Languages of the World

4 April 2015
Definitions of language, sources, impact of geography, classification, distribution, dialects.

Language is a vital part of human life, and there are hundreds of different languages in use in the world today. Yet, there is much that is not known about the origin of language, the way languages have developed, and the relationships among certain languages, and even the manner of our acquisition of language. Linguists have developed the idea of different families of language to show how certain existing languages developed from an earlier root, though whether all languages can at some point be traced back to a single Ur-language remains a controversial subject. An examination of the problems in defining language and of the patterns discerned in language distribution in the world will help define the issues faced in the study of languages.

Mario Pei notes that the languages of the world have only been imperfectly studied and classified and that too little is…

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