See also: Language (homonymy)
A language is a system of linguistic signs vocal, graphic or gestural which allows the communication between the individuals.
Language and languageA definition Linguistique of the language specifies that it is a system of doubly articulated signs , i.e. the construction of the direction is done on two levels of articulation. One finds first of all that of the meaning entities (Morphème S and Lexème S, or monems ) forming the stated S then that of the distinctive units of direction (Phonème S) forming the meaning units. These two levels of articulation determine the first levels of linguistic description: Phonology, morphology and Syntax. André Martinet specifies that the order of description is necessarily opposite about perception or of use of the language: description starts with the second level of articulation (phonemes) to go towards the first (the combinative of units meaning).
One generally distinguishes the language (system of signs) and the language (human faculty implementation by means of such a system). One also distinguishes, since Ferdinand de Saussure, the language and the word (i.e. the effective use of the system of the language by the speakers).
One calls Native tongue of a person the language (S) that this person learned (S) in her childhood during her training from the language.
From the point of view Sociolinguistique (study of the languages in their report/ratio at the companies), the " term; langue" any idiom fulfilling defines two fundamental social functions: the " Communication " (it is by means of the language that the social actors exchanges and share their ideas, feelings, thoughts, etc) and l'" Identification " (of share its double individual and collective aspect, the language serves of identity marker as for the characteristics of the individual and as its social memberships). Consequently, the “languages” are alive objects, subjected to multiple phenomena of variations and the borders between the languages are considered nonhermetic because they initially raise of the social practical (e.g.: in what the statement " The meeting is schédulée for the week-end" would not be it " French "?). By taking of account the value of the representations of the words in company, the sociolinguists thus substitute the " term; langue" with those being able to return to pejorative connotations or devaluing (e.g.: " Dialect " , " Patois " …).
If the great majority of the spoken languages in the world are natural languages '' '', which were formed spontaneously starting from former states of language, there exist however also artificial languages or built languages , like the Esperanto, the Volapük, the Ido the Interlingua, the Lojban, or the klingon, which were created consciously by individuals.
A language is known as alive when it is orally used by people of which it is the native tongue, or by a sufficiently many community - and in a sufficiently intensive way - to allow a spontaneous evolution of the language (case of the Esperanto).
One calls Dead language or extinct a language which is not practiced any more orally like native tongue, but which can be still used in certain fields (such as the religion). The knowledge of the died languages, by allowing the study of the old texts, is useful in particular for the Linguistique history, like with the Histoire and with its additional disciplines. The two dead languages most important of the Occidental culture are the Latin and the old Greek . The expression “dead language” is disputed per many of those which practice them. One prefers “old language then to him”. It is possible of “ressusciter” died languages, as the example of the Hebrew shows it.
A living language is seldom a system uniform and rigid, it generally varies according to the geographical place (Dialecte S), social environment (Sociolecte S) and the individuals (Idiolecte S) and, of course, according to time (diachroniquement), with the result that, considered at a given time, a language is always in evolution and contains several states. For example, the phonological system of the languages is in constant evolution, which studies the Phonétique history. A living language is defined in an internationally recognized linguistic geography and is defined by its linguistic Frontière. If the latter is crossed by a border, it is a transborder Langue.
Languages of the world
See also: List of languages
It is impossible to determine with precision the number of spoken languages in the world, because of the difficulty that there is to trace precise borders between the languages, in particular of differentiating the languages from the dialects. According to the estimates, there would exist today between 3.000 and 7.000 living languages.
Disappearance of the languagesOne of the essential difficulties which arise for the languages of the world is that of the safeguarding of the diversity. The linguist Colette Grinevald estimates that approximately 50% of the languages will disappear from here 2100. In certain areas, that could be about 90% (as in Australia and America).
It is estimated that in 2100, the majority languages will be:
- the English, like international language for the trade and the scientific exchanges in particular.
- the French, like language of the international diplomacy, the " Non-Alignés" country; , of the international organizations, the Olympic Games. The Francophonie should go well, in particular through its development within the community of the French-speaking countries, with its increasing expansion to Africa and in the Maghreb and the contest of the linguistic dynamism of the Belgian, Swiss and Québécois French-speaking people.
- the Spanish , in South America
- the Portuguese, in South America, Europe and Africa
- the Arab
- the Chinese and the Hindi , in Asia
- the Swahili and the wolof, in Africa
A language is regarded as threatened if it is likely not to more have speakers from here the end of the 21e century. A language which appears solid, because used by several million people, can be in danger. It is in particular the case of the languages Quechua in South America, because very few young people learn it.
Since the majority of humanity lives in urban environments, this disappearance accelerates. One of the Cause S is the Rural migration, which makes that the Tradition S cannot be perpetuated and the use of the languages which goes with. Often, the social pressure makes that the minority speakers of languages (like the Amerindian S but also many languages known as regional, as in France with the Breton S during the Années 1950) consider that to speak a traditional language is a handicap for integration in the company and to find work. Pressure exerted by some State S, which considers that the language is one of cements of the company, is also a factor of disappearance of diversity Linguistique.
The disappearance of these languages involves with it the disappearance of whole pieces of the traditional Culture of certain groups. The disappearance of a traditional language and the bad training of the dominant language cause a faintness at certain people, for lack of integration, those being able to recognize itself in no Culture.
Internet plays an ambivalent part, it is on a side an accelerator of the disappearance of the languages, by the standardization of the means of communication. But it is also a means of preserving these languages, by the establishment of communities speaking about the traditional languages.
See also: List of the languages per full number of speakers
International statutes of the languagesThe languages can have various statutes in the international organizations, particularly, the Official language and the Working language.
Languages and computer's resources
There exist many needs, many legal provisions, many practices which require to manage the language in a certain manner:
- provisions of linguistic policy (in France, the Law on the use of the French language for example);
- the Political linguistics of the European Union, for the diffusion of the European directives and the payments;
- the Optimization of the search engines;
- the good practices quality;
- councils for internationalization.
There exist two uses of the language in the languages HTML and XML:
- the primary language;
- the language of treatment.
See also: Language (metadatum)
The arrival of new technologies like the Data-processing , Internet and the cell phones with messages textos led to the creation in a new way of writing the languages, the Langage SMS.
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