LING 3018 - Language in a Global Society

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

The impact of globalization and talknology (talk + technology) on languages is far-reaching. Next to the loss or endangerment of most of the world's 7000 languages, a small number of super languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and English are emerging. The course will examine to what extent the emergence of global languages is due to deliberate political decisions and to what extent it is due to the unintended outcome of major social, cultural or talknological change. Whilst the course will pay particular attention to global English and the new Englishes (such as Singlish, Indian English, Hong Kong English and Chinglish), coverage will also be given to the previous or potential global roles of languages such as Latin, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese (though no knowledge of a language other than English will be assumed or required). The course will also analyse constructed languages (Conlangs) and will innovatively classify them into Auxiliary Languages (Auxlangs) such as Esperanto, Ido and Volapuk, and Artistically-constructed Languages (Artlangs) such as Klingon, Quenya and Tsolyani. It will look at language policy and multilingualism, and examine the transparent and camouflaged impact of English on the world's languages. It will also explore issues of language, religion, identity and nationhood.

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