3910Wk2Ostler - What It Takes to Be a World Language (based...

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What It Takes to Be a World Language (based on Ostler 2005, Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World , Chap 2) “The fundamental question of this book is to ask how—in what circumstances and with what dynamics—language communities have come to flourish in the past, as well as how some of them have declined and even met their ends” (p. 18). Strategies to Flourish • Organic Growth (The Farmer’s Approach): stay united, grow population - esp. S & E Asia - but how to defend themselves from others? • Merger & Acquisition (M&A; the Hunter’s Way) - Migration: bring language along (e.g., English in N America & Australia) - Diffusion: assimilation through contact (e.g., into India, Scandinavia) - Infiltration (mixture of former two) (e.g., into S. Africa) - Lingua franca (franche, pl): only through Diffusion or Infiltration into non-native-speaking populations Language Prestige How do languages acquire new users? • Military might?
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HU 3910 taught by Professor Bergvall during the Spring '08 term at Michigan Technological University.

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3910Wk2Ostler - What It Takes to Be a World Language (based...

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