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Language. Chapter 5. An Introduction to Human Geography The Cultural Landscape, 8e James M. Rubenstein. PPT by Abe Goldman. French Road Signs, Québec. English Speaking Countries.

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An Introduction to Human Geography

The Cultural Landscape, 8e

James M. Rubenstein

PPT by Abe Goldman

English speaking countries
English Speaking Countries

Fig. 5-1: English is the official language in 42 countries, including some in which it is not the most widely spoken language. It’s also used & understood in many others.

  • 1. Language: System of communication thru speech

  • Literary Tradition: syst. of written communication (documents, novels, etc.)‏

  • Official Language: lang. used for a country’s gov’t for laws, reports, etc.

  • 2. The 3 traits that best distinguish cultural values:


  • K–1 Engl.: Origin, Diffusion, & Dialects; Where are Eng. Lang. speakers?

  • 3. English: spoken by 1/2 billion in 42 countries

  • --1/3 of the world uses English as its official lang.

  • -More speakers than any except Mandarin in China

  • 4. Why English diffused: 1st = Brit. Empire took to colonies

  • -now the official lang. in most of the former British colonies

  • 5. Explain why we speak Engl. now: Brit. In N. Amer. became dominant power when they defeated the French(migration yrs: 1607 – 1840)‏

  • 6. How the USA diffused Engl.: Thru…

  • *wars (WWI, WWII, etc.) *US is economic power (trade)‏

  • *globalization of communication systems (TV, music, internets, satellites, etc.)‏

  • 7. Engl. is classified as Germanic lang.

  • How did this replaced languages in the British Isles. Include terms: Angles, Jutes, Saxons, & Vikings:

  • --450 CE: Angles (S. Denmark), Jutes (N. Denmark), & Saxons (NW Germany) ; about 800 CE Vikings invade--& some stay

  • 8. Explain the Norman (& when??) influence on English: 1066 Normans invade Brit.; Normans ruled and French (Latin-based) = official lang.

  • Simpler terms: sky, horse, man, woman

  • more complex terms: celestial, equine, masculine, feminine

Invasions of england 5 th 11 th centuries
Invasions of England 5th–11th centuries

Fig. 5-2: Groups that brought what became English to England included Jutes, Angles, Saxons, and Vikings. The Normans later brought French vocabulary to English.

  • 10. Dialect: Regional lang. variation; distinctive in vocab., spelling, & pronunciation

  • Standard lang.: well established, acceptable dialect used in schools, govt., etc.

  • EX: Upper class Brit. (BRP: Brit. Received Pronunc)‏

  • 11. Basics of different older Engl. dialects:

  • Kentish (SE) Jutes; W. Saxon (SW): Saxons;

  • Mercian (Central): Saxons

  • 12. Why SE (in Engl.) dialect = "proper" standard Engl.?

  • B/C there = London, upper-class, gov’t., $$, plus Oxford & Cambridge Univ.’s

  • 13. 3 Engl. dialects now: Northern, Midland, Southern

  • 14. Why Engl. = USA’s standard lang.: Brits settled Atlantic Coast in 1600’s & were main immigr. thru 1840

Old middle english dialects
Old & Middle English Dialects

Fig. 5-3: The main dialect regions of Old English before the Norman invasion persisted to some extent in the Middle English dialects thru the 1400’s.

  • 15. Why US Engl. changed fr. Brit Engl: isolation (Atlantic distance)‏

  • 16. 3 main differ.’s of ways US & Brit Engl.: vocab., pronunciation, & spelling

  • Main reason differed right off:

  • Distance, new terms & items in landscape, mix of people

  • 17. How these affected the new US Engl.:

  • a) Native Americans: new words: moose, raccoon, chipmunk, hurricane, canoe, squash

  • b) inventions: new common names: torch/flashlight; lift/elevator; lorry/transfer truck or semi

  • c) Noah Webster: chose “Amer.” way…didn’t know some…also later T. Roosevelt “simplified” some like “colour”, etc.

  • 18. Why US/Brit varied from start: Distance meant only letters, documents, etc.; other migrants in US

  • 19. 2 reasons US Eng. more like 18th cent. English than Brit Eng. is?

  • A) Standard SE Engl. not set till almost 1800; already changing

  • B) few colonists = upper-class, so didn’t speak standard

  • 20. Why is big differ. (distinctions) in New Engl. accents & Southern accents now: more distance between N-E & S. (D- D-?); came from differ. parts of Engl. & fr. Scotland & Ireland & Wales

  • 21. Why Mid-Atlant. dialects v. differ. Fr. the Southern & New .Eng.: NE = Puritans (mid-class SE engl.); Mid-Atlan. = Scots; South. = lower class SE Eng.

  • 22. Some differences thru US, main dialect differ.

  • seen on East Coast (but Great Lakes: Scand.)‏

Dialects in the eastern u s
Dialects in the Eastern U.S. Brit Eng. is?

Fig. 5-4: Hans Kurath divided the eastern U.S. into three dialect regions, whose distribution is similar to that of house types (Fig. 4-9).

  • 23. Isogloss: Brit Eng. is?word usage boundary: area where a word is used Usually what areas? More rural

  • EX: pail (NE); bucket (South & Mid-Atl.);

  • brook (NE), run (Mid-At.), branch (S)‏

  • 24. EX: dialectal pronunciations: S: ha-af (half);

  • mi-yen (mine);New Eng.: “hot” (heart); “lock” (lark)‏

  • 25. Thru West, US standard Eng. comes mainly from… Mid-Atlan. areas

  • Why? Most western settlers from there

  • 26. How western mov't. affected spread of dialects:

  • Mid-W & S. of Ohio: VA + Southern

  • N. of Ohio River: Mid-Atlantic;

  • Some New-Engl: Great Lakes

  • KEY - 2 Brit Eng. is? (P. 144): Indo-European Language Family Why Engl. is“related” to other lang’s: (FBG)‏

  • 27. language family: collection of lang.’s related thru common ancestor long b4 recorded history

  • EX: English in which? Indo-European (world’s most extensive)‏

  • --language branch: collection of lang.s w/ common ancestor several 1000’s yrs. ago

  • EX: Romance (?) Indo-Iranian Germanic Balto-Slavic

  • --language group: shared origin, relatively recent past; similar grammar & vocab. (fat boys go!!!)‏

  • EX: W. Germanic (hi & lo) = Engl., Dutch, Flemish

  • 28. Language family spoken by more than any other:

  • Indo-European

  • How many people use? Over 3 billion (1st lang. for 2.5 bill.) has over 100 lang.’s

  • 29. Indo-Eur. is broken into Brit Eng. is? 8 branches

  • -4 spoken by lots of ppl & where these are found: Indo-Iranian (S. Asia), Romance (SW Euro. & Lat. Amer.), Germanic (NW Eur. & N. AMer.), Balto-Slavic (E. Eur.)‏

  • 30. “High” & “low” subgroups & why “hi/lo”: b/c of mtns. & lowlands (elevations)

  • Hi-Germanic: standard German

  • Lo Germanic: Dutch, Engl., Flemish…etc.

  • 31. How is English “classified”?

  • Indo-European Germanic W. Low Germanic

  • 32. N. Germ. lang.’s spoken in Scandinavia

  • -the 4: Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic

  • -all came from Old Norse (Vikings), spoken in Scandinavia prior to 1000 CE

Indo european language family
Indo-European Language Family Brit Eng. is?

Fig. 5-5: The main branches of the Indo-European language family include Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, and Indo-Iranian.

Germanic branch of indo european
Germanic Branch of Indo-European Brit Eng. is?




is divided

into N. & W.



English is

in the West

Germ. grp.

  • 33. Brit Eng. is?Indo-Iranian: Of all Indo-Eur., has the most speakers: over 1 billion in more than 100 lang.’s

  • Eastern grp = Indic Western grp. = Iranian

  • 34. IndicGrp.:

  • India: main lang. = Hindi written w/ script called Devanagari

  • Spoken versions v. different, but written is the same for all b/c only until recently few Hindi speakers could read & write

  • Pakistan: main lang: Urdu

  • -Spoken much like Hindi, but written in Arabic b/c most Paki’s are Muslims & lang. of Qu’ran is Arabic

  • -Both of these based on = Hindustani

South asian languages language families
South Asian Languages & Language Families Brit Eng. is?

Fig. 5-7: Indo-European is the largest of four main language families in South Asia. The country of India has 18 official languages.

  • 35. India’s lang. v. diverse: almost Brit Eng. is?1 billion ppl & using lang.’s from 4 different lang. families:

  • 1.Indo-European 2. Dravidian

  • 3. Sino-Tibetan 4. Austro-Asiatic

  • 36. Why India has 18 different “official” lang.’s:m So many grps., objected to having just 1 (Dravidan closest to #1 )‏

  • Main lang. of Bangladesh: Bengali

  • 37. % of Indians speaking Engl.: 1 %

  • Why sometimes used as a “common” lang.: So many lang., need a main one; also Brit. econ. Influence

  • 38. Iranian Group: Uses Arabic alphabet;

  • Main lang.’s:

  • a) Persian (aka “Farsi”) in Iran

  • b) Pathan (E. Afghan. & W. Pakistan)

  • c) Kurdish used by the Kurds, located on borders of W- Iran, N-Iraq, & E-Turkey

  • 39. Balto-Slavic: Once all one lang.,…now 4 main groups:

  • East West South plus a Baltic group

  • 40. Main ones = Eastern groups, especially Russian spoken by 80% of Russians & is 1 of the 6 official langs. of the U.N (United Nations)‏

  • 41. Russian gain importance in new areas after 1945 b/c they gained power after WWII….& forced Eastern European countries to learn & use Russian

  • Is still important in there b/c still used by leaders of former USSR countries for communicating w/ each other & for economic cooperation

  • 42. In order of importance In this region:

  • 1. Russian 2. Ukrainian 3. Belorussian

  • 43. W/S Slavic: 3 W. Slavic langs., in order of most spoken = 1) Polish 2) Czech 3) Slovak

  • 44. In order to “balance” using their 2 official lang. in the old Czechoslovakia, what did TV announcers do?

  • 1st ½ of of show used 1 lang., then 2nd ½ switched to the other

  • 45. 2 most important S. Slavic lang.’s:

  • Serbo-Croatian Bulgarian

  • 46. Most differ.’s betwn. these Slavic lang. are SMALL

  • EX: they can understand each other

  • 47. Regional differ.’s seen in lang. since Bosnia & Croatia broke from Yugoslavia in ‘90’s:

  • -MUSLIMS in Bosnia brought in Arabic words;

  • -CROATS got rid of Serbian words & took new ones

  • These lang.’s in the future: Might become more & more different from each other b/c of hostilities betwn. Ethnic

  • 48. Romance lang.’s, like other lang.’s, didn’t just appear but evolved… Romance from Latin

  • 49. France: 3 main dialects:

  • --standard FR. = _Francien (aka Parisienne)‏

  • --the dialect of the South lang d’oc (from “Aquataine”)‏

  • --the Northern is langue d’oil

  • 50.Spanish: Standard SP: Castillian (are few rural dialects)‏

  • 51. About 90% of speakers of SP & Port. live outside of Spain & Portugal b/c of colonialism (aka imperialism)

  • a) SP is the official lang. of 18 Latin Amer. countries?

  • b) Brazil’s main lang.: Portuguese & they have 15 times as many speakers of Portuguese than Portugal does

  • 52. Brazil speaks Portuguese b/c of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494); Pope ended argument over who

  • controlled what in Sp. New World…West S. Amer. = Spain, East = Portugal

  • 53. 2 EX: of how Old & New Worlds continue to blend/evolve languages? a) Books & TV have big influence

  • b) Brazil & Portg. standardized Portuguese, & Port. lost some of the ways Portg. Spoke & the Brazilians’ lang. won out

Romance branch of indo european
Romance Branch of Indo-European

The Romance branch includes three of the world’s 12 most widely spoken languages (Spanish, French, and Portuguese), as well as a number of smaller languages and dialects.

  • 54-a. “Creole” or “creolized language”: Indigenous ppl’s lang. + colonists’ lang.

  • 3 EX’s: Fr. Creole (Haiti); Papiemento (Creolized Span.); Netherlands Antilles (W. Indies); Portg. Creole (Cape Verde Islands…off W. Africa coast)‏

  • 54-b. “Proto-Indo-European: theory that was once 1 single lang. for all ppl.

  • -Can’t prove it existed b/c was pre-historic

  • -Some still think it DID exist b/c of commonalities in lang.’s & lang. families

  • -Words winter, snow, & ocean possible parts of puzzle b/c are no similar word for “ocean”…so probably all came from place w/o ocean

  • 55. Debate RE: A & K: Kurgans: betwn. Russia &

  • Kazakhstan; about 4300 BCE; militaristic, nomadic warriors

  • Anatolians: around Turkey; about 6300 BCE; agricultural society

  • --these 2 are theories about how Indo-European spread from Asia thru Europe

Kurgan theory of indo european origin
Kurgan Theory of Indo-European Origin

Fig. 5-9: In the Kurgan theory, Proto-Indo-European diffused from the Kurgan hearth N. of the Caspian Sea, about 7,000 yrs ago.(hunter/gatherers)‏

Anatolian hearth theory of indo european origin
Anatolian Hearth Theory of Indo-European Origin

Fig. 5-10: In the Anatolian hearth theory, Indo-European originated in Turkey before the Kurgans and diffused through agricultural expansion.

Language families of the world
Language Families of the World

Fig. 5-11: Distribution of the world’s main language families. Languages with more than 100 million speakers are named.

  • K-3: Where are other lang. Families distributed?

  • 56:

  • Lang. families where found % of the wld’s spkers

  • Indo-Europ. All over except Afri./Arabia 50%

  • Sino-Tibetan China & near China 20 %

  • Afro-Asiatic Mid-East & N. Afr. 5%

  • Austronesian SE Asia 5%

  • Niger-Congo Africa 5%

  • Dravidian India 5%

  • 57. Trace back the following languages: (1st is done as EX)‏

  • Language branches/roots where it’s mostly spoken

  • a) Hindi Indic--Indo-Iranian--Indo-European--Nostratic? India

  • b) Mandarin Sinitic—Sino-Tibetan—Sino-Caucasian China

  • c) Engl. W.Germanic—Germanic—In-Europ.—nostratic

  • US/UK

  • d) Tagalog Austronesian—Austric Philippines

  • e) Hebrew-Arabic Semitic—Austro-Asiatic—Nostratic

  • Israel Arab. Penin.

  • f) Swahili Benue—Congo---Niger-Congo E. Africa

Major language families of world popula
Major Language Families % of World Popula.

The % of world population speaking each of the main language families.

Indo-European & Sino-Tibetan together represent almost 75% of the world’s people.

  • 58. Sino-Tibetan spoken in China

  • a) Sinitic branch: 1,302, 000 spkers. Largest: Mandarin

  • (2nd largest = Cantonese)‏

  • Chin. Uses Ideograms: symbol that = an idea

  • EX: Slide 31 + 33

  • b) Austro-Thai: Lrgest.: Thai

  • Spoken in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam

  • 59. Chi/Jap/Kor.: Why 3 are v. different…some similarities:

  • Jap.: isolated b/c are islands; Jap. uses ideograms--borrowed Chi. writing

  • Kor.: isolated b/c is a peninsula; Kor. s phonetic like West

  • - Kor. & Jap. probably Altaic (central Asia)‏

  • -A major Austro-Asiatic lang.: Vietnamese; Alphabetdevised by Rom. Catholic missionaries--was a Fr. colony

Chinese ideograms
Chinese Ideograms






concepts rather

than sounds (is

not phonetic).

The 2 basic

characters at the

top can be

built into more

complex words.

  • Japanese

  • Writing:

  • Ideograms

  • Writing

  • form

  • borrowed

  • from

  • Chinese…

  • but lang.

  • is

  • probably

  • Altaic like

  • Korean

  • (from

  • where?)‏

  • Korean Writing : phonetic, like Western lang.’s; does NOT use ideograms

  • 60. Afro-Asiatic (aka Semitic-Hamitic): Though small, why is this branch so important??

  • Used for Holy Texts of 3 MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS: Judaism, Christianity, & Islam

  • 61. Six (6) official languages of the UN:

  • a) Mandarin b) English c) Russian

  • d) Spanish e) French f) Arabic

  • 62. Altaic:

  • a) Turkey changed from Arabic in ’28 b/c felt would help modernized econ. & culture

  • b) Other countries w/ Altaic lang.’s: Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China

  • c) Most Altaic lang. spkers. Religion: Islam

  • d) Russia forced them to use another alphabet,

  • Cyrillic

  • 63. Uralic: 3 Uralic countries: is this branch so important??Estonia, Finland, Hungary

  • Are NOT part of Indo-European family

  • 64. # of distinct African lang.’s: about 1,000

  • So many b/c of limited contact, travel, & interaction of numerous culture groups

  • 65. What is the MAIN N. African lang.: Arabic

  • 66. Swahili has so much Arabic influence b/c came from interaction among African groups & Arab traders

  • 67. What is a big problem in classifying African Languages? oral tradition of lang. (many not written) & only 10 are spoken by large #’s

  • 68. What is Hottentot & where did it get its name?

  • The lang. sounded like “hottentot” to Europeans b/c of pops & clicks

Language families of africa
Language Families of Africa is this branch so important??

1,000 or

more lang.’s

of Africa


among 5

main lang.




lang.’s in


Languages of nigeria
Languages of Nigeria is this branch so important??

More than

200 lang.’s

are spoken

in Nigeria,

the largest

country in

Africa (by




neutral, is

the official


  • K- 4: is this branch so important??Diversity & Uniformity:

  • Why people preserve languages:

  • 69. Most spoken Austronesian language:

  • Malay-Indonesian, Indonesia’s most important lang. (world’s 4th most populous country)

  • 70. Nigeria’s Lang. problems: -200 lang.’s in small areas

  • -regional jealousies & tensions;

  • -lots of cultural diversity = lang. diversity…

  • -which often = conflict

  • 71. What are “extinct” languages?

  • Lang.’s once spoken, no longer used in daily coversation; may still be read or studied

  • (EX’s: Latin, Cornish, Gothic)

  • Revived languages: is this branch so important??

  • What was done to revive the following languages?

  • By Whom? Why? How?

  • 72. Hebrew: What? Ancient lang. of the Jews

  • -Whom? Jews…especially by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda

  • -Why? Establishment of Israel encouraged them to bring it back into daily use…b4 was used for religious services only (pride in new country)‏

  • -How? Had to “invent” new terms for recent innovations b/c Hebrew had none of these

  • 73: Gaelic: : What? Lang. of Ireland & Scotland before the Brits

  • -Why? Pride in new country:Revived & used daily when the Republic of Ireland was formed in the early 1900’s…

  • -How? taught in schools, used as road signs, = official language

“Israel must be reborn on its ancestral land……” is this branch so important??

A Zionist leader …tying the national restoration of the Jewish people to that of its language. He and his wife settled in Palestine where they mutually agree to no longer speak to each other except in Hebrew….then he accepted a position offered to him at the Alliance Israelite Universelle on condition that he teaches in Hebrew. …compiled the first, modern, Hebrew dictionary.” (in late 1800’s…country of Israel “born” in 1947)‏

  • 1858 – 1922: Ben Yehuda

  • 74: is this branch so important??Multilingual states: Why the following are multilingual states…What languages & people… (slides )‏

  • -Belgium: Flemish, a Germanic lang. (N. area = Flanders)‏

  • …& French (S. areas = Walloons)‏

  • -Switzerland: In order…German, French, Italian, Romansh

  • 75. “Isolated” lang.’s? Lang. not related to other lang.

  • 2 isolated lang.’ s: Basque & Icelandic

  • 76: Basque: Where? N. Spain, SW France, in N. Pyrenees

  • What?Lang. there b4 Indo-Euro.…not sure from where

  • Who? Separate culture, fighting for “full independence”From where? Not sure…

  • 77. Icelandic: Where? IcelandWhat?From Old NorseWho?VikingFrom where?Scandinavia (Denmark)‏

Language divisions in belgium
Language Divisions in Spain, but bit over into SW France.Belgium

Are tensions

in Belgium


Flemings, in

the north who



a Dutch

dialect, &

Walloons in

the south…&



Language areas in switzerland
Language Areas in Switzerland Spain, but bit over into SW France.



peaceful w/

4 official


& a




  • 78. What is a Spain, but bit over into SW France.lingua franca?

  • Lang. used for international communication, espec. for trade…Was once Latin…then w/ Brit. Empire lingua franca became English…USA continued to encourage this use

  • 79. What is the main lingua franca in the world today?Engl.

  • 80. How Engl. continues to grow thru expansion diffusion:

  • Expansion diffusion: -spread of a trait thru a snowballing effect rather than relocation of any people

  • Ways:

  • 1) new words, new spellings, & new pronunciations

  • 2) fusion (joining) of Engl. into other languages

  • EX: Words from Latino-Amer. (Tex-Mex, various foods, etc.), Appalachia (“holler”, “a-sittin’ ” etc.), Afr.-Amer. (jazz, gumbo, etc.

  • There was a push for Ebonics (Black English); now is seen as a true dialect…not separate lang.

  • 81: Franglais: Spain, but bit over into SW France.Mix of French & English;

  • Fr. resist this & had “lang. police” w/ actual laws to keep it out til 1994)‏

  • 82. Spanglish? Used by Latino folk; they mix Sp. w/ Engl., using Sp. spellings but very similar English pronunciation (shorts = chores; vacuum cleaner: bacuncliner)‏

  • ADD:

  • 83. Pidgin: A small mix of words from a lingua franca + another lang. in order to have basic communication w/ ppl in another culture group

  • 84. Spain, but bit over into SW France.a. French in N. Amer.: French Canadians are surrounded by Engl. Speakers in…Quebec, N. of NY, VT., etc.

  • b.What’s Quebecois? The Fr-Can. folks; surrounded by the Engl.

  • c. How is that affecting these people? Some resist & resent English …causes tensions

  • d. What do some there want? To secede & create separate country…not majority

  • NOTE: This is ethnicity affecting changes…

  • On following slide, what effect can you often see RE: the location of the speakers of the 2 languages?

French english boundary in canada
French-English Boundary in Canada Spain, but bit over into SW France.


Canada is



speakers are


in the


where 80% of

the ppl.



Internet encourages further globalization of english
Internet: Encourages further globalization of English Spain, but bit over into SW France.

Fig. 5-1-1: A large proportion of the world’s internet users and hosts are in the developed countries of North America & western Europe.

Internet hosts by language
Internet Hosts by Language Spain, but bit over into SW France.

The large

majority of

internet hosts

in 1999 used

English, Chinese,

Japanese, or