22 Classification of Languages
About 50 percent of all people speak a language in the Indo-European family (German) About 20 percent speak a language in the Sino-Tibetan family (China) About 5 percent in each of the following Afro-Asiatic (Middle East) Austronesian (Southeast Asia) Niger-Congo (Africa) Dravidian (India) The remaining 10 percent is split into smaller families

23 Distribution of Language Families
Sino-Tibetan Family Spoken by over 1 billion people in China and a few smaller nations in Southeast Asia Three-fourths of Chinese speak Mandarin and this is the official language of the government Based on 420 single syllable words that have multiple meanings (depends on context and tone) Written as ideograms, which represent ideas or concepts rather than specific pronunciations Japanese and Korean sound similar to Chinese but have their own distinct families

24 Afro-Asiatic Family Includes Hebrew and Arabic The holy books of the three largest religions are written in these languages African Families Over one thousand languages and a few thousand dialects have been recorded Nigeria: conflict among speakers of different language groups Over 200 languages spoken Groups often fight each other or the government due to differences in culture and language

25 Chapter 5.4: Why Do People Preserve Local Languages?
The spread of English illustrates the conflicts of Globalization vs. Local Diversity. Some languages end up becoming extinct; others are fighting to keep their traditional languages intact

26 Preserving Local Diversity
Linguists expect that hundreds of languages will become extinct during the 21st century and only about 300 languages have the # of speakers and government protection to survive An example of preserving language is Celtic Used to be spoken in Germany, Italy, and England Today it survives only in small parts of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland Survival depends on political and military strength of it’s speakers Most families encourage learning English so they could obtain jobs Britain’s 1988 Education Act has helped save the language (all students required to learn Welsh history and language) Britain now offers cable channels in Welsh, and bands such as U2 have recorded Gaelic songs

27 Multilingual States Difficulties can arise at the border between two languages Belgium Southern Belgians speak French while Northern ones speak Flemish The nation is split into two regions each with it’s own official language Each region has its own government and receives money from the national government Belgium has trouble defining the exact boundary which leads to conflict Switzerland Has four official languages (German, French, Italian, Romansh) Allows decentralized or local government to decide most affairs as well as voter referendums This has caused much less friction than the Belgian system

28 Isolated Languages An isolated language is unrelated to any other and thus belongs to no language families Examples one example is Basque (spoken in the mountains between Spain and France)

29 Global Dominance of English
English has become the most common language for communication worldwide Lingua Franca- A language of international communication In EU countries, 83 percent of high school students learn English Seventy percent of Europeans between the ages of 18 and 24 speak English Japan requires six years of English and are considering making it a second language

30 Expansion Diffusion of English
Lingua Franca spread through migration and conquest in the past Currently English is spreading through a snowball effect in two ways Changing through diffusion of new vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation It is fusing with other languages

31 Diffusion of Other Languages
English words are being integrated into other languages Franglais Most French are angered that their language has been replaced as the international language France has attempted to pass laws preventing such words as hamburger, jeans, T-shirts from being added to their vocabulary Spanglish Combining Spanish and English words into new words has become quite common in the popular culture of many Latin American nations (bipiar- to page someone, i-meiliar- to ) Has found its way into song lyrics, television and magazines

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