Tuesday, 15 July 2014

What will the English of the future look like??

English is currently the world's dominant language - the lingua franca of science, medicine, technology and many other areas. A present there are here is no obvious threat to English on the near horizon. 

But a recent article in The Economist suggests that while English may remain dominant, it is likely to evolve along Globish lines to suit the majority of non-native (L2) speakers

Interestingly, about two-thirds of English-speakers are not first-language speakers of English .... Shaped by the mouths of billions of non-native speakers, what will the English of the future look like?
A look into the past can give us an idea. English is of course not the first language learned by lots of non-natives. When languages spread, they also change. And it turns out, they do so in specific directions.
For example, a 2010 study by Gary Lupyan and Rick Dale found that bigger languages are simpler. In more precise terms, languages with many speakers and many neighbours have simpler systems of inflectional morphology, the grammatical prefixes and suffixes (and sometimes “infixes”) that make languages like Latin, Russian and Ancient Greek hard for the foreign learner. 
Contrary to educated people’s stereotypes, the tiny languages spoken by “stone-age” or isolated tribes tend to be the world’s most complicated, while big ones are less so, by this metric. 

From Simpler and More Foreign by RLG Berlin Source

1 comment:

  1. Can you give more examples please?

    ReplyDelete

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