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Language and Religion: Mosaics of Culture

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1 Language and Religion: Mosaics of Culture
Chapter 5 Language and Religion: Mosaics of Culture

2 Language & Religion Mentifacts:
the central, enduring elements of a culture expressing it’s values, & beliefs, including language, religion, folklore, artistic tradition components of the ideological subsystem of culture that help shape the belief system of a society and transmit to succeeding generations dynamic, in constant evolution

3 Language Is the means of transmission of culture and the medium through which its beliefs and standards are expressed

4 Language…. the most important medium to transfer culture
Can determine perceptions, attitudes, understanding, responses of a society an organized system of spoken words by which people communicate with each other with mutual comprehension

5 Language numbers Prehistoric times: 10,000 to 15,000 tongues
Cultural divergence 7,000 or so remaining: 20 to 50%, no longer being learned/ dead 2100 A.D.: estimate is 600 approx. current languages in existence Today: greater than ½ world’s population speak only 8 languages

6 World distribution of living languages, 2004
- of perhaps 6800 languages still spoken today Asia: 33% Africa: 30% Pacific area: 19% Americas: 15% Europe: 3% Estimated 1-2 languages lost each week

7 Language diversity Gradations between languages
Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, & others sound differently, but all use kanji characters European languages: Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian Arabic: a number of related but distinct tongues Sub-Saharan languages: languages & language variants

8 Languages spoken Highest numbers in millions: Mandarin (China): 1076
English: 551 Hindi/Urdu (India, Pakistan): 498 Spanish: 427 Russian: 267 Bengali (Bangladesh, India): 215 Portuguese: 195 Malay-Indonesian: 176 Japanese:132 French: 131 German: 128

9 Language families A group of languages descended from a single, earlier tongue (classification by sounds) Estimated: 30 to 100 language families worldwide Romance languages Latin in the Roman Empire, collapse = cultural divergence Emergence of several different, but related languages Protolanguage (ancestor) For romance languages: Latin

10 Indo-European Family Largest family 8700-10,000 years old
Spoken by ½ world ,000 years old From Agri-Rev. & near the Caspian Sea

11 Genetic classification
Classification of languages by origin & historical relationship Germanic languages: English German Dutch Scandinavian

12 Language distribution
Can include a large area, yet only yield a small number of speakers Example: Amerindian language families 3 families Close relationship with Asian languages Corresponding with waves of migration

13 World language families

14 Language spread Spatial diffusion process
1. Relocation of massive population (dispersion of speakers) Bantu of Africa

15 Language spread 2. Adoption (acquisition of speakers) results from:
1. Conquest 2. Religious conversions 3. Superiority of culture Adoption becomes a necessity: Medium of commerce, law, civilization, personal prestige

16 Spatial diffusion occurs:
Relocation diffusion (transported by cultural dominance) The to expansion diffusion & acculturation Example: hierarchical diffusion India – English prestigious Africa – English use more impressive than Swahili Barriers to diffusion: Cultural – Greeks Physical - mountains, Pyrenees & Basque

17 Language change Separate language formation: 1. Migration
2. Segregation 3. Isolation

18 Language change Change within a language: 1. Syntax 2. Borrowed
3. Discover/colonization/technology

19 Dominance of English Indo-European / offspring of proto-Germanic
5th – 6th centuries: migration of Danish, North German Frisian, Jutes, Angeles, and Saxons many dialects, West Saxon dominated (Standard Old English) 1066: Norman Conquest in 11th century French dominated nobility 1204: tie with France severed Middle English (French enriched) 15th – 16th centuries: Early Modern English

20 Worldwide diffusion Since 1600s:
7 million English speakers increased to 375 million Today: 1.5 billion speakers 375 native 375 second language 750 with reasonable ability

21 International English

22 Speech communities Standard language
Accepted community norms of: 1. Syntax 2. Vocabulary 3. Pronunciation Plus dialects & dialect of dominance Reflecting areal, social, professional differences

23 Dialects – speech variants
1. Vocabulary 2. Pronunciation 3. Rhythm 4. Speed * Social dialects Denote social class/education level Usually follows standard language * Vernacular Non-standard language Dialect native to locale, or social group

24 Speech regions & dialect diffusion in the United States

25 Pidgin An amalgamation of languages
Pidgin is not a mother tongue of any of its speakers A creation of essentially a new language mixture of dominate languages main languages broken down “baby talk” Past 400 years = 100+ new languages

26 Creole Created when pidgin becomes the first language of speakers who lost native tongue Examples: Swahili: Bantu dialects Afrikaans: pidginized Dutch + African Haitian Creole: pidginized French + African

27 Lingua franca Established language used habitually for communication by people whose native tongues are mutually incomprehensible Examples: Swahili English Hindi in India Mandarin in China

28 Official language A designated single language for governments, school, universities, courts Nigeria: 350 different languages, English is official

29 Languages on the landscape
Toponyms – place names 1. Historical chester (Latin castra) = camp} Winchester ing, ham (Anglo Saxon) = family, people, hamlet} Birmingham burg (Latin for town) Arabs: Cairo= victorious, Sudan = land of blacks, Sahara = wasteland

30 Toponyms continued 2. Borrowed from: 3. Names consisting of 2 parts:
Heroes: Columbus, Ohio, Lincoln, Ill Previous locations: Moscow, Idaho, Dublin, Calif Distortions: Breukelyn = Brooklyn Tribal names: maha = Omaha, kansa = Kansas 3. Names consisting of 2 parts: Generic – classifying Specific – modifying or particular Twin Falls, Hudson River, Bunker Hill, Long Island

31 Religion - cultural rally point
A personal or institutionalized system of worship and of faith in the sacred & divine

32 Impacts on culture Formalized views Economic patterns
Political structures Religious landscapes Scared places of landscape

33 Religions – cultural innovations
Can be unique to single cultural group Can be related to nearby or distant groups

34 How to classify Two distinctions Three categories: 1. Monotheism
2. Polytheism Three categories: 1. Universalizing 2. Ethnic 3. Tribal

35 Categories Universalizing: Ethnic: Tribal: World Patterns 1970 2002
Buddhism Christian Islam Ethnic: Judaism Hindu Shinto Tribal: Animism Shamanism World Patterns Christian 933 m 2.0 b Islam m 1.3 b Hindu m 900 m Buddhism 180 m 360 m Judaism m m m Secular m Measure of affiliation More than ½ world population adheres to universalizing religions

36 Principal world religions

37 Innovation areas and diffusion routes of
major world religions

38 Judaism - ethnic Monotheistic Foundation to Christianity & Islam
3,000 – 4,000 years old, Near East cultural hearth Dispersion - immigration Zionism

39 Variety Ashkenazim – (conservative liberal) Liberal – reformed
80%, mixing of genders, dress, language Liberal – reformed Ultra Orthodox (shepardic) Hebrew services, traditional dress, beards, hats, kosher food, no pork or shellfish, no mixing of genders at church Landscape: Synagogue (group most important – 10 men), vineyards

40 Jewish dispersions, A.D. 70 - 1500

41 Christianity - universalizing
Monotheistic Parent religion: Judaism, Near East Rapid expansion throughout Roman Empire – to underclasses Accounts for nearly 1/3 world population (Protestant & Catholic)

42 Expansion diffusion Hierarchical: Contagious: Relocation:
first military outposts, cities Contagious: to surrounding populations Relocation: faith to the New World & Asia through the missionary system

43 Christianity split Fall of the Roman Empire Sub-Saharan Africa
Catholic Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Ireland Latin America, Philippines, Africa Protestant West & northern Europe (The Netherlands, England, Germany) Anglo-America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South Africa Sub-Saharan Africa both present + traditional Ethnic barriers: Japan, China India Cultural hearth: not important today

44 Christian landscape – Untied States
20 denominations = 85% of population Catholic Florida, New England, Southwest, New Orleans Utah: Mormon South: Baptist, the Bible Belt Upper Midwest: Lutherans

45 Major religious regions of the United States

46 Religious groups Roman Catholic Protestant faiths Mormon Jewish
Largest single church Protestant faiths Larger proportion of population Biggest groups: Baptists, Methodists Mormon 2nd fastest growing church worldwide, 14 m American developed religion 80% of Utah’s population Jewish 6 m, concentrations: NYC, Chicago, Miami

47 Religious landscapes Parish church – Village church –
formed center of small towns village commons (the Puritans) Village church – rural communities Central cathedrals – in plaza, focus of religious / secular life Cemetery – beside church, or outskirts of town

48 Islam (Muslim) - universalizing
Monotheistic Parent religion: Judaism, Near East, 622 A.D. Contagious diffusion Arabia, Central Asia, No. India, North Africa Relocation diffusion Indonesia, So.Africa, Western Hemisphere Cultural hearth – still important location today

49 Islamic regions Asia – largest absolute number
Africa – highest proportion, 42% Indonesia – highest percentage of any country Sub-groups: Sunni: 80 to 85% of total Shi’ites: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen

50 Spread and extent of Islam

51 Islamic landscape Mosque – center of worship & community life
Community more important than building

52 Hinduism - ethnic Polytheistic World’s oldest religion
perhaps 4,000 years old Web of religious, philosophical, social, economic, artistic elements 780 million in India, 80% of pop. Indus River Valley spread by contagious diffusion So.East Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka

53 Hindu landscape Temples / shrines Holy men / sacred animals
Sacred locations Ganges River

54 Buddhism - universalizing
Polytheistic Out growth of Hinduism Founded in India, 2,500 years ago Spread by contagious diffusion India to China, then Japan, Southeast Asia Two schools of thought: Theravada – old school Mahayana – more progressive form

55 Buddhism diffusion Contagious North to China, then across to Japan
South to Southeast Asia

56 Buddhist landscape Stupa – commemorative shrine
Temple / pagoda – enshrining image or relic of Buddha Monastery Bodhi tree



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