Is French a Global Language?

Jun 2, 2015 by

An article by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry in Forbes challenged John McWhorter’s view that French is no longer an important global language (see McWhorter’s “Let’s Stop Pretending That French Is an Important Language” in The New Republic)....

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Atkinson’s theory of language origins

Feb 10, 2012 by

In a number of earlier posts, I’ve discussed the recent work by Quentin D. Atkinson from the University of Auckland on the origin and spread of language. In an article published in Science, Atkinson shows that by applying...

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On official languages of sub-Saharan Africa

Dec 9, 2011 by

BY ADETOLA LAWAL (“Languages of the World”) Many sub-Saharan countries kept former colonial languages as their official language in order to “to avoid some of the ethnic and linguistic quagmires” since these languages...

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Dec 8, 2011 by

BY TYLER JAMISON (“Languages of the World”)             Swahili is spoken by more than 60 million people (5 million people speak it as their mother tongue) and is the most widely known language in Africa after Arabic. It...

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Linguistic diversity in Africa and Europe

Jun 16, 2011 by

As can be seen from the map below, Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the world’s hotbeds of linguistic diversity. Indeed, the Niger-Congo language family, spoken in the largest part of Sub-Saharan Africa, is the largest language...

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