Languages of the world: Language typology and classificationGenetic classification. Language families
1.LINGUISTICS.2.LANGUAGE.2.1 What is human language?2.2. Some characteristics of human language.2.3. Functions of language.2.4.Origins of language.3. HOW IS LANGUAGE ACQUIRED?
4.WHY STUDY LANGUAGE?5. LANGUAGES OF THE WORD.5.1. Genetic classification.Language families.5.2. Typological classification.5.2.1. Morphological typology.5.2.2. Syntactic typology.5.3. Geographical classification.6. WRITING SYSTEMS. TYPES AND HISTORY.
2.1. WHAT IS HUMAN LANGUAGE ?A language is a system used to communicate. There are similarities and differences between human and animal communication. Language seems to be as old as your species. Nothing in the animal Kingdom even approximates to human language.
Not limited in time or space. Each language is both arbitrary and systematic. There are no primitive or inferior languages. Human language at all levels is rule governed. Even the formal structures of language are similar. The ability to speak depends on the human l-shaped vocal tract, with the lowered larynx.
Intriguing Questions: WHEN WHERE HOW 50.000 África Theories primitive speculations Bible Otto Jespersen THEORY“Bow-Bow” “Pooh-Pooh” “Ding-Dong” “Yo-He-Ho” “La-La” Natural Sounds- Rhythmic Long –musical Interjections sounds meanings chants sounds Oh Close Open
Thetheory of blank slates versus the innate biological endowment. Fora long time it was believed that language was simply learnt. The presumption was that our minds at birth were blank slates on to which the rules of our native languages were written. Children learn by repetition, language is learnt behaviour.
Thecentral question of linguistics is the nature of the innate biological endowment (Universal Grammar) which enables humans to acquire a language so rapidly and efficiently in the first year of life. “Children seemed to be programmed to learn language, just as they seemed to be programmed to walk. To a baby no language is easier or more difficult than any other”
Children do not merely repeat what they hear. Language teaching has never adopted a methodology based strictly on Chomsky’swork. However, this idea of creativity, has informed many teaching techniques. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfpZF X2hAJQ
In this view the study of language is ultimately the study of the human mind. One reason for studying language is that it is tempting to regard language, in the traditional phrase, as "a mirror of mind." By studying language we may discover abstract principles that govern its structure and use, principles that are universal by biological necessity and not mere historical accident, that derive from mental characteristics of the species.
Isvery difficult say how many languages there are in the world . And is very difficult too, say two speech varieties are, different languages or different dialects of the same language. It estimated that there are about 6.000 languages in the world.
Genetic ClassificationClassificationof Language Typological Classification
Based on Linguistics similaritiesWords and grammatical forms in common
Language family Broader Narrower sense senseIt refers to the largest spectrum of It refers to languages whichlanguage for which a genetic are more closely relatedrelationship can be demonstrated
Language family is a group of related languages that descend from a common ancestor called proto-language or primordial language.
Ancestral Proto-Language If it´s not If it is Known KnownComparative Method: Comparing the Only with inscriptionslanguages of a family
A language can´t be reconstructed. The more ancient proto-language is the less we can know about it. Commonly we only know a part of the language structure and vocabulary.
They must have “ sprung from some Could no be common chance. source, which perhaps no longer exists”. Proto-Indo – European: William Jones Reflecting the geographical distribution of theHe was first noted that: speakers of this language from India to EuropeGreek, Latin and Sanskritwere related in a way that:
A true historical relationship, of a chance overlap in The similarities sound and meaningamong languagescan be result of… A borrowing from one language to another
Proto-Indo-European had split into twelve distinct languages (diagram). Not all of Proto-Indo- European languages survived. Proto-Indo-European contains words for a domesticated animals and crops, indicating that these ancient societies were agricultural.
Thisclassification is based on the differences or similarities existing in languages. In this case we will analyze the morphological typology and the syntactic typology:
The morphology is understood, by a wide range of works, as the study of the structure of the word, therefore, focuses on the elements of a word, the relations between them, and the properties derived from its articulation in a result which is the word.
a) Isolating languages: the words in these languages tend to be a single morpheme. b) Inflecting, synthetic or fusion languages: These languages change endings and sometimes the internal structure of words to show grammatical relationships - tense, aspect, case and so on
c)Agglutinative or agglutinating languages: These languages add suffixes and prefixes (as well as infixes) to the stem of a word to add to its meaning or to show grammatical function. d)Polysynthetic or incorporating languages: languages which words are composed of many morphemes.
According to the syntactic typology of languages they are divided into different types on the basis of the order of the grammatical elements (subject (S), object (O) and verb (V)) in a sentence. Apart from the free word order languages, there are six possibilities:• Subject Verb Object (SVO)• Subject Object Verb (SOV)• Verb Subject Object (VSO)• Verb Object Subject (VOS)• Object Subject Verb (OSV)• Object Verb Subject (OVS)
We also have to bear in mind that following one pattern as a norm doesn´t mean we can´t find a different one for specific purposes or special effects.
It is based on linguistic similarities which have arisen from cultural contact between linguistic communities.
o Origin of pictographic (objects) West Asia, EastAsia writing ideographic (ideas) Central Americao Symbols + sounds new writing systems (e.g. syllable)o Cuneiform Mesopotamia clay writing 1st written language was Sumerian reed styluso In 1600 BC, Chinese writing was developed independently.o Around 2000 BC, the first written alphabet developed by semitic workers in egypt.o In 2600 BC, Sumeiran cuneiform script the earliest with Egyptian hieroglyps coherent textso In 3200 BC, the first recognizable documents appeared in Uruk.(sumerian sign sumerian word ═ picture of the object named by the word)o Ancient Greek alphabet (vowels and consonants as separate symbols)
o Three categories: logographic, syllabic and alphabetic. They can appear in the same writing system A) Logographic writing systems The first known writing systems based on pictographic and ideographic elements. Logograma(a single written character) represents grammatical word many logogramas represent language writing Disadvantage many logogramas and memorization of their meaning. Advantage the meaning is inherent the symbol so many languages use the same logograms. Ampersand “and” Examples of modern western logograms at sign @ percent sign % units of currenc,$,€ Chinese is the most important and the only survisor.
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent syllables, which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary represents a consonant sound followed by a vowel, or just a vowel alone. TYPE EACH EXAMPLE SYMBOL REPRESENTS Syllabic Syllable Cherokee
CHEROKEE PRONUNCIATION MEANINGD( FALTA) AMA WATER
An alphabet is a set of letters each of which represents a phoneme of a spoken language. HOMOPHONES HEAR HERE KNEW NEW THERE THEY´RE THEIR International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) can be used to transcribe any language in the world. MOON (mu:n)