*What is language?
*How many languages are there? About 6000
*Why can’t we be sure of the number? Languages rapidly dying out (one language is lost every 2 months)
*Why are there so many languages?
Lose contact with their ancestral home
*Dialect VS. Language? Language is made up of man dialects (a family of dialects)
*Can people who speak those dialects understand each other? Yes! English: British, America, Canadian, Australia) French: Parisian, Bordeaux)
What is the word for “father” in Spanish?
In Italian – Padre
In Portuguese – Pai
In French – Pere
Common source = Pater (Latin)
Greek is not part of a language family…
Do families share something in common? Yes, Indo-European language
Could the languages come from just ONE original source? Probably but there is no clear evidence
ALL LANGUAGES SHARE CERTAIN SIMILARITIES!
-3 vowels (I,a,u)
-All grammars have first (I, we)
Two aspects interweaved – people unaware about what is actually involved in the speaking process… language = thought, language = people who speak it
What comes first language or thought?
Do you think in language?
Humans think in a “non-linguistic format” … there is no need for words to think the concept of “dog”
Recognition of concept through thought
Regulation of thought (inner speech)
Evidence to support this:
Bilinguals do not have two separate sets of thoughts for the two languages they speak
People with language impairments have intact thoughts and thought processes
Children think (eye-tracking) before they learn to speak a language
(Steven Pinker – Thinking Allowed)
BILINGUALS ARE NOT CONFUSED!
*Bilinguals do not have two separate sets of thoughts for the two languages they speak
*Mind is not “finite container”
*Early bilingualism brings about cognitive advantages, including better reading skills