Portal:Languages
Get Portal:Languages essential facts below. View Videos or join the Portal:Languages discussion. Add Portal:Languages to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Portal:Languages
Welcome to the Language Portal

The Language Portal

A mural in Teotihuacan, Mexico (c. 2nd century) depicting a person emitting a speech scroll from his mouth, symbolizing speech
Braille writing, a tactile variant of a writing system
Cuneiform is the first known form of written language, but spoken language predates writing by at least tens of thousands of years.
Two girls learning American Sign Language

A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), sign, or often writing. The structure of language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Many languages, including the most widely-spoken ones, have writing systems that enable sounds or signs to be recorded for later reactivation. Human language is unique among known systems of animal communication in that it is not dependent on a single mode of transmission (sight, sound etc.), it is highly variable between cultures and across time, and affords a much wider range of expression than other systems. It has the properties of productivity and displacement, and relies on social convention and learning.

Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on the arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) between languages and dialect. Natural languages are spoken or signed (or both), but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli - for example, in writing, whistling, signing, or braille. In other words, human language is modality-independent, but written or signed language is the way to inscribe or encode the natural human speech or gestures.

Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral, manual and tactile languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

The scientific study of language is called linguistics. Critical examinations of languages, such as philosophy of language, the relationships between language and thought, etc., such as how words represent experience, have been debated at least since Gorgias and Plato in ancient Greek civilization. Thinkers such as Rousseau (1712 - 1778) have debated that language originated from emotions, while others like Kant (1724 -1804), have held that languages originated from rational and logical thought. Twentieth century philosophers such as Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951) argued that philosophy is really the study of language itself. Major figures in contemporary linguistics of these times include Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky. (Full article...)

Selected language - show another

A series of four hands fingerspelling "B-A-S-L"

Black American Sign Language (BASL) or Black Sign Variation (BSV) is a dialect of American Sign Language (ASL) used most commonly by deaf African Americans in the United States. The divergence from ASL was influenced largely by the segregation of schools in the American South. Like other schools at the time, schools for the deaf were segregated based upon race, creating two language communities among deaf signers: white deaf signers at white schools and black deaf signers at black schools. Today, BASL is still used by signers in the South despite public schools having been legally desegregated since 1954.

Linguistically, BASL differs from other varieties of ASL in its phonology, syntax, and vocabulary. BASL tends to have a larger signing space, meaning that some signs are produced further away from the body than in other dialects. Signers of BASL also tend to prefer two-handed variants of signs, while signers of ASL tend to prefer one-handed variants. Some signs are different in BASL as well, with some borrowings from African American English. (Full article...)

Categories

Linguistics: Computational linguistics o Grammar o Historical linguistics o Morphology o Phonetics o Phonology o Pragmatics o Reading o Semantics o Sociolinguistics o Syntax o Writing

Languages: Language families o Pidgins and creoles o Sign languages

Linguists: By nationality o Historical linguists o Morphologists o Phoneticians o Phonologists o Sociolinguists o Syntacticians o Translators

Stubs: Constructed languages o Languages o Linguists o Pidgins and creoles o Typography o Vocabulary and usage o Writing systems

Full Language category tree
Select [?] to view subcategories

Related portals

Selected topic - show another

The Bengali Language Movement (Bengali: ? ? Bhasha Andolôn) was a political movement in former East Bengal (renamed East Pakistan in 1952) advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of the then-Dominion of Pakistan in order to allow its use in government affairs, the continuation of its use as a medium of education, its use in media, currency and stamps, and to maintain its writing in the Bengali script.

When the Dominion of Pakistan was formed after the separation of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 when the British left, it was composed of various ethnic and linguistic groups, with the geographically non-contiguous East Bengal province having a mainly Bengali population. In 1948, the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956. (Full article...)

Selected picture - show another

Phoenician alphabet.svg
Credit: Luca

The Phoenician alphabet was a non-pictographic consonantal alphabet, or abjad. It became one of the most widely used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world, where it evolved and was assimilated by many other cultures. The Aramaic alphabet, a modified form of Phoenician, was the ancestor of modern Arabic script, while Hebrew script is a stylistic variant of the Aramaic script. The Greek alphabet (and by extension its descendants such as the Latin, the Cyrillic and the Coptic), was a direct successor of Phoenician, though certain letter values were changed to represent vowels.

Language News

8 November 2021 -
Ukraine's oldest English language newspaper the Kyiv Post suspends publication after 26 years in print following a dispute between its owner and journalists. All of the newspaper's journalists have been fired with immediate effect. (The Guardian)
29 September 2021 - COVID-19 misinformation
Russia threatens to ban YouTube if it does not reinstate two German-language channels backed by the Russian state that were deleted for violating COVID-19 misinformation guidelines. (BBC)
23 June 2021 - LGBT rights in Poland
Polish education minister Przemys?aw Czarnek accuses the LGBT community of "insulting public morality" for a march held on Saturday in support of rights for the community. The opposition condemns Czarnek's comments as "language of hate". (Reuters)
5 June 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
Belgian federal and regional health ministers agree to open vaccination for teenagers aged 16 to 17 years old using Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The programme will begin once the vaccination of adults has been completed. (The Guardian)
Language news from Wikinews...

Topics

Languages of the world
Icon-notepad.svg

Languages of Africa: Arabic, Chadic, Cushitic, Kanuri, Maasai, Setswana, Swahili, Turkana, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu, more...

Languages of the Americas: Aleut, Carib, Cherokee, Inuktitut, Iroquois, Kootenai, Mayan, Nahuatl, Navajo, Quechuan, Salish, American Sign Language, more...

Languages of Asia: Arabic, Assamese, Balochi, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Hajong, Hebrew, Hindustani, Kannada, Kokborok, Marathi, Khasi, Korean, Kurdish, Malayalam, Manipuri, Meithei, Mongolian, Persian, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Sylheti, Tamil, Tanchangya, Tulu, Telugu, Tibetan, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Khowar, more...

Languages of Austronesia: Austric, Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Malagasy, Malay, Maori, Marshallese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tagalog, Tongan, Auslan, more...

Languages of Europe: Basque, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (book), French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Leonese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian more...

Constructed languages: Esperanto, Ido, Volapük, more...


Language types

Agglutinative language, Analytic language, Constructed language, Creole, Context-free language, Extinct language, Dialect, Fusional language, Inflectional language, International language, Isolating language, Language isolate, National language, Natural language, Pidgin, Pluricentric language, Polysynthetic language, Proto-language, Sign language, Spoken language, Synthetic language, Variety (linguistics)


Nuvola apps ksig.png

Applied linguistics, Cognitive linguistics, Accent (dialect), Computational linguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Eurolinguistics, Generative linguistics, Historical linguistics, Lexicology, Lexical semantics, Morphology, Onomasiology, Phonetics, Phonology, Pragmatics, Prescription, Prototype semantics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Stylistics, Sociolinguistics, Syntax

See also: List of linguists


Phrase sanskrit.svg

Alphabets: Arabic alphabet, Bengali alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Latin alphabet, more...

Other writing systems: Abjad, Abugida, Braille, Hieroglyphics, Logogram, Syllabary, SignWriting, more..

See also: History of the alphabet, Script

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Study Guides
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Find a language

Enter an ISO 639 code to find the corresponding language article

Portals


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Portal:Languages
 



 



 
Music Scenes