Language Facts

12 Sep

I was searching for some information for a lecture on language development and stumbled upon this fascinating webpage. A few of the things I learned:

The language with the fewest sounds (phonemes): Rotokas (11 phonemes)

The language with the most sounds (phonemes): !Xóõ (112 phonemes). Approx. 4200 speak !Xóõ, the vast majority of whom live in the African country of Botswana.

Here is a video about saving Rotokas:



You can hear !Xóõ spoken here:


The website does make one mistake it claims:

Language with the fewest words: Taki Taki (also called Sranan), 340 words. Taki Taki is an English-based Creole spoken by 120,000 in the South American country of Suriname.

Actually,  Toki Pona has only 120 words.



One Response to “Language Facts”

  1. Enrique Guerra-Pujol September 12, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    This stuff is fascinating … I have always wondered about the origins of language and how sounds can acquire meaning.

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