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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

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

By, Olivia Mulhern

Key issue 2 why is english related to other languages

Indo european branches main point 1
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
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
Indo-Iranian Branch

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

  • Divided into Western & Eastern Groups.

Balto slavic branch
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 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 european main point 2
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 theories renfrew believes they diffused from
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.