English: The Birth of A Global Language




McLean, Nicholas

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As we develop increasingly efficient modes of communication the number languages of the world decreases. As the overall number of languages decreases, a few tongues have become dominant in their respective regions with one spanning the entire globe: English. This process has sped up in the last few centuries and will grow ever faster as the internet and international business spread into previously secluded regions. As the global market and internet are largely dominated by English, it also claims the lion’s share of contemporary second-language learning throughout the world. As of now there are more people who speak English as a second language than those who learned it as their first. If other languages spread earlier and further than English, how did it become the current global lingua franca? This study will analyze some of those competing colonial languages, how they spread, and their respective levels of success in regard to propagation. Of particular importance will be the geographic aspect of language spread instead of the size of a particular language’s population. With that, this thesis will show that a language, English in particular, will spread peacefully and rapidly if proficiency offers access to the global system.



English, global language, lingua franca, business english, world language, Honors College


McLean, N. (2012). English: The birth of a global language (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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