Language Estimated in 6,909 languages in world -only 11 languages spoken by more than 100 million people -153 languages spoken by at least 3 million -remaining languages spoken by fewer than 3 million people Language • Language: • A system of communication through speech, a collection of sounds that a group of people understands to have the same meaning • Many languages have a literary tradition • A system of written communication • Those that lack literary tradition leave no records to document distribution of language • Many countries designate at least one official language • One used by government for laws, signs, money and stamps Language Definitions • Proto-tongue • • • • Language is a culture trait learned from one generation to another Speculated that nearly 2.5 million years ago language developed in order to organize human activity All original speakers communicated in the proto-tongue or original language Once speakers migrated, language divergence occurred • Language divergence • When speakers of the same language scatter and develop variations of that original form of language • Language shift • When speakers come into contact with other languages, a blending of the two or more languages can occur. • Language replacement • • Occurs when invaders replace the language of those places they conquer Can lead to language extinction • When a language is no longer used • Reverse Reconstruction • Process begins with the most recent places of the languages existence and moves backward through time comparing words with geographic places and groups of people using the same or similar words Language Definitions • Dialect • Regional variations within a standard language • Differences in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary • Language family • Collection of individual languages believed to be related in their prehistorical origin • Most widely spoken is IndoEuropean • Example: Indo-European • Language branch • Collection of languages that possesses a definite common origin but has split into individual languages • Example: Romance • Language group • Collection of several individual languages that is part of a language branch, shares a common origin in the recent past, and has relatively similar grammar and vocabulary • Example: Spanish, French Key Issue #1 Where are English-language speakers distributed Origin of English • English • 1st language for 328 million people • Spoken fluently by half-billion people • Official language in 57 countries • Predominate language in 2 countries • Australia • United States • 2 billion people (1/3rd) live in a country where English is the official language • English Colonies • Contemporary distribution of English speakers around the world exists because the people of England migrated with their languages when they established colonies in the past four centuries • Diffusion • From England to North America • Jamestown, VA 1607 • Plymouth, Mass 1620 • English assured as dominant language after French-Indian war • England conquered other colonies in late 17th, 18th and 19th centuries • Ireland • Southeast Asia • Africa Origin of English in England • British Isles inhabited for thousands of years but nothing is known of early languages • 1st known- the Celts arrived • Arrived 2000 B.C.E. • Around 450 C.E. tribes invaded from mainland Europe invaded • Celts pushed into Northern and Western parts of England, Scotland, and Wales • German Invasion • Invading Tribes • Angles, Jutes, Saxons • Shared a similar language • Anglo-Saxons • Modern English derived from • At some time all Germans spoke same language • Predates recorded history • Other invasions contributed to language • Vikings 9th century Origin of English in England • Norman Invasion • English is different from German today thanks to the Normans • Normans invaded in 1066 C.E. • Spoke French • Language in England for 300 yrs • Mainly only Royals spoke • England lost control of Normandy in 1204 C.E. • Conflict with French • English dominate again • Mix of English and French created new hybrid Dialects of English • Dialect: • A regional variation of a language distinguished by distinctive vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation • Reflects distinctive features of the environments in which groups live • Distribution of dialects studied through study of particular words • Isogloss: • A boundary that separates regions in which different language usages predominate • Collected data directly from people • Migration • When speakers of a language migrate to other locations, various dialects of that language might develop • Example: • English speakers migration to North America • English varies by regions within individual countries • In a language with multiple dialects, one dialect may be recognized as the standard language • Most acceptable for government, business, education, and mass communication • Ex. British Received Pronunciation Dialects in England • English originated with three invading groups • Angles, Jute, Saxons • All basis of distant regional regional dialects of Old English • • • • Southeast- Kentish Southwest- West Saxon North- Northumbrian Center- Mercian • After French Invasion • Five major dialects emerged • Northern, East Midland, West Midland, Southwestern and Southeastern/ Kentish • Standard language • Dialect used by upper-class residents emerged as standard for writing and speech • Diffusion occurred thanks to Printing press in 1476 • Grammar books and dictionaries printed in “London” dialect • Strong regional differences remain • Three main dialect • Northern • Midland • Southern Differences Between British and American English • English language brought to North America with Colonists in 17th century • Vocabulary • • Early Colonists spoke language spoken in England • Later immigrants found English already implanted here • Made significant contributions to American English • Spelling • • • Why is American English so different? • • Isolation U.S. and England evolved independently in 18th and 19th centuries Settlers encountered new experiences • Physical features, animals, inventions • Ex. Elevator = lift in England Diverged due to demand for independent identity Noah Webster • Determined to develop a uniquely American dialect of English • Wanted to establish a national language • Ex. Honour= honor • Pronunciation • • • Began with arrival of colonists Changed more in England than U.S. Americans didn’t speak proper English Differences Dialects in the United States • Different dialects originated because of differences in dialects among original settlers • Settlement in the East • • • New England • Established and inhabited by colonist from England • Mainly from SE England Southeastern • ½ came from SE England • Diverse social-classes Middle Atlantic • Most diverse • Penn- Quakers (North England) • Scots/ Irish • Germans • Swedes • English dialects in U.S. Southeast and New England easily recognizable today Dialects in the United States • Pronunciation differences • New England • Drop the r • South • Make words into two syllables • Middle Atlantic • Diffused with western settlers • Diffused much like housing types • Mobility of Americans has been a major reason for the relatively uniform language that exists throughout much of the West • Current dialect differences in the East • Major dialect differences continue to exist within the U.S. • Primarily on the East Coast • Ex. Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke Key Issue #2 Why is English Related to Other Languages Language Hearths • Traditional approaches in cultural geography have identified the source areas of the world’s languages and the paths of diffusion of those languages from their places of origins. Indo- European Branches • Language family • Collection of languages related through a common ancestral language that existed long before recorded history • Indo-European most common family • Language branch • Collection of languages related through a common ancestral language that existed several thousand years ago • Indo-European family is divided into eight branches • • • • • Language group • 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 • Germanic • Clustered in NW Europe and North America Indo-Iranian • Clustered in South Asia Baltic languages • Clustered in Eastern Europe Romance • Clustered in SW Europe and Latin America Other branches • Albanian • Armenian • Greek • Celtic Germanic Branch • Language groups • West Germanic • Language group in Germanic branch • English is a part of this group • English and German are structurally similar and have many words in common • Further divided • West Germanic • High Germanic and Low Germanic West Germanic Branch • West Germanic Branch • High Germanic • Found in high elevations in Germany • North Germanic Branch • Includes languages spoken in Scandinavia • Swedish • Spoken in southern mountains • Norwegian • Basis for modern standard German language • Danish • Icelandic • All derived from Old Norse • Low Germanic • Includes: • English • Dutch • Flemish Indo-Iranian Branch • Part of the Indo-European family • Includes more than 100 million speakers • Branches include more than 100 individual languages • Branch is divided into: • Eastern group (Indic) • Iranian Indo-Iranian Branch • Indic (Eastern Branch) • Most widely used in • • • Iranian (Western Branch) • Includes • Persian (Farsi) • Spoken in Iran • Pashto • Spoken in Afghanistan and western Pakistan • Kurdish • Spoken in Western Iran, Northern Iraq, and Eastern Turkey • Written in Arabic alphabet • Spoken in • Iran • Southwestern Asia India Pakistan Bangladesh • One of main elements of cultural diversity among the 1 billion plus residents in India is language • Official language of India is Hindi • • Proposed as official language • Rejected, remains English Only official way to write is using script called Devanagari • India recognizes 22 “Scheduled languages” • 15 are Indo-European Baltic-Slavic Branch • Slavic once a single language • Differences developed in 7th century A.D. when several groups migrated from Asia into Eastern Europe • Divided into: • East • West • South • Baltic Balto-Slavic • East Slavic • Most widely used of Slavic languages • Russian • One of 6 languages of U.N. • Importance increased after rise of Soviet Union to power • S.U. forced people to speak • After break-up other languages re-emerged • Ukrainian and Belarusian Balto-Slavic • West Slavic • South Slavic • Includes • Polish (most widely spoken) • Czech • Slovak • • Former Czechoslovakia tried to balance Czech and Slovak languages • Country contained 2X Czechs • Switched languages at sporting events • Effective until split in 1993 • • Spoken in • Bosnia and Herzegovina • Croatia • Montenegro • Serbia All once spoke Serbo-Croatian • All once part of Yugoslavia • Split= tensions • Bosnians and Croats take offense • Bosnian Muslims introduced Arabic words into language • Croats have replaced “Serbian words” • May be very different in future All Slavic languages similar and can be understood….. For now. Romance Branch • Evolved from Latin spoken by Romans 2,000 years ago • Four most widely used: • Spanish • Portuguese • French • Italian • Languages spoken mainly within nation borders • Mountains serves as barriers • Strong intervening obstacles • Also included Romanian • Spoken in Romania and Moldova • Separated from Western Europe by Slavic speakers • Distribution of Romance Languages highlights difficulty in trying to establish #s of distinct languages in the world • Several more Romance languages • Ex. Catalan, Sardinian, Romansh • Some have individual literary traditions Romance Branch • Origin • All derived from Latin • Spread of Roman Empire = spread of Latin • Conquered languages often suppressed or extinguished • Empire so large = Latin varied • Provinces spoke “Vulgar Latin” • Vulgar means “the masses” • Introduced by soldiers • Diffusion • Following collapse of Roman Empire communication declined • Some reverted to old language • Led to new, distinct languages Romance Branch • Dialects • Languages evolved over time • Numerous dialects are spoken within each province • Creation of standard national languages are relatively recent • France • Standard form = Francien • From Ile-de-France region • Became official in 16th cent. • Dialect difference • North- Langue d’oil • South- Langue d’oc • Often called Occitan Romance Branch • Spain • • • Contained many dialects during Middle Ages • Castilian spread throughout the country as it unified Spain reached approximate present day boundaries in 15th century • Castilian became official language • Now called Spanish • Regional dialects survived only in secluded rural areas Expansion • Both Spain and Portuguese have achieved worldwide importance because of colonization • 90% of speakers live outside two nations • Spanish is official language of 18 Latin American nations • Portuguese is spoken in Brazil • Differences • • Two languages diffused thanks to exploration in 15th century • Treaty of Tordesillas 1493 Two languages differ from West Hemisphere and East Hemisphere • Forces in both hemispheres “standardize” the languages Distinguishing between Dialect and Languages • Difficulties arise in determining whether two languages are distinct or whether they are merely two dialects of the same language • Romance languages spoken in some former colonies can be classified as separate languages because they differ substantially from the original introduced by European colonizers. • French Creole • Papiamento (Creolized Spanish) • Portuguese Creole • A Creole or creolized language is defined as a language that results from the mixing of the colonizer’s language with the indigenous language of the people being dominated. Origin and Diffusion of Indo-European • Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, and IndoIranian languages are all part of the same Indo-European language family • • • Must be descended from a single common ancestral language Called Proto-Indo-European • Can’t be proven • Existed before writing • 6000- 4500 B.C.E. Internal Evidence • Physical attributes of words themselves in various Indo-European languages • Beech, oak, bear, deer, bee • Probably lived in a cold climate • Modern Indo-European languages share word for “snow” • No contact with oceans • Most agree that Proto-Indo-European existed • • Disagree on when and where it originated and how it diffused Two theories • Nomadic Warrior Thesis (Conquest) • 1st speakers were Kurgan people • Homeland near steppes near present day Russia and Kazakhstan • Earliest evidence 4300 B.C.E. • Nomadic herders • First to domesticate • Migrated for grasslands • Later developed weapons, conquered South Asia • Sedentary Farmer Thesis (Agrarian) • 1st speakers lived 2000 yrs before Kurgan • Homeland in East Anatolia • Diffused towards Mediterranean • With agricultural practices not military conquest Origin and Diffusion of Indo-European • Map of Indo-European Migrations • 4000- 1000 B.C.E.