February 13, 2010

Human Language, languages and communication (Introduction 1-3)

David's Photo_copy_editedHuman Language, languages
and communication


An Introduction (1)


    There are approximately 6,000 languages in the world, in so much variety that many languages would astound you. Have you ever wondered just how a human being could possibly learn and use them? How did these languages come into being? What isn’t there a single language?


                Introduction (3)

The world’s languages tend to mix together on various levels. All words borrow words from another; there is no pure vocabulary. But some languages borrow so much vocabulary that there is little original material left, such as you find in English. And meanwhile, languages spoken alongside one another also trade grammar, coming to look alike the way one’s pet dog and its owner sometimes does. Some languages are even direct crosses between one language and another, two languages having ‘reproduced along the lines of mitosis. 


















































































































































































































This Blog will attempt to answer these questions (along with the essential help of the linguists John McWhorter, Derek Bickerton, Ray Jackendoff, the psychologist Steven Pinker, the zoologist Richard Dawkins, the philosopher Daniel Dennett and many others). Like animals and plants, the world’s languages are the result of a long “natural history,” which began with a single first language spoken in Africa. As human populations spread out around the globe t to new places, each migrating group’s version of the language changed in different ways, until there were several languages where there was one. In time, there were thousands.   

このブログはこれらの疑問に答えていこうとするものです。参考にするのは言語学者のJohn McWhorter, Derek Bickerton, Ray Jackendoff と 哲学者のDaniel Dennett ほか多数の学者たちです。動物や植物と同じように世界の言語はアフリカで話されていたひとつの言語から始まり、長い「自然の歴史」の結果です。人類が世界中に広がっていき、各グループの言語が違ったかたちでいくつかの言語に変わっていき、やがて何千もの言語になったのです。

                                                   Introducion (2)

Languages change in ways that make old sound into new sounds and words into grammar, and they shift in different directions, so that, in time, there are languages as different as German and Japanese. Language change is never-ending; any language is gradually on its way to changing into a new one. The language, which doesn’t gradually adapt is the one on the verge of extinction.

This kind of change is so relentless that it even creates “languages within languages.” In separate populations who speak the same language, changes differ. The result is variations upon the language—that is, dialects. Often one dialect is chosen as the standard one, and when it is used in writing, it changes more slowly than the ones that are mostly just spoken. What is that? Perhaps it is because the permanency of writing has an official look that makes change seem suspect. But the dialects that are mostly just spoken keep on changing more normal pace. 

2 言語は次のように変わっていきました。古い音から新しい音へ。古い単語から新しい単語へ古い文法から新しい文法へ。そしてそれらが異なった方向へ変化していき、ドイツ語を日本語のように異なった言語になっていきました。言語の変化は終わりがありません。いかなる言語も少しずつ変化して新しくなっていきます。徐々に適応できなくなった言語は絶滅の危機にひんしていきます。


david8b at 09:44コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 





  • ライブドアブログ