Language Spread and Its Study in the Twenty-First Century

Ofelia García

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Language Spread and Its Study in the Twenty-First Century

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The study of language, its spread in the twenty-first century is the nucleus of this article. Language spread is, according to Cooper, “an increase, over time, in the proportion of a communication network that adopts a given language or language variety for a given communicative function”. It is generally taken for granted that language, as a concomitant of culture, can spread. Schoolchildren learn of the spread of Greek culture and language throughout the Mediterranean world, of the spread of Roman influence and Latin throughout the Roman Empire, and of the spread of Islam as a new world religion that accompanied the spread of the language of the Koran, Arabic. The ecology of languages paradigm, on the other hand, includes factors that emphasize the sustainability of language diversity and multilingualism, and the equality of languages—factors associated with the third period. This article synthesizes language spread, focusing on the defining characteristics of this field of study.

Keywords: language; language spread; communication network; communicative function; ecology of languages; language diversity; multilingualism

Article.  5656 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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