Key issue 2 why is english related to other languages
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Key Issue #2 Why is English Related to other Languages? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Key Issue #2 Why is English Related to other Languages?. By, Olivia Mulhern. English is a part of the Indo-European language family. A Language Family is a collection of languages related through a common common ancestor that existed long before recorded history.

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Key Issue #2 Why is English Related to other Languages?

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Key Issue #2Why is English Related to other Languages?

By, Olivia Mulhern

  • English is a part of the Indo-European language family.

  • A Language Family is a collection of languages related through a common

  • common ancestor that existed long before recorded history.

  • Nearly 3 billion people speak Indo-European Language.

Indo-European BranchesMain point #1

  • A Language Branch is a collection of languages related through a common ancestor that existed thousand years ago.

  • Divided into 8 Branches:

    1. Indo-Iranian (South Asia).

    2. Romance (South Western Europe, & Latin America).

    3. Germanic (North Western Europe, & North America).

    4. Balto-Slavic (Eastern Europe).

    5. Albanian

    6. Armenian

    7. Greek

    8. Celtic

Branch #s 1-4 are must used.

Branch #s 5-8 are less used.

Germanic Branch

  • English is part of the Germanic Branch of the Indo-European family because the language was spoken by the Germanic tribes that invaded England 1500 years ago.

  • A Language Group is a collection of languages within a branch that share a common origin in the relatively recent past and display relatively few differences in grammar and vocabulary.

  • Western Germanic is the group where English belongs (Have many words in common).

- The Germanic Language branch also includes North Germanic

Languages, spoken in Scandinavia.

Those languages include:

1. Swedish

2. Danish

3. Norwegian

4. Icelandic

- All of those 4 languages derived from Old Norse in A.D 1000. All four of these languages emerged after that time because of migration.

Indo-Iranian Branch

  • Includes more than 100 languages spoken by more than 1 billion people.

  • Divided into Western & Eastern Groups.

Both Groups were forced to learn English as their 2nd Language.

Balto-Slavic Branch

  • Was once a single language until migration began in the 17th century.

  • Divided into an East, West & South Slavic groups.

Romance Branch (all developed from Latin)

  • Romance Language Branch evolved from the Latin Language spoken by the Romans 2,000 years ago.

  • 4 most widely used Romance Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French & Italian.

  • All these countries are connected by the borders of their countries (Spain, Portugal, France, & Italy).

  • 5th most important language in the Romance Branch is Romanian.

  • Adding to those five languages, Romanish is one of the four official languages in Switzerland. Catalan, is a Spanish dialect and is the official language in Andorra.

  • 2nd century, the Roman Empire extended from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to the Black Sea on the east and all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

  • The Latin people in the provinces learned Vulgar Latin.

  • Vulgar Latin is a spoken form of Latin.

  • These languages evolved over time.

  • Used syllables to make it sound like English. (Example: French word “yes” like the English “we”, spelled in French “oui”).

  • Creole or Creolized Language (a language that results from the mixing of the colonizer’s language with the “indigenous” language of the people being dominated).

Origin & Diffusion of Indo-EuropeanMain Point #2

  • Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, & Indo-Iranian languages must be descended from a single common ancestral language.

  • It can’t be proved though because a language family can’t be identified since it was too early in history and couldn’t be recorded.

  • Proto-Indo-European Speakers (Single ancestor).

  • The evidence people use are the similarities in the different language's words.

  • Beech, Oak, Bear, Deer, & bee – (similar roots in these languages).

  • Rice, Bamboo, Camel – (different roots). Can’t be traced back to a Proto-Indo-European ancestor. These roots must have been added later, after the root language split into many languages.

  • Kurgans (4300 B.C – First Proto-Indo-European as recorded; Lived in present day Russia & Kazakhstan).

Renfrew’s TheoriesRenfrew believes they diffused from:

Anatolia Westward to Greece (Greek Language Branch) Westward to Italy, Sicily, Corsica, the Mediterranean coast of France, Spain, & Portugal (Romance Branch) Northward toward central & Northern France & onto the British Isles (Celtic Branch).


  • Northward from Greece Toward Danube River (Romania) Westward to

  • Central Europe (Germanic Branch) Northward Baltic Sea Eastward to

  • Dnester River (near Ukraine; Slavic Branch) Eastward to Dnepr River (homeland of Kurgans).

  • After many generations of complete isolation, individual groups evolved increasingly distinct

  • Languages.

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