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Where are other language families distributed?

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Presentation on theme: "Where are other language families distributed?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Where are other language families distributed?
Key Issue #3 Where are other language families distributed?

2 The Language Tree Linguist have organized languages into a language tree Tree is subdivided into the following hierarchy 19 language families Each family has its own branches Each branch has its own groups Each group has its own language Each language has its own dialects Language family # of langs. % of world speakers # of speakers Indo-European 430 45% 5.9 billion Sino-Tibetn 399 22% 1.2 billion Niger-Congo 1,495 6% 358 million Afro-Asiatic 353 339 million Austronesian 1,246 5% 311 million Dravidian 73 4% 221 million

3 Classification of Languages
Indo- European family Spoken by 45% of the world Includes English Sino-Tibetan family Spoken by 22% of the world mainly China Includes Mandarin Afro-Asiatic family Spoken by 6% of the world Mainly Middle East Includes Arabic Austronesian family Spoken by 5% of the world Mostly Southeast Asia Niger-Congo family Spoken by 6% of the world Mainly in Africa Dravidian family Spoken by 4% of the world Mainly in India Altaic family Spoken by 2% of the world Mainly in Asia Austro-Asiatic family Spoken by 2% Mainly in Southeast Asia Japanese Separate language family, 2% of world

4 Classification of Languages
Remaining 5% of world’s people speak a language belonging to one of the 100 smaller families

5 Distribution of Language Families
Sino-Tibetan 2nd largest language family Spoken by 1/5th the world Family Encompasses languages spoken in the People’s Republic of China And some SE Asia nations No single Chinese languages Mandarin most widely spoken 3/4ths of Chinese people One of the six languages of the United Nations Chinese government imposing Strength Small # of languages a source of national strength and unity Consistent written form for all languages Structure Based on 420 one-syllable words Each sound can mean more than one thing Writing Collection of thousands of characters Most are ideograms Represents ideas or concepts, not pronunciations Larger number of characters Difficult to learn 16% of Chinese population can’t read or write more than a few characters


7 Distribution of Language Families
East and Southeast Asian Language Families Physical reason for independent development Clustered on islands or peninsulas Austronesian Spoken by 6% of the world Mostly in Indonesia Thousands of islands = lots of languages 722 actively used Most widely spoken= Javanese Spoken by 85 million people Also spoken in Madagascar migration Austro- Asiatic Spoken by 2% of the world Based in Southeast Asia Vietnamese most widely spoken Written in Roman alphabet Devised in 7th century by Roman Catholic Missionaries Tai Kadai Spoken in Thailand and parts of China Might have migrated from Philippines

8 Distribution of Language Families
Japanese Uses ideograms and two systems of phonetic symbols Based off Chinese language Korean Not written with ideograms Written system called hankul Each letter represents a sound (like Western languages) Over ½ of vocabulary from Chinese words

9 Distribution of Language Families
Languages of the Middle East and Central Asia Major language families in the Middle East and Central Asia Afro-Asiatic Arabic the major language Official language in 2 dozen countries of the Middle East 200 million + native speakers The Quran helped spread of language Family includes Hebrew Altaic Thought to have originated in the steppes between Tibet and China Present distribution covers an 8,000 kilometer band of Asia Turkish most spoken Once written in Arabic letters 1928 Turkish government ordered it written in Roman alphabet Suppressed during Soviet Union era Uralic Spoken in Estonia, Finland, and Hungary Traced back to common language 7,000 years ago in Ural Mts

10 Distribution of Language Families
African Language Families No one knows the precise $ of languages spoken in Africa Over 1,000 languages documented Most do not have a written tradition Great # of languages results from at least 5,000 years of minimal interaction Arabic most widely spoken in North Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is more complex Niger- Congo Spoken by 95% of Sub-Saharan Africa Swahili 1st language for only 800,000 2nd language for 30 million Developed from interaction among African groups and Arab traders Nilo-Saharan Spoken in north-central Africa Has six language branches Khosian Distinct use of clicking sounds Hottentot most important language


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