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Chapter 5: Language

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  1. Chapter 5: Language The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography

  2. Where Are English Language Speakers Distributed? • Origin and diffusion of English • English is spoken by 328 million as a first language • Spoken fluently by another half billion • English colonies • 1607 England began migration to North America • Colonized Ireland in 17th Century • Asia in the 18th Century • Africa in the 19th Century • Origins of English • German invasions • Germanic Tribes: Angles (Southern Denmark), Saxons Northwestern Germany), and Jutes (Northern Denmark) • Norman invasions (1066) • Came from Normandy in France • People of rank and nobility used old French as a language

  3. English-Speaking Countries Figure 5-2

  4. Invasions of England Figure 5-3

  5. Where Are English Language Speakers Distributed? • Dialects of English • Dialect = a regional variation of a language • Isogloss = a word-usage boundary • When people migrate to other areas regional differences blend • Standard language = a well-established dialect • Dialects • In England: Five major dialects emerged based on location • Northern, East Midland, West Midland, Southwestern, and Southeastern or Kentish • Differences between British and American English • Early settlers brought English • Later English settlers brought regional variations based on their region of origin • Pronunciation has changed more in England than in North America • Spelling variations between British and North American English (colour, color) • Vocabulary variations between British and North American English • Settlers rapidly adopted other words from other languages into their daily language

  6. English Dialects Figure 5-5

  7. Where Are English Language Speakers Distributed? • Dialects of English • Dialects in the United States • http://aschmann.net/AmEng/#LargeMap • Settlement in the eastern United States • Current differences in the eastern United States • Three distinct isoglosses in the Eastern US • Northern, Midlands, Southern • Dialectical Differences: daily activities, food, and rural life • Word differences: soft Drink Example • Pronunciation differences • Three branches of migration that carried Eastern dialects westward • South of the Ohio River Valley settled by migrants from Virginia and other southern states • Midland/Mid Atlantic went to the North Ohio River Valley • New England went to the Great Lakes

  8. Dialects in the Eastern United States Figure 5-7

  9. Soft Drink Differences Figure 5-8

  10. Why Is English Related to Other Languages? • Indo-European branches • http://www.krysstal.com/langfams.html • Language branch = collected related languages • Common Ancestral Language • Indo-European = eight branches • Four branches have a large number of speakers: • Germanic: Northwestern Europe • Low German: Dutch, Flemish, Afrikaans, Frisian, Low Germanic • North German: English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, • Indo-Iranian: South Asia • Eastern Group: Indic (Hindi and many other variations [see book], Urdu) • Western Group: Iranian (Persian or Farsi in Iran, Pashto in Afghanistan and Western Pakistan, Kurdish in Western Iran, Iraq and Eastern Turkey) • Balto-Slavic: Eastern Europe • East: Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusan • West: Polish, Czech, and Slovak • South: Serbo-Croation is the original name, but since the Balkan wars the preferred names are, Bosnian, Serbian, and Croation • Romance: Southern Europe • Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian

  11. Branches of the Indo-European Family Figure 5-9

  12. Linguistic Differences in Europe and India Figure 5-10 Figure 5-11

  13. Romance Branch Figure 5-12

  14. Why Is English Related to Other Languages? • Origin and diffusion of Indo-European • A “Proto-Indo-European” language? • Difficult to prove: it would have existed prior to written language • Internal evidence • Common physical attributes of words in different languages • Shows common experience in daily life (Linguistic theory) • Disagreement on how Proto Indo-European evolved • Nomadic warrior theory: Marija Gimbutas • First Proto Indo European Speakers were Kurgan nomadic herders from the steppes near the border between Russia and Kazakhstan. Conquered much of the territory from Siberia to Europe, using horses as weapons • Sedentary farmer theory: archaeologist Colin Renfrew and biologist Russell D. Gray • Argues that the first speakers lived long before the Kurgans in eastern Anatolia (Turkey) and diffused westward to Greece and onward into other areas around the Mediterranean Sea.

  15. Nomadic Warrior Theory Figure 5-14

  16. Sedentary Farmer Theory Figure 5-15

  17. Where Are Other Language Families Distributed? • Classification of languages • Indo-European = the largest language family • 46 percent of the world’s population speaks an Indo-European language • Sino-Tibetan = the second-largest language family • 21 percent of the world’s population speaks a Sino-Tibetan language • Mandarin = the most used language in the world • Middle East and Central Asia • Afro-Asiatic: Arabic = most widely spoken • Altaic: Turkish = most widely spoken • Uralic: Estonian, Hungarian, and Finnish • African language families • Extensive linguistic diversity: 1,000 distinct languages + thousands of dialects • Niger-Congo: 95 percent of sub-Saharan Africans speak a Niger-Congo language • Nilo-Saharan • Khoisan: “Click” languages

  18. Language Families Figure 5-16

  19. Language Family Tree Figure 5-17

  20. African Language Families Nigeria’s Main Languages Figure 5-19

  21. Why Do People Preserve local Languages? • Preserving language diversity • Extinct languages • 473 “endangered” languages today • Only a few older speakers remain • 46 in Africa, 182 in the Americas, 84 in Asia. 9 in Europe, and 152 in the Pacific • Examples • Reviving extinct languages: Hebrew • Preserving endangered languages: Celtic (politics) • Multilingual states • Walloons and Flemings in Belgium • Isolated languages • Basque/ http://hubpages.com/hub/Irish-Blood-Genetic-Identity • Icelandic/ http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/language/about/icelandic.html

  22. Languages in Belgium Figure 5-23

  23. Why Do People Preserve Languages? • Global dominance of English • English: An example of a lingua franca • Lingua franca = an international language • Original meaning: Two languages mixed to create a trade language • Means: Language of the Franks, ascribed to Arab traders during the Middle Ages as they traded with Europeans, whom they referred to as “Franks” • Modern Meaning: A language common to many (English) used for International relations • Pidgin language = a simplified version of a language or Lingua Franca • Pidgin Languages have no native speakers • The language is spoken in addition to the native language • Expansion diffusion of English • In the past spread through migration and conquest • Recent growth has to do with Expansion Diffusion (snowballing of an idea rather than relocation of people • Ebonics: (Ebony+ Phonics) • Term coined to describe the ‘language’ of African Americans from the south to large urban areas

  24. Why Do People Preserve Languages? • Global dominance of English • Like other cultural traits people are at times accepting and resistant to the Western tendency to dominate • Diffusion to other languages • Franglais • The French Academy (1635) = the supreme arbiter of the French language • The French are upset about the dominance of English • The diluting of the language by the addition of English words and phrases • Spanglish • The diffusion of English into the Spanish language • Denglish • The diffusion of English into the German language (Deutsch)

  25. English–French Language Boundary Figure 5-27

  26. The End. Up next: Religion