In the Late Middle Ages, which was a period dominated by Latin language, a Spanish speaking Italian explorer Christopher Columbus decided to find a new sea lane to east by sailing west. Unbeknownst to him, he discovered a whole new continent. Little did Columbus know that not only did his voyage help ending one of the longest and darkest periods in Europe’s history, but it also made way for the English language world conquest half a millennium later. Today, English is one of the most widely spoken languages globally and perhaps the most common lingua franca in the world according to the British Council. Because of its status the language and also its global usage have become the subject of a vast amount of research. For example, Braj Kachru’s three concentric circles might be the most famous modeling device of International English (Penhallurick 2010: 89). Numerous studies have also been conducted on the future of the English language. This includes the works of linguists such as David Crystal, Michael Erard and David Graddol.
Predicting the upcoming development of a language may be as subtle art as weather forecasting but some major guidelines can be drawn from researches on English language history, studies on other lingua francas and their development, and current world state and world history. Overall, it could be said that in the future English will become a language with even greater influence, yet the core of the language itself may become even simpler. In this paper I will start with the history of English and the development of the language and other lingua francas that have existed in the western world. Then I will work my way towards the current state of affairs in order to set up a...
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...opularity of the English Language in the 21st Century. London: British Council.
Jousmäki Henna, Koskela Heidi, Kytölä Samu, Kääntä Leila, Laitinen Mikko, Leppänen Sirpa, Lähdesmäki Salla, Nikula Tarja, Nissinen Kari, Pahta Päivi, Pitkänen-Huhta Anne, Törmäkangas Timo & Virkkula Tiina 2009. National Survey on the English Language in Finland: Uses, Meanings and Attitudes. Jyväskylä, University of Jyväskylä.
MacIntyre Dan 2009. History of English: A Resource Book for Students. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Nevalainen Terttu, Rissanen Matti & Taavitsainen Irma (eds) 2004. Englannin aika: Elävän kielen kartoitusta. Helsinki: WSOY.
Penhallurick Rob 2010. Studying the English Language, 2nd ed. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
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