Oasist Linguistics

Oasist Linguistics is about linguistics and languages.

Keywords of Modern America

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The United States

Greetings

I attended Vital Japan the 169th monthly session on 10 November 2018, whose theme was Keywords of Modern America (現代アメリカを読み解くキーワードを学ぶ).
The speaker was Mr. Satoshi Sugita, who have been in charge of the lecturer of Practical Business English (実践ビジネス英語).
I knew the latest PC word which have been widely discussed recently.
Today I would like to share what I learned then and there.
We should at least know such PC Word as common sense and knowledge to avoid conflicts and troubles caused by ignorance.

Contents

  1. Political Correctness 1 - Gender, Sex, Diversity -
  2. Political Correctness 2 - Social Movements -
  3. Products of Digital Age
  4. Others
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The Basics of English Linguistics Vol.5 - Faces of Languages -

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English Language

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

In the last volume, we learned the following things.

  1. Some words went through shift of meanings by Pejoration or Amelioration.
  2. Pejoration - Shift from positive to negative meanings.
  3. Amelioration - Shift from negative to positive meanings.

This is the last volume of The Basics of English Linguistics.
We think about Faces of Languages in this volume.
Before we get started, Let's think about the following question.

What are languages?

We make the most of languages as a communication tool in our daily small talks, business talks, email, conferences, speeches, lectures, discussions, video conferences, restaurants, bars and more.
So "Languages are just a communication tool" is a very correct answer, of course.
But is that all?
No, languages are not just a communication tool.

When I was a university student, my professor gave me a saying which is

Those who know one language know no language.

We often detect the essence of things in comparisons of one with another.
In other words, we never know what it is without any objects to compare.
The more we know about another language, and the more we understand what our mother tongues are, the more distinctive differences between them become.

We are going to remark 2 faces of languages other than the function as a communication tool.

Contents

  1. Languages Are Cultures
  2. Languages are Dress Codes
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The Basics of English Linguistics Vol.4 - English Vocabulary Ⅱ (Pejoration and Amelioration) -

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English Language

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

In the last volume, we learned the following things.

  1. Compounds - Combine more than 2 independent words together
  2. Derivations - Add affix to independent words so as to cause functional shifts
  3. Borrowings - Borrow vocabulary from languages all over the world

English language has the history and each word of English vocabulary also does.
We focus on historical changes of words, Pejoration and Amelioration.
What we learn in this volume will deepen our understandings of English vocabulary and tell the nuances between similar words.
As last, we will view English as a lot more interesting subject.

Contents

  1. Pejoration
  2. Amelioration
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The Basics of English Linguistics Vol.3 - English Vocabulary Ⅰ (Compounds, Derivations and Borrowings) -

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English Language

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

In the last volume, we learned the following things.

  1. English is not a single language but has diversity all over the world.
  2. British / American English refer to the same objects in different spellings or words and different objects in the same words.

Oxford English Dictionary contains approximately 500,000 official words.
New words are born in social networking tools, mass media or even our small talks from time to time, which provides us with astronomical number of English vocabulary.

We are going to learn how English language coins brand new vocabulary and establish a scaffold for efficient study.

Contents

  1. Compounds
  2. Derivations
  3. Borrowings
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The Basics of English Linguistics Vol.2 - English as a Global Language -

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English Language

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

In the last volume, we learned the following things.

  1. English belongs to the Germanic language family.
  2. English has 4 historical periods, Old English, Middle English, Modern English (Early Modern English) and Present-Day English (Late modern English).
  3. Present-Day English has 3 assets (affluent vocabulary / loss of grammatical gender / loss of inflections) and 2 liabilities (huge gaps between spellings and actual pronunciations / too many idioms).

Do you know English?
You might say "Yes!" but do you really know it?

English is never a single language any more because a lot of people speak it as the mother tongue, the second language or a foreign language all over the world.
So we have a variety of English.

Particularly, British and American English are the most widely known.
Do you know any differences between them?

We are going see many kinds of English exist in the world and differences between British and American English.

Contents

  1. Diverse English in the World
  2. British English VS American English
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The Basics of English Linguistics Vol.1 - What Is English Language? -

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English Language

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

I majored in English linguistics when I was a university student and stayed in Australia for one year, where I became more interested in English and languages themselves.
I make use of English every day mainly for my current job as an engineer in reading documents and composing my blog articles.
I also enjoy networking in English with people in different backgrounds of working fields.
These experiences make English more and more attractive and intriguing so that I cannot help pursuing my own curiosity.

Here I will share knowledge I learned through my life so far.
I wish you would enjoy yourselves.

Contents

  1. The Indo-European Languages Families
  2. The Periods of English Language
  3. The Features of Present-Day English
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The Population, Dominance and Death Vol.2 - Programming Languages -

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Programming Languages

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

In The Population, Dominance and Death Vol.1 -Programming Languages-, we learned the following things.

  1. There are 7,097 living natural languages in the world.
  2. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in terms of the number of native speakers.
  3. English is the most prevailing in terms of the whole population of speakers.
  4. A dominant natural language has not just linguistic assets but social power.
  5. A natural language dies when it has under 2 speaker.
  6. We lost means to think, express our thoughts and testify who we are when our language dies.

We are going to see what are Programming Languages in this volume.

Contents

  1. The Number of Programming Languages in the World
  2. Top 10 of the Most Popular Programming Languages
  3. What Makes a Programming Language Dominant
  4. Death of a Programming Language
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The Population, Dominance and Death Vol.1 - Natural Languages -

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Natural Languages

Greetings

Hello, this is Oasist.
How is life treating you?

One day, I wondered what if I compared Natural Languages with Programming Languages.
We rarely care about what are natural languages, do we?
Likewise, programmers seldom pay attention to programming languages themselves.
Yet some people are interested in what differences exist between them.
And either am I.
I though I was going to discover something new and I did.

I finally published 2 articles in the blog of my company the other day.

techracho.bpsinc.jp techracho.bpsinc.jp

I had to omit some detailed descriptions due to limited time and space so I wanted to publish them in my personal blog after I sophisticated the articles.
Finally, I made it.

As we may know, languages are too deep and profound to understand all. So we are going to focus on just a few aspects and divide them into 2 volumes, The Population, Popularity and Death Vol.1 -Natural Languages- (this article) and The Population, Popularity and Death Vol.2 -Programming Languages-.
I wish you all would enjoy yourselves.

Contents

  1. The Number of Natural Languages in the World
  2. Top 10 of the Most Spoken Natural Languages
  3. What Makes a Natural Language Dominant
  4. Death of a Natural Language
Read more