Linguistics 001      Fall 2000      Homework 8      Due Mo 12/04

In answering the following questions, use the on-line edition of Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Barbara F. Grimes, Ed. Use the searching capabilities of the on-line edition, which allow you to search for most text strings that are found in Ethnologue entries, including names of particular languages, language families, typological characteristics, and so on.

A typical Ethnologue entry looks like this:

BORA (BORO) [BOA] 1,500 to 2,000 in all countries; 500 Bora in Colombia; 1,000 to 1,500 in Peru (1977 SIL). Amazonas near the Solim§es, between the TefÚ and Caišara rivers, and along the Brazilian part of the Rio Išß. Witotoan, Boran. Dialect: MIRANHA (MIRAĐA, MIR├NIA). Mira˝a has 94% intelligibility with Bora. 457 Mira˝a in Brazil (1986 SIL) no longer speak the language. Typology: SOV. Riverine. NT 1982. Bible portions 1962-1976.

The language name is given first, along with alternate names in parentheses, and the SIL three-letter language code (here BOA). An estimate is given of the number of speakers by place, and some details of the regions where they live. The language "pedigree" is given: here "Witottoan, Boran" (for Italian, the list is "Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Romance"). A list of names of dialects is given. Some typological information may be given, usually syntactic (here "SOV", meaning the usual word order is "subject object verb").

Be sure to read the help page for the Ethnologue search facilty.

1. Find all the languages that Ethnologue lists as having OVS word order. Prepare a table whose rows are the various languages you find, and whose columns are the language name, the country or countries where it is spoken, the number of speakers, and the major language family (the first name in the "pedigree".

2. How many languages does Ethnologue list as having object before subject? (see Fromkin & Rodman pp. 478-479).

3. How many living languages does Ethnologue cite for the United States? What number of first language speakers of English does Ethnologue cite for the U.S., and what proportion of the population is this? Which language has the next largest number of first language speakers in the U.S.? How many U.S. (first-language) speakers and what proportion of the population does it have?

4. What are the (more) standard names for Wendish? What country is it spoken in? What is its largest (in terms of number of speakers) close relative (in terms of language family)? (hint: follow the link for the major family involved, and search the "family tree" to find its "sister languages").

5. How many first-language speakers of Vlach are listed for the U.S.? What is the common name for the population that speaks Vlach? Is Vlach more closely related to Romanian, to Russian, or to Hindi? Explain.

 

 

 
    [course home page]    [lecture schedule]     [homework]