بحث با Marten و Inge: تنوع زبان

 
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>> Hi, in the previous video,
I have shown to you that humans and language really belong together. And that is not just
because human language is different from animal
communication systems. It's also because all humans
have a language unless there is something really, really wrong. And this MOOC, in every module, I will also discuss topics like this
with my students, Inge and Marten. This is going to be our first discussion. >> Okay. I would like to ask the first
question then, because you just said that all humans have language, then so how come
we do not all speak the same language? >> Okay. Yeah, that's,
that's a very intriguing question. It's something, which has intrigued
people forever for thousands of years. Because it's so strange, it's so weird. It's maybe you could even think it's so
bad that we don't all speak the same language, because we can't
all understand each other. Well, actually, I think you can debate
whether that's a bad thing or not, but you could say, at least it's strange. How come it is a something,
which is so human, why don't we all do it in the same way? And there are different
answers to this question. One of them is that, actually this whole idea that language
serves as a communication system. I have an idea in my head and
I transfer it to you, that might not just be
the only function of language, maybe not even the primary
function of language. There might be other things, so to
actually show that I am really different that you might be another
function of language. And I can show that by speaking
differently, so that's one factor. And another factor might be
just that every generation has to learn the language again and
language is really complicated. So things can go wrong when
you are learning the language. So when the children
are learning the language, they might do it just
slightly differently. And this is how we believe for
instance, that from Latin in Italy, Italian derived and
in France, French derived. Just because people started
speaking differently and slowly over the generations
these languages drifted apart. >> So languages change and
that's why there's so much variation, but do all languages also
have the same origin. So wouldn't, it could be possible
that there was one region or place or a speech community even in which there
was a language that was like an ancestor of all the languages that exist now. >> Yeah, that's a fantastic idea. That would be still so, okay. Maybe we don't all speak
the same language now, but at least we derive from ancestors
who spoke the same language. So Latin maybe had a mother and
a grandmother, etc. And maybe if we go back far enough, we will find this one language,
which is the origin of all. One thing which makes this extra
appealing is that it does seem to be the case that our species,
homosapien, does have one origin. I have, I brought the globe
to show where this origin is. [LAUGH] Mainly here, in East Africa. So we know for sure, at least it's quite, seems to be quite sure that this
is where we all came from and people then migrated to different parts
of the world in the course of time. Now, if it is the case that homosapiens
already spoke, already had a language. So, if it's really the case that
humans and language belong together, then maybe there was one
language spoken already here and then maybe all languages
derived from that. The problem is this is speculation. This is just mere speculation. And the reason for that is languages
have been written for maybe, well, 5,000 years or something like
that at a very short periods. A 100,000 years ago when these
migrations maybe started, people only spoke their language and
speaking is just moving the air and that disappears that the things I said,
just now have already disappeared. They are no longer there, they're just, they were in the air
they are no longer there. Let alone the things of a 100,000
years ago, so it's a nice idea that maybe there was a language,
a common language a 100,000 years ago. Maybe it's even true, but I don't think we will ever
know what that language was. >> Okay. >> So, I also have question and
that has to do with human language. So we've seen that animals and humans
have different communication systems. But there surely are some things
that look like languages and that sound like languages that humans use, but that I'm not sure that
they qualify as languages. So that's, for example,
in what they use in Lord of Rings or in Star Trek or in Game of Thrones. There is a system and it's different
from anything else that I know. So, is it then another language? >> Yeah. This, it's has become quite popular in
the last decades to make a movie or scientific move, science fiction movie or
some movie about some, some fantasy people and
to give a language to those people. Actually, those languages
are very often made by linguists. They're produced by linguists. So, it's something which linguists do. So can linguists make languages then? And the answer to that,
in the end, it seems to be no. A linguist cannot really make a language. And the reason for
that is that an important criteria for distinguishing a natural language from
an artificial language is native speakers. Is the language learned by children,
from a very early age on? Is it learnt in a natural way? So not like from a book or
in the classroom setting, but just by picking it up from their parents. And that doesn't seem to be the case for
these languages. >> Hm. >> So we don't consider them
natural languages for this reason. >> Yeah. So, if I would learn Elvish
from talking really well and I would teach it to my children. Would they then be considered native
speakers and is this happening? Does somebody do this, actually? >> I'm not sure whether anybody
is doing this for Elvish. I don't think I would advise it for
anybody to do it for Elvish. But if, if it would be done and
if it would be done seriously there would be several problems for
these children so, because who would they speak Elvish to,
except for their parents. But it would be I, in my view it would
be an interesting case for linguists. It would be something,
which would become worth studying. Still many linguists consider this to
be a problem problematic kind of case, because well,
there are still all these issues of do, you'll probably learn many other languages
as well this will just be a tiny part. There's no community,
that was another criteria and we saw. There's not a community of speakers,
which so we distinguish natural languages and
artificial languages also in that way. So there's no commu-,
still no community for Elvish. So, in a crazy world where there would
be a village who would all start speaking Elvish in a few generations,
it would be a natural language. It would be a wonderful experiment for
linguistics. It would maybe not be such
a good experiment for humanity. In this video, we've seen that although
it might seem preferable for everybody to speak the same language, there's also
various reasons why this is not the case. There are historical reasons. There are reasons of language acquisition. And we have seen that
there are certain things, which in every day life,
we might call languages, but which linguists are more
hesitant to take into account. And we mentioned some of
those like Dothraki and I'm sure that among you there will
be people who speak some of these languages like Klingon or
maybe you speak Esperanto. Do you think that those are natural
languages, given our criteria or not? You can go to our forum and
discuss topics like this. In the next video, we're going to look more into
the diversity of the world's languages. I'm going to talk a little
bit about the question, whether languages are really countable and
how many languages there are in the world. And we're going to look into
an important online reference work for studying language diversity in
individual countries and in the world.

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