By Nicholas Ostler
English is the world's lingua franca—the most generally spoken language in human background. And but, as historian and linguist Nicholas Ostler persuasively argues, English won't in basic terms be displaced because the world's language within the not-distant destiny, it will likely be the final lingua franca, no longer changed through another.
Empire, trade, and faith were the first raisons d'etre for lingua francas—Greek, Latin, Arabic have all held the position—and Ostler explores each one during the lens of civilizations spanning the globe and heritage, from China and India to Russia and Europe. 3 tendencies emerge that recommend the last word decline of English and different lingua francas. routine through the international in the direction of equality in society will downgrade the prestige of elites--and on account that elites are the best clients of non-native English, the language will steadily retreat to its native-speaking territories. The emerging wealth of Brazil, Russia, India, and China will problem the dominance of native-English-speaking nations--thereby shrinking the foreign choice for English. at the same time, new applied sciences will enable rapid translation between significant languages, enhacing the prestige of mom tongues and lessening the need for any destiny lingua franca.
Ostler predicts a smooth touchdown for English: it is going to nonetheless be extensively spoken, if now not around the world, sustained by way of America's persisted energy at the global degree. yet its decline may be either symbolic and important, proof of grand shifts within the cultural results of empire. 'The final Lingua Franca's' either an insightful exam of the trajectory of our personal mom tongue and a desirable lens during which to view the sweep of heritage.
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Additional info for The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel
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Se piisang s-ara-makang. 1sg banana 1sg-prog-eat The presence of languages such as (Mandarin) Chinese, Yoruba, etc. give us enough proof that old E-languages do not have to possess inﬂectional (afﬁxational) morphology. However, we still need to answer the question of whether the possession of inﬂectional morphology implies that a language is old. Gil (2001) shows that Riau Indonesian, while old (from a social perspective) does not make use of inﬂectional morphology, and Ansaldo and Nordhoff (forthcoming) question the correlation between age and the presence of inﬂectional morphology.
Deﬁning Creole. New York: Oxford University Press. Muysken, P. 2004. Pidginization, creolization, and language death. In Booij, G. & C. Lehmann, J. Mugdan, S. Skopeteas & W. Kesselheim (eds). Morphologie/ Morphology. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 1653–1661. Parkvall, M. 2003. Reduplication in the Atlantic Creoles. In Kouwenberg, S. ). Twice as Meaningful: Reduplication in Pidgins, Creoles, and Other Contact Languages. ] London: Battlebridge. 19–36. Plag, I. ). 2003. Phonology and Morphology of Creole Languages.
The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler