The Landscape of Languages at the Commencement of the 21st Century
Published Online: Jan 01, 2017
The purpose of this paper is to make a graphic description of the present situation of languages in the world. Even though it is estimated that the number of languages that exist in the world range from 3,000 to 6,000 we do not have sufficiently adequate data for the number of languages in the world. We made some hypothesis on the number of world languages in the past and present. By examining the number of languages that have become extinct, we can conclude that there existed more languages in the past as compared to the actual number of languages. Our conclusion is that only about 400 languages will survive in the world in the near future.
Furthermore, by reviewing the number of major language users in the world languages, this paper claims that the study of the landscape of language in the world will help understand language and its nature better.