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2013-09-21 Sat

#1608. multilingualism は世界の常態である (2) [bilingualism][japanese][world_languages][sign_language]

 [2013-05-30-1]の記事の続編.多言語使用が世界の常態であるという事実について,Crystal (409--10) に言及を見つけたので,追加したい.

[M]ultilingualism is the normal human condition. It is a principle which often takes people by surprise. If you have lived your whole life in a monolingual environment, you could easily come to believe that this is the regular way of life around the world, and that people who speak more than one language are the exceptions. Exactly the reverse is the case.
   Speaking two or more languages is the natural way of life for three-quarters of the human race. There are no official statistics, but with over 6,000 languages co-existing in fewer than 200 countries . . . it is obvious that an enormous amount of language contact must be taking place; and the inevitable result of languages in contact is multilingualism, which is most commonly found in an individual speaker as bilingualism.
      There is no such thing as a totally monolingual country. Even in countries that have a single language used by the majority of the population, such as Britain, the USA, France, and Japan, there exist sizeable groups that use other languages. In the USA, around 10% of the population regularly speak a language other than English. In Britain, over 350 minority languages are in routine use. In Japan, one of the most monolingual of countries, there are substantial groups of Chinese and Korean speakers. In Ghana, Nigeria, and many other African countries that have a single official language, as many as 90% of the population may be regularly using more than one language. (409--10)


 引用にもあるとおり,日本は世界でも最も典型的な単一言語国家とみなされるがちだ.しかし,少数言語としてアイヌ語や,朝鮮・韓国語その他の移民言語,日本手話などの手話言語も行われている.また,琉球語なのか琉球方言なのかという問いの答えいかんによっては,その話者のすべてが標準日本語を理解するという意味において,2言語使用者と呼びうる.また,ビジネスなどで英語や中国語などを常用する多くの日本語母語話者の日本人も,日本国内外の多言語使用に貢献している人々であるとみなすことができる.程度の差こそあれ,日本も世界の他の地域と同様に多言語使用地域であるという認識は重要だろう.
 日本の多言語使用状況については,EthnologueJapan を参照されたい.

 ・ Crystal, David. How Language Works. London: Penguin, 2005.

Referrer (Inside): [2016-01-08-1] [2014-11-12-1]

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