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If lions could talk: attempts at mapping over the borders. Keynote address by Danny Dorling University of Sheffield Borders and Identities Conference Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 8 January 2010. Introduction.

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If lions could talk attempts at mapping over the borders l.jpg

If lions could talk:attempts at mapping over the borders

Keynote address by Danny Dorling

University of Sheffield

Borders and Identities Conference

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 8 January 2010


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Introduction

How would you draw a map of the capital city of the United States of America that represented the human geography of that city? Some of those who have been there say:

“In Washington D.C. the invisible borders of segregation are now so wide that for adolescents, left on the wrong side of the tracks” …downtown does not exit. “There is no talking over the border. The life experiences are so sharply different that it is not clear what the residents of the two sides could talk to each other about were they to meet and stop to converse. It is becoming again as if one side were animals, lions, suddenly given the ability to speak and”(*)

…if lions could talk, we would not understand them. Tourists maps of Washington exist with areas shaded to suggest you don’t go there.

(*) as Ludwig Wittgenstein apparently remarked, expanded upon in: Bauman, Z. (2000 (2nd edition)).

Globalization: the human consequences. Cambridge, Polity Press. (page 86).


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Introduction

This talk concerns mapping lives to try to make them comparable across borders. Globally, and within particular cities, people’s lives can be so different today that it is unlikely that two people taken from different sides of the border could easily understand each others’ concerns. Maps of mortality worldwide, of cultural divides along the English midlands, and of wealth divides within the heart of London are discussed in this talk which asks how we can better portray the extent and existence of both perceived and actual socio-political boundaries in ways that people from different sides of the divides can understand. The talk concludes with a justification for attempting to produce new world maps of what we think most people speak everywhere (taken from the website www.worldmapper.org).


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Introduction

The territory size in the following series of maps shows the proportion of the displayed language that are spoken there. The maps are sorted in an order going from languages with the least native speakers towards the ones with the most native speakers, covering a total of 106 languages.

All maps are part of the worldmapper project, which is a collaborative work between the following people:

Danny Dorling, University of Sheffield

Mark Newman, University of Michigan

Graham Allsopp, University of Sheffield

Anna Barford, University of Sheffield

Ben Wheeler, University of Sheffield

John Pritchard, University of Sheffield

Benjamin Hennig, University of Sheffield

All language maps shown here as well as further notes can be found online at:

http://www.worldmapper.org/extraindex/text_language.html


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Basemaps: Land area

Map of the territories of the world as used in the worldmapper project

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Basemaps: Population

Map of the distribution of the world’s population

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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"A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.“

(Unknown associate of Max Weinreich)

Mapping languages


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A journey through the world of mouth

Map of the world’s language families

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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This map uses data from 'Ethnologue: Languages of the World', and shows the number of languages considered indigenous to each country that are still spoken there. Due to issues of language identification, it is possible to dispute the data used here, and a review of Ethnologue by Campbell and Grondona (2008) does just that; they claim "... the number of indigenous ('living') languages of different countries is inflated ...".

Indigenous living languages


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Indigenous living languages

The map presents a good picture of linguistic diversity. Papua New Guinea has nearly 10% (820) of the world's indigenous living languages, so that there are only an average of 7000 speakers per language living there. Indonesia (737), Nigeria (510), and India (415) also have a large number of native languages. At the other end of the scale, Belarus, Maldives, DPR Korea and Holy See each have only one indigenous living language. 8,592 native speakers are represented in this map.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tuvaluan: 12,000 native speakers

The red star indicates the region where this language originates

or the main place where the native speakers of this language are located.

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Tuvaluan is a language of Tuvalu. Roughly 90% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Tuvaluan

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tuvaluan

Tuvaluan is spoken by roughly 11 thousand people, most of them on the islands of Tuvalu in the south-central Pacific. The language has also been taken in small numbers to Nauru, New Zealand, Kiribati, Fiji and Australia.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tongan: 142,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Tongan is a language of Tonga. Roughly 98% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Tongan

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tongan

Tongan is the national language of Tonga. It is a member of the same language family (Polynesian) as Niuean, Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tahitian. It is spoken by roughly 130 thousand people in at least 7 territories.

After Tonga, the largest population (around 24 thousand) is in the United States. Other smaller populations are in New Zealand, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Samoa and Australia.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Icelandic: 315,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Icelandic is a language of Iceland. Roughly 97% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Icelandic

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Icelandic

Icelandic is spoken by just over 3 million people, in at least 7 territories. Outside Iceland, speakers are also recorded as living in Denmark, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Norway, mostly through relatively recent emigration.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Samoan: 384,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Samoan is a language of Samoa. Roughly 100% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Samoan

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Samoan

Sāmoan (or Samoan) is spoken by around 380 thousand people in total, most of them in Samoa and American Samoa. There are also nearly 100 thousand speakers in New Zealand, nearly 30 thousand in Australia, and a small number in Fiji.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Maltese: 451,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Maltese is a language of Malta. Roughly 93% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Maltese

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Maltese

Maltese is the language of Malta. It is a Semitic language, with some of its vocabulary borrowed from Italian and English. It is spoken by at least 440 thousand people in at least six territories. As well as Malta, it is spoken (roughly in order of descending numbers of speakers) in Australia, Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and Tunisia.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Welsh: 482,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Welsh is a language of the United Kingdom. Roughly 0.8% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Welsh

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Welsh

Welsh is a Celtic language, spoken by roughly half a million people as their first language. The majority of those are in Wales, where an effort has been made to revive the language. There are also thought to be around 200,000 in England, many of them in London or near the border with Wales. There is a Welsh community in the Chubut Valley in Argentine Patagonia, descendents of a group who left Wales in 1865. There are also Welsh speakers recorded in the censuses of the United States, Canada and Australia.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Yiddish: 506,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Yiddish is a language of Israel. Roughly 3% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Yiddish

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Yiddish

Yiddish has its routes in tenth-century Germany, where Jews from France and Northern Italy established communities, developing a language with elements of German, Laaz, Hebrew, and Aramaic. The language spread and changed as Jews migrated eastward to escape persecution. Before World War II there were 11 to 13 million Yiddish speakers (Jacobs, 2005), but The Holocaust led to a dramatic reduction in the number of speakers. There are now roughly 500,000 people speaking Yiddish as their first language, in at least 15 territories.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Estonian: 958,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Estonian is a language of Estonia. Roughly 67% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Estonian

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Estonian

Estonian is spoken by approximately 950 thousand people, in at least 9 territories. It is the official language of Estonia, and spoken by the majority of the population there.

After Estonia, the largest number of speakers are in Russia. There are also smaller numbers of speakers in Canada, the United States, Finland, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Chokwe: 1,057,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Chokwe is a language of Democratic Republic of Congo. Roughly 1% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Chokwe

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Chokwe

Chokwe is the language of the ethnic group by the same name in the Central African area of Angola (where it is one of six national languages), south-east Democratic Republic of Congo, North-western Zambia, and a small number in Namibia.

Many speakers are bi-lingual, also speaking French, Portuguese or English.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Mandinka: 1,286,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Mandinka is a language of Senegal. Roughly 6% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Mandinka

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Mandinka

Mandinka (or Mandingo), is part of a group of languages of West Africa known collectively as Manding. it is the main language of Gambia. It is spoken by roughly 1.2 million people in total; also in Senegal and the central-northern part of Guinea-Bissau. There is also a small number of speakers in the United Kingdom.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tibetan: 1,312,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Standard Tibetan is a language of China. Roughly 0.1% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Tibetan

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Tibetan

Standard Tibetan (or Central Tibetan) is the language of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. It is spoken by roughly 1.3 million people in total. Most speakers are in Tibet, but many refugees have settled in India (mostly in the state of Sikkim), Nepal, the United States and Canada, since China took control of Tibet in 1959.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Latvian: 1,324,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Latvian is a language of Latvia. Roughly 61% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Latvian

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Latvian

Latvian is the official language of Latvia, and spoken by around 1.4 million people there. The only other territories where speakers number over 20,000 are Australia and Russia. Other small populations mean that it is spoken in around 12 territories in total.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Soninke: 1,416,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Soninke is a language of Mali. Roughly 6% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Soninke

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Soninke

Soninke is spoken by just over a million people in West Africa, over half of them in Mali. The remainder, in descending order of number of speakers, are in north-east Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, south-central Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau.

Soninke is a national language of Senegal and of Mali.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Afar: 1,521,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Afar is a language of Ethiopia. Roughly 1.4% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Afar

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Afar

Afar is spoken by roughly 1.5 million largely nomadic people in the Horn of Africa (Northeast Africa); in Ethiopia (in the regions of Tigray, Welo, and Western Hararghe), Eritrea and Djibouti. There is also evidence of a very small number of speakers in the United Kingdom.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Macedonian: 1,752,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Macedonian is a language of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia . Roughly 67% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Macedonian

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Macedonian

Macedonian is the official language of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is sometimes considered a dialect of Bulgarian, and was only recognised as a distinct language in 1944.

There are nearly 2 million speakers, in around 13 territories. Outside Macedonia, the largest populations of speakers are in Greece, Germany, Australia and Italy, with smaller populations in Canada and the United States.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Domari: 1,785,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Domari is a language of The Islamic Republic of Iran. Roughly 2% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Domari

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Domari

Domari is the language of the Dom people, who migrated from India across the Middle East. The largest group are now located in Iran, where 1.3 million of the total 1.8 million speakers reside. Large groups are also in Egypt, and India, where the Dom are known as 'Domba‘. Comparisons are made with European Gypsies or 'Rom'; both are descended from Indian traders. The names Dom and Rom are related, although the groups are thought to have migrated at different points in time. Due to the region in which Domari is spoken, Arabic now has a large influence on the language.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Slovenian: 1,940,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Slovenian is a language of Slovenia. Roughly 91% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Slovenian

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Slovenian

Slovene (or Slovenian) is spoken by nearly 2 million people in at least 8 territories. The vast majority are in Slovenia, the largest populations elsewhere are in the nearby territories of Italy (around a 100 thousand), Hungary, Croatia and Austria. Smaller numbers have migrated to Canada, the United States, and Argentina.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Brahui: 2,217,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Brahui is a language of Pakistan. Roughly 1.3% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Brahui

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Brahui

According to estimates from Ethnologue, Brahui is spoken by around 2.2 million people, most of them in Balochistan, in west Pakistan, and nearby regions of Afghanistan and Iran, and a much smaller number in Qatar.

Andronov (2006) states that the exact number of Brahui speakers is hard to assess as the majority of Brahuis are bilingual in Balochi, and identify themselves as ethnic Balochis.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Aymara: 2,329,000 native speakers

Basemap modified from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Language_Families_%28wikicolors%29.png


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Aymara is a language of Bolivia. Roughly 21% of the population there speak it as a first language.

Aymara

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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Aymara

There are roughly 2.2 million Aymara speakers, the vast majority in a contiguous area encompassing Western Bolivia, South-east Peru (centering on Lake Titicaca), and north-east Chile. There are also a small number in Salta Province in north-west Argentina. There are similarities with Quechua, although this may have more to do with close proximity than a similar linguistic heritage.

(c) www.worldmapper.org


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