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1839 – Trilingual Chinese–Malay–English text – Malay was the lingua franca across the Strait of Malacca, including the coasts of the Malay Peninsula (now in Malaysia) and the eastern coast of Sumatra (now in Indonesia), and has been established as a native language of part of western coastal Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo.

A lingua franca (/ˌlɪŋɡwə ˈfræŋkə/ (About this soundlisten); lit. Frankish tongue),[1] also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.[2]

Lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human history, sometimes for commercial reasons (so-called "trade languages" facilitated trade), but also for cultural, religious, diplomatic, and administrative convenience, and as a means of exchanging information between scientists and other scholars of different nationalities.[3][4] The term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used (especially by traders and seamen) as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century. A world language – a language spoken internationally and by a large number of people – is a language that may function as a global lingua franca.

Contents

CharacteristicsEdit

Lingua franca refers to any language used for communication between people who do not share a native language.[5] It can refer to hybrid languages such as pidgins and creoles used for communication between language groups. It can also refer to languages which are native to one nation (often a colonial power) but used as a second language for communication between groups.[6] Lingua franca is a functional term, independent of any linguistic history or language structure.[7]

Lingua francas are often pre-existing languages with native speakers, but they can also be pidgin or creole languages developed for that specific region or context. Pidgin languages are rapidly developed and simplified combinations of two or more established languages, while creole languages are simply pidgins that evolve and are passed onto later generations.[8] Pre-existing lingua francas such as French are used to facilitate intercommunication in large-scale trade or political matters, while pidgins and creoles often arise out of colonial situations and a specific need for communication between colonists and indigenous peoples [9].  Pre-existing lingua francas are generally widespread, highly developed languages with many native speakers. Conversely, pidgin languages are very simplified means of communication, containing loose structuring, few grammatical rules, and possessing no native speakers. Creole languages are more developed than their ancestral pidgins, utilizing more complex structure, grammar, and vocabulary, as well as having native speakers [8].

Whereas a vernacular language is the native language of a specific geographical community, a lingua franca is used beyond the boundaries of its original community, for trade, religious, political, or academic reasons. For example, English is a vernacular in the United Kingdom but is used as a lingua franca in the Philippines. Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindustani, and Russian serve a similar purpose as industrial/educational lingua francas, across regional and national boundaries.

International auxiliary languages created with the purpose of being lingua francas such as Esperanto and Lingua Franca Nova have not had a great degree of adoption globally so they cannot be described as global lingua francas.[10]

EtymologyEdit

The term lingua franca derives from Mediterranean Lingua Franca, the pidgin language that people around the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean Sea used as the main language of commerce and diplomacy from late medieval times, especially during the Renaissance era, to the 18th century.[11][6] At that time, Italian-speakers dominated seaborne commerce in the port cities of the Ottoman Empire and a simplified version of Italian, including many loan words from Greek, Old French, Portuguese, Occitan, and Spanish as well as Arabic and Turkish came to be widely used as the "lingua franca" (in the generic sense) of the region.

In Lingua Franca (the specific language), lingua means a language, as in Portuguese and Italian, and franca is related to phrankoi in Greek and faranji in Arabic as well as the equivalent Italian. In all three cases, the literal sense is "Frankish", leading to the direct translation: "language of the Franks". During the late Byzantine Empire, "Franks" was a term that applied to all Western Europeans.[12][13][14]

Through changes of the term in literature, Lingua Franca has come to be interpreted as a general term for pidgins, creoles, and some or all forms of vehicular languages. This transition in meaning has been attributed to the idea that pidgin languages only became widely known from the 16th century on due to European colonization of continents such as The Americas, Africa, and Asia. During this time, the need for a term to address these pidgin languages arose, hence the shift in the meaning of Lingua Franca from a single proper noun to a common noun encompassing a large class of pidgin languages.[15]

As recently as the late 20th century, some restricted the use of the generic term to mean only hybrid languages that are used as vehicular languages, its original meaning.[16]

The Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary states that the term Lingua Franca (as the name of the particular language) was first recorded in English during the 1670s,[17] although an even earlier example of the use of Lingua Franca in English is attested from 1632, where it is also referred to as "Bastard Spanish".[18]

The term is well established in its naturalization to English, which is why major dictionaries do not italicize it as a "foreign" term.[19][20][21] Its plurals in English are lingua francas and linguae francae,[20][21] with the former being first-listed[20][21] or only-listed[19] in major dictionaries.

ExamplesEdit

The use of lingua francas has existed since antiquity. Latin and Koine Greek were the lingua francas of the Roman Empire and the Hellenistic culture. Akkadian (died out during Classical antiquity) and then Aramaic remained the common languages of a large part of Western Asia from several earlier empires.[22][23][full citation needed]

The Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) is the lingua franca of Pakistan and Northern India.[24][self-published source?][25][page needed] Many Indian states have adopted the Three-language formula in which students in Hindi speaking states are taught: "(a) Hindi (with Sanskrit as part of the composite course); (b) Urdu or any other modern Indian language and (c) English or any other modern European language." The order in non-Hindi speaking states is: "(a) the regional language; (b) Hindi; (c) Urdu or any other modern Indian language excluding (a) and (b); and (d) English or any other modern European language."[26] Hindi has also emerged as a lingua franca for the locals of Arunachal Pradesh, a linguistically diverse state in Northeast India.[27][28]It is estimated that 90 percent of the state's population knows Hindi.[29]

Swahili developed as a lingua franca between several Bantu-speaking tribal groups on the east coast of Africa with heavy influence from Arabic.[30] The earliest examples of writing in Swahili are from 1711.[31] In the early 1800's the use of Swahili as a lingua franca moved inland with the Arabic ivory and slave traders. It was eventually adopted by Europeans as well during periods of colonization in the area. German colonizers used it as the language of administration in Tanganyika, which influenced the choice to use it as a national language in what is now independent Tanzania.[30]

In the European Union, the use of English as a lingua franca has led to the emergence of a new dialect called Euro English.[32]

In Qatar, the medical community is primarily made up of workers from countries without English as a native language. In medical practices and hospitals, nurses typically communicate with other professionals in English as a lingua franca [33]. This occurrence has led to interest in researching the consequences and affordances of the medical community communicating in a lingua franca [34].

Indonesian – which originated from a Malay language variant spoken in Riau – is the official language and a lingua franca in Indonesia, although Javanese has more native speakers. Still, Indonesian is the sole official language and is spoken throughout the country. Persian is also the lingua franca of Iran and its national language.

Hausa can also be seen as a lingua franca because it is the language of communication between speakers of different languages in Northern Nigeria and other West African countries.

The only documented sign language used as a lingua franca is Plains Indian Sign Language, used across much of North America. It was used as a second language across many indigenous peoples. Alongside or a derivation of Plains Indian Sign Language was Plateau Sign Language, now extinct. Inuit Sign Language could be a similar case in the Arctic among the Inuit for communication across oral language boundaries, but little research exists.

Further readingEdit

  • Hall, R.A. Jr. (1966). Pidgin and Creole Languages. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0173-9.
  • Heine, Bernd (1970). Status and Use of African Lingua Francas. ISBN 3-8039-0033-6.
  • Kahane, Henry Romanos (1958). The Lingua Franca in the Levant.
  • Melatti, Julio Cezar (1983). Índios do Brasil (48 ed.). São Paulo: Hucitec Press.
  • Ostler, Nicholas (2005). Empires of the Word. London: Harper. ISBN 978-0-00-711871-7.
  • Ostler, Nicholas (2010). The Last Lingua Franca. New York: Walker. ISBN 978-0-8027-1771-9.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "lingua franca – definition of lingua franca in English from the Oxford dictionary". Oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  2. ^ Viacheslav A. Chirikba, "The problem of the Caucasian Sprachbund" in Pieter Muysken, ed., From Linguistic Areas to Areal Linguistics, 2008, p. 31. ISBN 90-272-3100-1
  3. ^ Nye, Mary Jo (2016). "Speaking in Tongues: Science's centuries-long hunt for a common language". Distillations. 2 (1): 40–43. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  4. ^ Gordin, Michael D. (2015). Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226000299.
  5. ^ "vehicular, adj." OED Online. Oxford University Press, July 2018. Web. 1 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "LINGUA FRANCA:CHIMERA OR REALITY?" (PDF). ISBN 9789279189876.
  7. ^ Intro SociolinguisticsPidgin and Creole Languages: Origins and Relationships – Notes for LG102, – University of Essex, Prof. Peter L. Patrick – Week 11, Autumn term.
  8. ^ a b "The Difference Between Lingua Franca, Pidgin, and Creole Languages". Teacher Finder. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Lingua Franca, Pidgin, and Creole". 3 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  10. ^ Directorate-General for Translation, European Commission (2011). "Studies on translation and multilingualism" (PDF). Europa (web portal). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2012.
  11. ^ "lingua franca | linguistics". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  12. ^ Lexico Triantaphyllide online dictionary, Greek Language Center (Kentro Hellenikes Glossas), lemma Franc ( Φράγκος Phrankos), Lexico tes Neas Hellenikes Glossas, G.Babiniotes, Kentro Lexikologias(Legicology Center) LTD Publications. Komvos.edu.gr. ISBN 960-86190-1-7. Retrieved 18 June 2015. Franc and (prefix) franco- (Φράγκος Phrankos and φράγκο- phranko-
  13. ^ "An etymological dictionary of modern English : Weekley, Ernest, 1865–1954 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  14. ^ [1] Archived 12 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Brosch, C. (2015). "On the Conceptual History of the Term Lingua Franca". Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies. 9 (1): 71–85. doi:10.17011/apples/2015090104.
  16. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Simon and Schuster, 1980
  17. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  18. ^ Morgan, J. (1632). A Compleat History of the Present Seat of War in Africa, Between the Spaniards and Algerines. p. 98. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  19. ^ a b Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries Online, Oxford University Press.
  20. ^ a b c Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  21. ^ a b c Merriam-Webster, MerriamWebster's Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster.
  22. ^ Ostler, 2005 pp. 38–40
  23. ^ Ostler, 2010 pp. 163–167
  24. ^ Mohammad Tahsin Siddiqi (1994), Hindustani-English code-mixing in modern literary texts, University of Wisconsin, ... Hindustani is the lingua franca of both India and Pakistan ...
  25. ^ Lydia Mihelič Pulsipher; Alex Pulsipher; Holly M. Hapke (2005), World Regional Geography: Global Patterns, Local Lives, Macmillan, ISBN 0-7167-1904-5, ... By the time of British colonialism, Hindustani was the lingua franca of all of northern India and what is today Pakistan ...
  26. ^ "Three Language Formula". Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development Department of Education. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  27. ^ Chandra, Abhimanyu (22 August 2014). "How Hindi Became the Language of Choice in Arunachal Pradesh." Scroll.in. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  28. ^ http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-17.html
  29. ^ Roychowdhury, Adrija (27 February 2018). "How Hindi Became Arunachal Pradesh's Lingua Franca." The Indian Express. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Swahili language". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  31. ^ E. A. Alpers, Ivory and Slaves in East Central Africa, London, 1975.., pp. 98–99 ; T. Vernet, "Les cités-Etats swahili et la puissance omanaise (1650–1720), Journal des Africanistes, 72(2), 2002, pp. 102–105.
  32. ^ Mollin, Sandra (2005). Euro-English assessing variety status. Tübingen: Narr. ISBN 382336250X.
  33. ^ Tweedie, Gregory; Johnson, Robert. "Listening instruction and patient safety: Exploring medical English as a lingua franca (MELF) for nursing education". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  34. ^ Tweedie, Gregory; Johnson, Robert. "Listening instruction and patient safety: Exploring medical English as a lingua franca (MELF) for nursing education". Retrieved 6 January 2018.

External linksEdit