東大過去問 2003年 第1問(要約)

/ 2月 23, 2020/ 第1問(要約), 東大過去問, 過去問/ 1 comments



There are estimated to be about 5,000 languages currently spoken in the world today, depending on which you count as dialects and which as distinct languages. To these, you can perhaps add a handful of ‘dead’ languages that are still taught in schools (ancient Greek and Latin) or used in religious services (Sanskrit and Ge’ez). Linguists expect that well over half of all these languages will become extinct, in the sense of having no native speakers, within the next half-century. They are mostly languages which currently have fewer than a thousand native speakers, most of whom are already elderly. The time may come, it has even been suggested, when the world will be dominated by just two languages; on present performance, these will almost certainly be English and Chinese. The loss of all these languages will, of course, be a pity. As we lose them, we lose fragments of our past, for languages represent the history of peoples, the accumulation of their experiences, their migrations and the invasions they have suffered.
But this observation overlooks one curious feature of human behaviour: our tendency to generate new dialects as fast as we lose others. English has spread around the globe to become the common language for trade, government and science, as well as the national language of countries on every continent; yet, at the same time, many local dialects have developed whose speakers can hardly understand each other. Most linguists now recognize Pisin (the ‘pidgin English’ of New Guinea), Black English Vernacular (a form of English mainly spoken by blacks in the major cities of the US), Caribbean Creoles (the English of the various Caribbean islands) and Krio (the Creole of Sierra Leone in West Africa) and even Scots (the English spoken in the Scottish lowlands) as distinct languages.










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  1. 現在約5千ある世界の言語は半世紀後には半減すると言われている一方で、支配的な言語の方言は多様化し、別の言語のように相互に通じなくなっている。(70字)

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