As many languages die out, new languages also emerge

By | August 27, 2018

Peter Bakker writes:

In Italy they speak Italian. In Germany they speak German, and in Denmark, Danish. If this was true for all other countries, there would be 193 languages spoken today.

But in reality, there are many more: 8,475 according to glottolog.org, where linguists map languages from around the world.

In fact few countries speak just one or two languages natively, such as Iceland and Denmark. Besides their mother tongue, most people there also speak English.

And if that was not confusing enough, new languages are being developed all the time. For example, so-called creole languages, which arise when two or more groups of people all with their own languages come in contact with each other, and need to communicate.

In our research group at Aarhus University, Denmark, we compared these newly developed grammars with non-creole languages from around the world.

The results were spectacular. [Continue reading…]

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