Key Issue #1
Where are English-Language Speakers Distributed?
Where Are English Language Speakers
Global distribution of language results from 2
geographic processes-interaction and isolation
Origin and diffusion of English
 English
is spoken by appx ½ billion people as a first
language & 2 billion people live in a country where
English is an official language
 English colonies
 Origins of English
 German
 Norman invasions
English-Speaking Countries
Fig. 5-1: English is the official language in 42 countries, including some in
which it is not the most widely
5-2 language. It is also used and
understood in many others.
Invasions of
5th–11th centuries
Fig. 5-2: The groups that
brought what
became English to
England included
Jutes, Angles,
Saxons, and Vikings.
The Normans later
brought French
vocabulary to
Where Are English Language Speakers
Dialects of English
 Dialect
= a regional variation of a language set
apart by vocabulary, spelling, & pronunciation.
 Isogloss = a word-usage boundary
 Standard language = a well-established dialect
 Dialects
 In
 Differences between British and American English
Old and 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
through the 1400s.
Where Are English Language Speakers
Dialects of English
 Dialects in the United States
Settlement in the eastern United States
New England, Middle Atlantic, &
 Regional pronunciation differences
are more familiar than word
Dialects in the
Eastern U.S.
Fig. 5-4: Hans
divided the
U.S. into
is similar to
that of
Soft Drink Differences
Figure 5-8
My Fair Lady
Key Issue #2
Why Is English Related to Other Languages?
Why Is English Related to Other Languages?
Indo-European languages
 English
is a part of the Indo-European language
family-collection of languages related through a
common ancestor
 Language branch = collection of related languages
 Indo-European = eight branches
 Four
branches have a large number of speakers:
Why Is English Related to Other Languages?
Indo-European languages
language group -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.
 For example, West Germanic is the group within the
Germanic branch of the Indo-European family to
which English belongs.
Indo-European Language Family
Fig. 5-5: The main branches of the Indo-European language family include
Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, and Indo-Iranian.
Linguistic Differences in Europe and India
Figure 5-10
Figure 5-11
Germanic Branch of Indo-European
Fig. 5-6: The Germanic branch today is divided into North and West
Germanic groups. English is in the West Germanic group.
South Asian Languages and Language
Fig. 5-7: Indo-European is the largest of four main language families in
South Asia. The country of India has 18 official languages.
Romance Branch of Indo-European
Fig. 5-8: 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.
Why Is English Related to Other Languages?
Origin and diffusion of Indo-European
“Proto-Indo-European” language?
 Internal
 Nomadic warrior theory
 Sedentary farmer theory
Kurgan Theory of Indo-European Origin
“Nomadic Warrior” Theory
Fig. 5-9: In the Kurgan theory, Proto-Indo-European diffused from the
Kurgan hearth north of the Caspian Sea, beginning about
7,000 years ago.
Anatolian Hearth Theory of Indo-European Origin
“Sedentary Farmer” Theory
Fig. 5-10: In the Anatolian hearth theory, Indo-European originated in
Turkey before the Kurgans and diffused through agricultural
Key Issue #3
Where are Other Language Families Distributed?
Where Are Other Language Families
Classification of languages
 Indo-European
= the largest language family
 46
percent of the world’s population speaks an IndoEuropean language
 Sino-Tibetan
= the second-largest language family
 21
percent of the world’s population speaks a SinoTibetan language
Mandarin = the most used language in 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.
Major Language Families
Percentage of World Population
Fig. 5-11a: The percentage of world population speaking each of the main
language families. Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan together
represent almost 75% of the world’s people.
Where Are Other Language Families
Languages of the Middle East and Central Asia
 Afro-Asiatic
 Arabic
= most widely spoken
 Altaic
 Turkish
= most widely spoken
 Uralic
 Estonian,
Hungarian, and Finnish
Language Family Trees
Fig. 5-12: Family trees and estimated numbers of speakers for the main world
language families.
Chinese Ideograms
Fig. 5-13: Chinese language ideograms mostly represent concepts
rather than sounds. The two basic characters at the top can
be built into more complex words.
Where Are Other Language Families
African language families
 Extensive
 1,000
linguistic diversity
distinct languages + thousands of dialects
 Niger-Congo
 95
percent of sub-Saharan Africans speak a NigerCongo language
 Nilo-Saharan
 Khoisan
 “Click”
Language Families of Africa
Fig. 5-14: The 1,000 or more languages of Africa are divided among five main
language families, including Austronesian languages in
Languages of Nigeria
Fig. 5-15: More than 200 languages are spoken in Nigeria, the largest country in
Africa (by population). English, considered neutral, is the official
Key Issue #4
Why Do People Preserve Local Languages?
Why Do People Preserve Languages?
Preserving language diversity
 Extinct
 473
“endangered” languages today
 Examples
 Reviving
extinct languages: Hebrew
 Preserving endangered languages: Celtic
 Multilingual
 Walloons
and Flemings in Belgium
 Switzerland
 Isolated
 Basque
 Icelandic
Language Divisions in Belgium
Fig. 5-16: There has been much tension in Belgium between Flemings, who live in the
north and speak Flemish, a Dutch dialect, and Walloons, who live in the
south and speak French.
Language Areas in Switzerland
Fig. 5-17: Switzerland remains peaceful with four official languages and a
decentralized government structure.
Why Do People Preserve Languages?
Global dominance of English
 English:
 Lingua
An example of a lingua franca
franca = an international language
 Pidgin language = a simplified version of a language
 Expansion diffusion of English
 Ebonics
Why Do People Preserve Languages?
Global dominance of English
 Diffusion
to other languages
 Franglais
The French Academy (1635) = the supreme arbiter of the
French language
 Spanglish
 Denglish
French-English Boundary in Canada
Fig. 5-18: Although Canada is bilingual, French speakers are concentrated in the
province of Québec, where 80% of the population speaks French.
Internet Hosts, by Language
Fig 5-1-1a: The large majority of internet hosts in 1999 used English, Chinese,
Japanese, or European languages.

Chapter 5 language - Effingham County Schools / Overview