Portal:Language

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Introduction

A mural in Teotihuacan, Mexico (c. 2nd century) depicting a person emitting a speech scroll from his mouth, symbolizing speech
Braille writing, a tactile variant of a writing system
Cuneiform is the first known form of written language, but spoken language predates writing by at least tens of thousands of years.
Two girls learning American Sign Language

A language is a structured system of communication. The structure of a language is its grammar and the free components are its vocabulary. Languages are the primary means of communication of humans, and can be conveyed through speech (spoken language), sign, or writing. Many languages, including the most widely-spoken ones, have writing systems that enable sounds or signs to be recorded for later reactivation. Human language is unique among the known systems of animal communication in that it is not dependent on a single mode of transmission (sight, sound, etc.), is highly variable between cultures and across time, and affords a much wider range of expression than other systems.

Human languages have the properties of productivity and displacement, and rely on social convention and learning.

Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. Precise estimates depend on an arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) being established between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken, signed, or both; however, any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, writing, whistling, signing, or braille. In other words, human language is modality-independent, but written or signed language is the way to inscribe or encode the natural human speech or gestures.

Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral, manual and tactile languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances. (Full article...)

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  Territories where Catalan is spoken and is official
  Territories where Catalan is spoken but is not official
  Territories where Catalan is not historically spoken but is official

Catalan (/ˈkætələn, -æn, ˌkætəˈlæn/; autonym: català, Eastern Catalan: [kətəˈla]), known in the Valencian Community and Carche as Valencian, is a Western Romance language. It is the official language of Andorra, and an official language of three autonomous communities in eastern Spain: Catalonia, the Valencian Community, and the Balearic Islands. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France and in two further areas in eastern Spain: the eastern strip of Aragon and the Carche area in the Region of Murcia. The Catalan-speaking territories are often called the Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".

The language evolved from Vulgar Latin in the Middle Ages around the eastern Pyrenees. Nineteenth-century Spain saw a Catalan literary revival, culminating in the early 1900s. (Full article...)

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Categories

Linguistics: Computational linguisticsGrammarHistorical linguisticsMorphologyPhoneticsPhonologyPragmaticsReadingSemanticsSociolinguisticsSyntaxWriting

Languages: Language familiesPidgins and creolesSign languages

Linguists: By nationalityHistorical linguistsMorphologistsPhoneticiansPhonologistsSociolinguistsSyntacticiansTranslators

Stubs: Constructed languagesLanguagesLinguistsPidgins and creolesTypographyVocabulary and usageWriting systems

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The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF; sometimes shortened to the Francophonie, French: La Francophonie [la fʁɑ̃kɔfɔni], but also called International Organisation of La Francophonie in English-language context) is an international organization representing countries and regions where French is a lingua franca or customary language, where a significant proportion of the population are francophones (French speakers), or where there is a notable affiliation with French culture.

The organization comprises 88 member states and governments; of these, 54 states and governments are full members, 7 are associate members and 27 are observers. The term francophonie (with a lowercase "f"), or francosphere (often capitalized in English), also refers to the global community of French-speaking peoples, comprising a network of private and public organizations promoting equal ties among countries where French people or France played a significant historical role, culturally, militarily, or politically. (Full article...)

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Credit: Yug, Sting and The Ogre

Countries and regions where Portuguese has official status

Language News

13 June 2022 – Censorship of Wikipedia
The Wikimedia Foundation files an appeal against a Russian court order demanding the removal of certain Russo-Ukrainian War-related information from the Russian-language Wikipedia, which is one of the few remaining fact-checked sources still available to the general Russian public. (Reuters) (DW)
2 June 2022 – Internet censorship in Russia
Russia blocks access to the Finnish, Russian and English websites of Finnish state broadcaster Yle, on orders of the Prosecutor-General of Russia. (Yle)
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Topics

Languages of the world
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Languages of Africa: Arabic, Chadic, Cushitic, Kanuri, Maasai, Setswana, Swahili, Turkana, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu, more...

Languages of the Americas: Aleut, Carib, Cherokee, Inuktitut, Iroquois, Kootenai, Mayan, Nahuatl, Navajo, Quechuan, Salish, American Sign Language, more...

Languages of Asia: Arabic, Assamese, Balochi, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, Hajong, Hebrew, Hindustani, Kannada, Kokborok, Marathi, Khasi, Korean, Kurdish, Malayalam, Manipuri, Meithei, Mongolian, Persian, Rajasthani, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Sylheti, Tamil, Tanchangya, Tulu, Telugu, Tibetan, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Khowar, more...

Languages of Austronesia: Austric, Fijian, Hawaiian, Javanese, Malagasy, Malay, Maori, Marshallese, Samoan, Tahitian, Tagalog, Tongan, Auslan, more...

Languages of Europe: Basque, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (book), French, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Leonese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian more...

Constructed languages: Esperanto, Ido, Volapük, more...


Language types

Agglutinative language, Analytic language, Constructed language, Creole, Context-free language, Extinct language, Dialect, Fusional language, Inflectional language, International language, Isolating language, Language isolate, National language, Natural language, Pidgin, Pluricentric language, Polysynthetic language, Proto-language, Sign language, Spoken language, Synthetic language, Variety (linguistics)


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Applied linguistics, Cognitive linguistics, Accent (dialect), Computational linguistics, Descriptive linguistics, Eurolinguistics, Generative linguistics, Historical linguistics, Lexicology, Lexical semantics, Morphology, Onomasiology, Phonetics, Phonology, Pragmatics, Prescription, Prototype semantics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Stylistics, Sociolinguistics, Syntax

See also: List of linguists


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Alphabets: Arabic alphabet, Bengali alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet, Latin alphabet, more...

Other writing systems: Abjad, Abugida, Braille, Hieroglyphics, Logogram, Syllabary, SignWriting, more..

See also: History of the alphabet, Script

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