The diversity of language


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Explore how the language you speak affects the way you see the world. This presentation will get you thinking more about language by reflecting on some of the myriad ways that people around the world express their ideas through the languages they speak. The presentation is informative, but not academic. Must-view for everyone interested in language/culture.

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The diversity of language

  1. 1. The Diversity of Language 0800 EUROASIA
  2. 2. LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS (1) <ul><li>Some interesting situations </li></ul><ul><li>Speakers of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish can understand one another. </li></ul><ul><li>Speakers of Mandarin and Cantonese cannot. </li></ul><ul><li>Serbo-Croat used to be one language, but now it’s two. </li></ul>
  3. 3. LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS (2) <ul><li>Mutual intelligibility </li></ul><ul><li>Spoken language </li></ul><ul><li>Written language </li></ul>
  4. 4. LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS (3) <ul><li>A language is a dialect with an army and a navy behind it. </li></ul>
  5. 5. WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT ALL LANGUAGES? <ul><li>Languages are fluid. </li></ul><ul><li>One language is not more sophisticated than another. </li></ul><ul><li>One language is not inherently more difficult than another. </li></ul><ul><li>Any ideas can be expressed in any language – but in some cases more easily than in others. </li></ul><ul><li>All languages have names of things (nouns) and ways of expressing what these things do (verbs). </li></ul>
  6. 6. COMPARING LANGUAGES <ul><li>Vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Phonology </li></ul>
  7. 7. VOCABULARY (1) <ul><li>Semantic fields </li></ul><ul><li>When is a book not a book? </li></ul><ul><li>How many coconuts are there in English? </li></ul><ul><li>Is he colour blind or what? </li></ul><ul><li>Is pride a good thing? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does she think I haven’t got as many brothers as I’ve really got? </li></ul>
  8. 8. VOCABULARY (2) <ul><li>Making new words </li></ul><ul><li>Putting them together </li></ul><ul><li>Nouns into verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Borrowing </li></ul><ul><li>(and more…) </li></ul>
  9. 9. VOCABULARY (3) <ul><li>Sayings </li></ul><ul><li>The early bird catches the worm. </li></ul><ul><li>Too many cooks spoil the broth. </li></ul>
  10. 10. VOCABULARY (4) <ul><li>Idioms </li></ul><ul><li>To catch a cold </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a good idea to stop now </li></ul><ul><li>Business is picking up </li></ul><ul><li>The cream of society </li></ul><ul><li>Will’s got off with Tracy </li></ul>
  11. 11. VOCABULARY (5) <ul><li>One word, so many meanings… </li></ul><ul><li>I would go if I had time </li></ul><ul><li>Would you help me? </li></ul><ul><li>When I was young , I would often walk by the sea. </li></ul><ul><li>The dog wouldn’t move. </li></ul><ul><li>I would like to leave now. </li></ul>
  12. 12. VOCABULARY (6) <ul><li>You wouldn’t believe the things people do to words… </li></ul><ul><li>ž en a, ž ene, ž eni, ž enu, ž eno, ž enom </li></ul><ul><li>ž ene, ž ena, ž enama, ž ene, ž enama, ž enama </li></ul><ul><li>march -er, -e, -es, -ons, -ez, -ent, -ais, -ait, -ions, </li></ul><ul><li>-iez, -aient, -erai, -eras, -era, -erons, -erez, -eront, </li></ul><ul><li>-erais, -erait, -erions, -eriez, -eraient, -ant, - é , -ai, </li></ul><ul><li>-as, -a, - â mes, - â tes, - è rent, -asse, -asses, - â t, -assions, </li></ul><ul><li>-assiez, -assent </li></ul><ul><li>car , char, gar, nghar </li></ul>
  13. 13. VOCABULARY (7) <ul><li>Numbers are universal, right? Well… </li></ul><ul><li>100 = hyaku </li></ul><ul><li>1,000 = sen </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 = man </li></ul><ul><li>100,000 = 10 X man </li></ul><ul><li>1,000,000 = 100 x man </li></ul>
  14. 14. GRAMMAR (1) <ul><li>Word order (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Although I him only yesterday seen had, decided I nevertheless to him once more to speak. </li></ul>
  15. 15. GRAMMAR (2) <ul><li>Word order (2) </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you want your verb? </li></ul><ul><li>She is in the town. </li></ul><ul><li>Mae hi yn y dre. (Welsh) </li></ul><ul><li>Machi ni imasu . (Japanese) </li></ul>
  16. 16. GRAMMAR (3) <ul><li>Time and tense (1) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Time? Well, we have past, present and future…” </li></ul>
  17. 17. GRAMMAR (4) <ul><li>Time and tense (2) </li></ul><ul><li>How many pasts? </li></ul><ul><li>I saw, I was seeing, I have seen, I have been seeing, I had seen, I had been seeing… </li></ul><ul><li>How many presents? </li></ul><ul><li>I see, I am seeing, I do see… </li></ul><ul><li>How many futures? </li></ul><ul><li>I will see, I’m going to see, I’ll be seeing… </li></ul>
  18. 18. GRAMMAR (5) <ul><li>Time and tense (3) </li></ul><ul><li>It all goes haywire… </li></ul><ul><li>He’s staying at home this evening. </li></ul><ul><li>If I went out tomorrow, it would be too late. </li></ul>
  19. 19. GRAMMAR (6) <ul><li>Some final thoughts… </li></ul><ul><li>English has natural gender, some languages don’t… </li></ul><ul><li>English has tenses, Chinese doesn’t… </li></ul><ul><li>In English adjectives come before the noun and don’t agree, in others… </li></ul><ul><li>In English we have to state the subject of the sentence, but… </li></ul><ul><li>English has singular and plural, whereas… </li></ul>
  20. 20. PHONOLOGY (1) <ul><li>Some sounds occur in nearly all languages – a, o, u, m, n… </li></ul><ul><li>Some sounds are rare – English r, a, aw </li></ul><ul><li>English is unusual in having so many diphthongs </li></ul><ul><li>Czech ř (Dvořak) unique </li></ul><ul><li>Sounds which are more or less the same across languages are seldom exactly the same </li></ul>
  21. 21. PHONOLOGY (2) <ul><li>Some languages have a lot of sounds </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. Georgian) </li></ul><ul><li>Some have very few </li></ul><ul><li>(e.g. Polynesian) </li></ul>
  22. 22. PHONOLGY (3) <ul><li>All languages have rules about the way sounds can be combined </li></ul><ul><li>In English, we can’t have “pf” at the start of a word - German can </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish doesn’t allow “sp” at the start of a word - English does </li></ul><ul><li>Some languages hardly allow any combinations of consonants at all – e.g. Japanese </li></ul>
  23. 23. PHONOLOGY (4) <ul><li>Some languages use tones </li></ul><ul><li>Some languages have syllable stress in words </li></ul><ul><li>Some languages use distinctive intonation </li></ul>
  24. 24. WRITING <ul><li>Two approaches: </li></ul><ul><li>Based on sounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on words or concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Some languages are conservative in their spelling, others adapt more readily to changes in pronunciation. </li></ul>
  25. 25. AND TO CLOSE… <ul><li>Don’t be surprised what language can throw at you. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to be amazed. </li></ul><ul><li>The way we look at things is not the only way. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Who is Euroasia? <ul><li>New Zealand’s leading provider of foreign language and cross-cultural services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translation/Interpreting services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-cultural advice and training for businesspeople </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-cultural events management </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. The Diversity of Language 0800 EUROASIA