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Class notes

Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Course Code
Winterterm Prof

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DTS 200 Feb 4th, 2011
Q: How do languages appear in the first place?
Field of historical linguistics traces languages back to their roots and even further
2 find the origins
Churches look down on this aspect of tracing language roots desecration Is an
important concept in this discussion
Literacy was a privilege; ownership of the written language meant power and power
was never easily given away
Church discouraged this search for language
oThey insisted on divine origin of language
oChristian bible written in Hebrew- regarded as a sacred languge
oPreviously they had scientifically proven the divinity of the origins of this
language and now this is contended
oTower of babel: bible story
oPunishment: language; fear of misunderstanding is a very profound human
oSlaves language: Pidgeon brought about a way of communicating amongst the
adults to help them communicate with each other
oHumans are born with the human language instinct naturally
o600 languages that are doing well and have atleast 100,000 speakers (if you
have less, it is expected to be doomed)
oOn earth there are between 3600-5600 estimated languages and 90% are in
danger of extinction
oMultilingual cultures/ societies do better (?)
oKnown fact (scientifically) that knowing more than one language reduces
your chance of getting Alzeihmers by six years
o15 points higher in IQ a fashionable concept
oPoints we need to know :
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