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A map of the world's languages is a jigsaw puzzle for linguists, who look for relationships and universality among the myriad languages on earth.  Because much of what is common across languages is not immediately evident from the surface forms of language, linguistic study has to be subtle and creative, to reach below the surface.  Among the many generalizations and questions which linguists ponder, here are a few for you to think about:

As you read and listen to the examples above, we invite you to join us in analyzing these issues and others relating to structures, sounds, and meaning.  You might also go to the other websites listed below.



"What languages are most spoken in the world?"

The World Wide Web Virtual Library: INDIGENOUS STUDIES


Resources for Studying Human Speech

Speech Analysis


Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar

Lexical Functional Grammar


Introduction to Semantics

What is general semantics?

Information on Endangered Languages

Randy LaPolla's excellent summary of resources

International Clearing House for Endangered Languages (ICHEL)

The Endangered Language Fund

Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive

Information on linguistic annotation

Corpus Encoding Standard

Expert Advisory Group on Language Engineering Standards (EAGLES)

Information on character-encoding

Jukka Korpela's tutorial

Master list of Internet documents related to charcter coding from the Center for Internet Research, U. of Singapore

Information on Unicode

The homepage of the International Unicode Conference

Unicode charts provided by Unicode, Inc.

Roman Czyborra's links to his chapters on Unicode

A free Unicode font named Cyberbit from Bitstream