Language(1)

Language(1) - Language Languages are systems of...

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Language Languages are systems of communication. Different languages are not mutually intelligible. There are some languages that are classed as different languages even though they are mutually intelligible Serbian and Croat - these are often known as Serbo-Croat - mutually intelligible but they use different alphabets Roman and Cyrillic (Russian/Greek) alphabets. Chinese - classed as one language but is not mutually intelligible. There are a number of Chinese languages that share the same written characters for words. Chinese alphabet is not phonetic, but symbolic. Thus the word for 'house' is represented by the same pictograph (symbol) regardless of how it is said. Apprx 6900 active languages www.ethnologue.com
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Language Families Language families – languages related through a common ancestor language that dates back long before recorded history. The largest family is Indo-European - spoken by <50% of the world's population (2.7 billion people). There are thirteen other families plus several miscellaneous languages that cannot be classified. Language branch – is a group of related languages within a language family – several thousand years old – eg. within Indo European is the Germanic branch (498 million) Language group – collection of languages within a branch with a relatively recent history of separation – e.g. North Germanic languages (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Faroese) Reading : Section 5.1
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Language Families The largest family is Indo-European - spoken by 50% of the world's population. There are thirteen other groups plus several miscellaneous languages that cannot be classified. Afro-Asiatic; Niger-Congo; Saharan; Sudanic; Khosian; Ural-Altaic; Sino-Tibetic; Japanese and Korean; Dravidian; Austro-Asiatic; Malay-Polynesian; Papuan and Australian; American Indian; Others
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World Language Distribution There are thousands of languages spoken across the world. About 95% of the world's population speaks one of the top 100 languages and about 50% of the world's population speaks one of the top 10 languages. Top Ten Chinese (Mandarin) 844 million English 437 million Hindi 338 million Spanish 331 million Russian 291 million Arabic 192 million Bengali 181 million Portuguese 171 million Malay 138 million Japanese 124 million
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Percent of speakers by language family
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World Language Distribution
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Language Development Indo-European - root language is proto-Indo European. Spoken by the Indo- Europeans (or Aryans) - Central Asia about 6000 years ago. Initial study done by Sir William Jones in India in the 1780's. Root words. In the Indo-European languages these words are very similar - whereas in non-Indo European languages they are quite different English French German Gaelic Basque (not Indo-European)
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2011 for the course GEOG 1123 taught by Professor Neely/turner during the Spring '08 term at Arkansas.

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Language(1) - Language Languages are systems of...

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