Presentation on theme: "The Mosaic of Languages"— Presentation transcript:
1The Mosaic of Languages Chapter 5The Human Mosaic
2Why geographers study language Provides the single most common variable by which cultural groups are identifiedProvides the main means by which learned customs and skills pass from one generation to the nextFacilitates cultural diffusion of innovationsBecause languages vary spatially, they reinforce the sense of region and placeStudy of language called linguistic geography and geolinguistics by geographers
3Terms used in the study of language Language — tongues that cannot be mutually understoodDialects — variant forms of a language that have not lost mutual comprehensionA speaker of English can understand the various dialect of the languageA dialect is distinctive enough in vocabulary and pronunciation to label its speakerSome 6,000 languages and many more dialects are spoken today
4Terms used in the study of language Pidgin language — results when different linguistic groups come into contactServes the purposes of commerceHas a small vocabulary derived from the various contact groupsOfficial language of Papua, New Guinea is a largely English-derived pidgin language, which includes Spanish, German, and Papuan words
5Terms used in the study of language Lingua franca — a language that spreads over a wide area where it is not the mother tongueA language of communication and commerceSwahili language has this status in much of East Africa
7KenyaKenya has two official languages: Swahili and English. These lingua franca facilitate communication among Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic language speakers.Swahili developed along the coast of East Africa where
8Kenya Bantu came in contact with Arabic spoken by Arab sea traders. English became important during the British colonial period and is still associated with high status.
9KenyaThis shopping center caters to Maasai herders who speak a Nilotic language and Kikuyu farmers who speak a Bantu language.Jambo means “hello” in Swahili.
10The Mosaic of Languages Linguistic Culture RegionsLinguistic DiffusionLinguistic EcologyCulturo-Linguistic IntegrationLinguistic Landscapes
11Language characteristics used to define linguistic culture regions isoglosses — borders of individual word usages or pronunciationsNo two words, phrases, or pronunciations have exactly the same spatial distributionSpatially isoglosses crisscross one anotherTypically cluster together in “bundles”Bundles serve as the most satisfactory dividing lines among dialects and languages
13Language characteristics used to define linguistic culture regions Overlap of languages complicates drawing of linguistic bordersIn any given area more than one tongue may be spoken — EcuadorLanguage barriers are rarely sharp
15Language characteristics used to define linguistic culture regions Geographers encounter a core/periphery pattern rather than a dividing lineDominance of language diminishes away from the center of the regionOutlying zone of bilingualismLinguistic “islands” often further complicate the drawing of language borders
16Language characteristics used to define linguistic culture regions Dialect terms often overlap considerably, making it difficult to draw isoglossessLinguistic geographers often disagree about how many dialects are presentDisagreement also occurs on where lines should be drawnBoundaries are necessarily simplified and at best generalizations
19Language families The Indo-European language family Largest most wide-spread familySpoken on all continentsDominant in Europe, Russia, North and South America, Australia, and parts of southwestern Asia and IndiaSubfamilies—Romance, Slavic, Germanic, Indic, Celtic, and IranicSubfamilies are divided into individual languagesSeven Indo-European tongues are among the top 10 languages spoken in the worldBy comparing vocabularies in various languages one can see the kinship
20Language families The Afro-Asiatic family Has two major divisions—Semitic and HamiticSemitic covers the area from Tigris-Euphrates valley westward through most of the north half of Africa to the Atlantic coastDomain is large but consists of mostly sparsely populated desertsArabic is the most widespread Semitic languageArabic has the most number of native speakers—about 186 millionHebrew was a “dead” language used only in religious ceremoniesToday Hebrew is the official language of IsraelAmharic a third major Semitic tongues has 20 million speakers in the mountains of East Africa
21Language families The Afro-Asiatic family Has two major divisions—Semitic and HamiticSmaller number of people speak Hamitic languagesShare North and East Africa with Semitic speakersSpoken by the Berbers of Morocco and AlgeriaSpoken by the Tuaregs of the Sahara and Cushites of East AfricaOriginated in Asia but today only spoken in AfricaExpansion of Arabic decreased the area and number of speakers
22Other major language families Africa south of the Sahara Desert is dominated by the Niger-Congo familySpoken by about 200 million peopleGreater part of the Niger-Congo culture region belongs to the Bantu subgroupIncludes Swahili—the lingua franca of East Africa
23Other major language families Altaic language familyIncludes Turkic, Mongolic, and several other subgroupsHomeland lies largely in deserts, tundras, and coniferous forests of northern and central AsiaUralic familyFinnish and Hungarian are the two most important tonguesBoth have official status in their countries
24Other major language families Austronesian language familyMost remarkable language family in terms of distributionSpeakers live mainly on tropical islandsRanges from Madagascar, through Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, to Hawaii and Easter IslandLongitudinal span is more than half way around the worldLatitudinally, ranges from Hawaii and Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the southLargest single language in this family is Indonesian —5O million speakersMost widespread language is Polynesian
25Other major language families Sino-Tibetan language familyOne of the major language families of the worldExtends throughout most of China and Southeast AsiaHan Chinese is spoken in a variety of dialects as a mother tongue by 836 million peopleHan serves as the official form of speech in China
26Other major language families Japanese/Korean language familyAnother major Asian family with nearly 200 million speakersSeems to have some kinship to both the Altaic and Austronesian
27Other major language families Austro-Asiatic language familyFound in Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and spoken by some tribal people of Malaya and parts of IndiaOccupies a remnant peripheral domainHas been encroached upon by Sino-Tibetan, Indo-European, and Austronesian
29London, EnglandThis display of newspapers illustrates the fact that London is an international city as well as a major migration destination.In South Kensington, sizable foreign contribute complexity
30London, England to the linguistic landscape. Both Indo-European (e.g. French, Spanish and Swedish) and Afro-Asiatic (Arab) language families are represented here.
31Other major language families Occupy refuge areas after retreat before rival groupsKhoisan — found in the Kalahari Desert of southwestern Africa, characterized by clicking soundsDravidian — spoken by numerous darker-skinned people of southern India and northern Sri LankaOthers include — Papuan, Caucasic, Nilo-Saharan, Paleosiberian, Inukitut, and a variety of AmerindianBasque — spoken on the borderland between Spain and France is unrelated to any other language in the world
32English dialects in the United States Dialects reveal a vivid geographyAmerican English is hardly uniform from region to regionAt least three major dialects, corresponding to major culture regions, developed in the eastern United States by the time of the American RevolutionNorthernMidlandSouthern
34English dialects in the United States The three subcultures expanded westward and their dialects spread and fragmentedRetained much of their basic character even beyond the Mississippi RiverHave distinctive vocabularies and pronunciationsDrawing dialect boundaries is often tricky
36English dialects in the United States Today, many regional words are becoming old-fashioned, but new words display regional variationsThe following words are all used to describe a controlled-access divided highwayFreeway — a California wordTurnpike and parkway — mainly northeastern and Midwestern wordsThruway, expressway, and interstate
37English dialects in the United States Many African-Americans speak their own form of English — Black EnglishOnce dismissed as inferior substandard EnglishGrew out of a pidgin that developed on early slave plantationsToday, spoken by about 80 percent of African-AmericansUsed by ghetto dwellers who have not made their compromises with mainstream American cultureMany features separate it from standard speech, for example:Lack of pronoun differentiation between gendersUse of undifferentiated pronouns
38English dialects in the United States Many African-Americans speak their own form of English — Black EnglishNot recognized as part of the proper grammar of a separate linguistic groupConsidered evidence of verbal inability or impoverishmentIn the Southern dialect, African-Americans have made substantial contributions to speechSouthern dialect is becoming increasingly identified with African-AmericansCaucasians in the Southern region are shifting to Midland speech
39English dialects in the United States American dialects suggest we are not becoming a more national culture by overwhelming regional culturesLinguistic divergence is still under wayDialects continue to mutate on a regional levelLocal variations in grammar and pronunciation proliferateThe homogenizing influence of radio, television, and other mass media is being defied
41London, EnglandWhile English is spoken in many pats of the world, all English words are not mutually intelligible.This London tube (subway) sign say that anyone performing there (eg singing or playing for money) is subject to a fine of subsection.Are tubs, subway, and busking dialect words?
42The Mosaic of Languages Linguistic Culture RegionsLinguistic DiffusionLinguistic EcologyCulturo-Linguistic IntegrationLinguistic Landscapes
43Indo-European diffusion Earliest speakers apparently lived in southern and southeastern Turkey (Anatolia) about eight or nine thousand years agoDiffused west and north into EuropeRepresented expansion of farming people at expense of hunters and gatherersAs people dispersed and lost contact, different variant forms of the language caused fragmentation of the family
44Indo-European diffusion Later language diffusion occurred with the spread of great political empires, especially Latin, English, and RussianRelocation and expansion diffusion were not mutually exclusiveRelocation diffusion by conquering elite implanted their languageImplanted language often gained wider acceptance by expansion diffusionConqueror’s language spread hierarchicallySpread of Latin with Roman conquestsSpanish in Latin America
45Austronesian diffusion Presumed hearth in the interior of Southeast Asia 5,000 years agoInitially spread southward into the Malay PeninsulaIn a process lasting several thousand years, people sailed in tiny boats across the. uncharted vast seas to New Zealand, Easter Island, Hawaii, and MadagascarSailing and navigation was the key to Austronesian spread, not agriculture
47Austronesian diffusion The remarkable diffusion of the Polynesian peopleForm the eastern part of the Austronesian culture regionOccupy hundreds of Pacific islands in a triangular-shaped realmNew Zealand, Easter Island, and Hawaii form the three apexes of the realmMade a watery leap of 2,500 miles from the South Pacific to HawaiiUsed outrigger canoesWent against prevailing winds into a new hemisphere with different navigational starsNo humans had previously found the isolated Hawaiian IslandsSailors had no way of knowing that land existed in the area
49Austronesian diffusion Geographers John Webb and Gerard Ward studied the prehistoric Polynesian diffusionTheir method involved the development of a computer model building in data on:WindsOcean currentsVessel traits and capabilitiesIsland visibilityDuration of voyage, etc.Both drift and navigated voyages were considered
50Austronesian diffusion Over one hundred thousand voyage simulations were run through the computerTheir conclusionsTriangle was probably entered from the west—direction of the ancient Austronesian hearth area“Island hopping”—migrated from one visible island to anotherCore of eastern Polynesia likely reached by navigated voyagesOuter arc from Hawaii through Easter Island to New Zealand reached by intentionally navigated voyages
52Searching for the primordial tongue Using controversial techniques, linguists seek the more elusive prehistoric tonguesNostratic—ancestral speech of the Middle East 12,000 to 20,000 years agoAncestral to nine modern language familiesA 500-word dictionary has been compiledContemporary with Nostratic were other ancient tongues including Dene-Caucasian
54Searching for the primordial tongue Dene-Caucasian reputedly gave rise to Sino-Tibetan, Basque, and one form of early Native-American called Na-DeneScholars are attempting to find the original linguistic hearth area from which all modern languages have derivedIt is believed the original language hearth arose in Africa perhaps 250,000 years ago and diffused from there
55The Mosaic of Languages Linguistic Culture RegionsLinguistic DiffusionLinguistic EcologyCulturo-Linguistic IntegrationLinguistic Landscapes
56The environment and vocabulary How the environment affects vocabularySpanish language derived from CastileRich in words describing rough terrain (Table 5.3)Distinguishes subtle differences in shape and configuration of mountainsScottish GaelicDescribes types of rough terrainCommon attribute spoken by hill peopleRomanian tongueAlso from a region of rugged terrainWords tend to be keyed to use of terrain for livestock herding
57The environment and vocabulary EnglishDeveloped in wet coastal plainsVery poor in words describing mountainous terrainAbounds with words describing flowing streamsRural American South—river, creek, branch, fork, prong, run, bayou, and slough
59The environment and vocabulary Vocabularies develop for features of the environment that involve livelihoodDetailed vocabularies are necessary to communicate sophisticated information relevant to the adaptive strategy
60The environment provides refuge Inhospitable environments offer protection and isolationProvide outnumbered linguistic groups refuge from aggressive neighborsLinguistic refuge areasRugged bill and mountain areasExcessively cold or dry climatesImpenetrable forests and remote islandsExtensive marshes and swampsUnpleasant environments rarely attract conquerorsMountains tend to isolate inhabitants of one valley from another
61Examples of linguistic refuge areas Rugged Caucasus Mountains and nearby ranges in central Eurasia are populated by a large variety of peoplesAlps, Himalayas, and highlands of Mexico are linguistic shatter belts — areas where diverse languages are spokenAmerican Indian tongue Quechua clings to a refuge in the Andes Mountains of South AmericaIn the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, an archaic form of Spanish survives due to isolation that ended in the early 1900s
63Examples of linguistic refuge areas The Dhofar, a mountain tribe in Oman, preserve Hamitic speech that otherwise has vanished from AsiaTundra climates of the far north have sheltered certain Uralic, Altaic, and Inukitut (Eskimo) speakersOn Sea Islands, off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, some remnant of an African language, Gullah, still are spoken
64SwitzerlandSwitzerland has four recognized national languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansch.Romansch, a language of Latin origin, is spoken by only 1.1% of the population.
65SwitzerlandNevertheless, it has survived in the alpine linguistic refuge of the upper Rhine and Inn Rivers and was given official recognition in 1938.
66SwitzerlandThis traditional Engadine (Inn valley) house is decorated by sgraffito whereby designs are scratched through a white limewash coating to expose the underlying grey plaster.
67Linguistic EcologyToday environmental isolation is no longer the linguistic force it once wasInhospitable lands and islands are reachable by airplanesMarshes and forests are being drained and cleared by farmersThe world is interactive
68The environment guides migration Migrants were often attracted to new lands that seemed environmentally similar to their homelandsThey could pursue adaptive strategies known to themGermanic Indo-Europeans chose familiar temperate zones in America, New Zealand, and AustraliaSemitic peoples rarely spread outside arid and semiarid climatesAncestors of modern Hungarians left grasslands of inner Eurasia for new homes in the grassy Alföld, one of the few prairie areas of Europe
69The environment guides migration Environmental barriers and natural routeways guided linguistic groups along certain pathsIndo-Europeans traveled through low mountain passes to the Indian subcontinent, avoiding the Himalayas and barren Deccan PlateauIn India today, the Indo-European/Dravidian language boundary seems to approximate an ecological boundary
70The environment guides migration Mountain barriers frequently serve as linguistic bordersIn part of the Alps, speakers of German and Italian live on opposite sides of a major ridgePortions of mountain rim along the northern edge of the Fertile Crescent form the border between Semitic and Indo-European tongues
71The environment guides migration Linguistic borders that follow such physical features tend to be stable and endure for thousands of yearsLanguage borders that cross plains and major routes of communication are frequently unstable — Germanic-Slavic boundary on the North European Plain