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Lori Berger

on 15 December 2013

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Transcript of Language

Language: A mutually agreed-on system of symbolic communication, offers the main means by which learned belief systems, customs, and skills pass from one generation to the next.

Anatolian Hypothesis: As sedentary farming was adopted throughout Europe a gradual and peaceful expansion of Indo-European languages occurred
Kurgan Hypothesis: Other theory that the spread of the Indo-European language is due to the domestication of animals . With the domestication if animals nomadic people were now settling down. With many people wanting to settle in the same place conflict was caused and the "losers" of the conflict would settle in a different area therefore moving languages
The Globalization of languages offers the ability for more people to directly communicate with one another all around the Globe
Technological advances continue to help spread different languages to different places and continues to present this opportunity to more and more people
These technological advances can be as simple as the practice of writing or as complex as the information superhighway provided by the internet
As technological advances continue to spread, the more languages spread and begin eliminating other languages
For example, around 5,000 years ago the practice of writing helped languages develop and spread, this gave them a huge advantage over languages that were only spoken and eventually eliminated these other languages
Technological advances have led to 40% less languages as there were 10,000 years ago, even with 6000 times the amount of people
As languages continue to spread we see more and more "Endangered Languages"
These are languages that are not taught to children and not used commonly
More than half of the languages in the world today are endangered due to globalization
Because of this there are many organizations all around the world that are trying to prevent the extinction of languages
This video shows how the "Endangered Language Alliance" tries to save endangered languages in the U.S
Religion and Linguistic Mobility
Certain languages are associated with certain religions. The spread of religion helps the spread of the language. Ex: Hebrew and Judaism, Roman and Catholic etc.
ethnolect- I dialect spoken by an ethnic group. Ex: Jews and Yiddish,
Slang- refers to words and phrases that are not a part of a standard, recognized vocabulary for a given language but nonetheless is used and understood by most of its speakers.

Language Families:
Different regions of languages are mainly separated by the different cultures
Understanding why language patterns change over time helps people understand cultural geography
Nature Culture
Cultural landscape
Vocabularies are shaped by the environment
Road signs, billboards, graffiti reveal the dominant languages
Visual index of bilingualism and linguistic oppression of minorities
Differences in writing systems render some linguistic landscapes illegible
Cultural groups identify themselves by their unique languages
Around 6000 languages and other dialects are spoken in the world today
Monolingual vs. Bilingual:
A speaker of only one language
This language can have different dialects based on the culture of the place it is spoken (ex: English is spoken in Australia, Scotland, London, United States)

A fluent speaker of two languages
Commonly found in regions with multiple cultural groups
Largest language family
Spoken in Europe, Russia, North and South America, Australia, parts of Asia, and India
Subfamilies include: Romance, Slavic, Germanic, Indic, Celtic, and Iranic
Comparing words like mother (English) and madre (Spanish) you can the similarity that reveals the Indo-European tongue
Second major language family
Sino-Tibetan languages are spoken throughout China and Southeast Asia
Around 400 languages and dialects make up the Burmese and Tibetan branch of the language family
Third major language family
Spoken around the Arabian Peninsula, Tigris-Euphrates river valley of Iraq, Syria, and North Africa
An example of a Semitic language is Hebrew
Spoken around the North and East of Africa
Both Semitic and Hamitic are spoken by very small populations
Other Language Families:
The rest of the world's population speaks one of the other seven remaining major families
Other seven major families:
Niger-Congo (Niger-Kordofanian)
Linguistic landscapes send both hostile and friendly messages
Often contain political content dealing with power, domination, subjugation, or freedom
Quebec and Ireland
Similar movements to eliminate English-language street and place-name signs and replace them with French and Gaelic signs and place-name signs
Gang-related graffiti denotes territory and sends messages to those not welcome
Gang symbols are a dialect that is particular to a subculture and written using a stylized script

Language and Cultural Survival
The Future of Languages
Language interacts with the environment in two different ways
1 The environment helps shape vocabularies
2 Environment shapes language areas and provides refuge for dyeing languages
How Culture Effects Language
Pidgin Language:
When different linguistic groups come in contact and combine
Example: Spanish and English
Lingua Franca:
A language that is spoken is a large area, but that language is not the main language of the area
Example: United State - China Town, Mexico and Texas, Maine and Quebec, Canada
Depending on where a language originated from will effect its vocabulary. An area with an abundance of one physical feature will have more words about that feature then another area with a different physical feature

Ex: The English language has more words to describe water ways because it originated from England
river, creek, prong, bayou, branch
Endangered languages are seen all around the world and especially in "language hotspots"
These are places with the most unique and endangered native tongues
If the globalization of languages continues at the rate it is now we may see just one world language in the future
A place name, usually consisting of two parts, the generic and the specific.
Habitat shapes language areas
Why do languages move?
Push pull affect. People always looking for the best place to live.
Isoglosses- spatial borders of individual pronunciations. Ex: Mexican Spanish Vs Spain Spanish, English spoken from the North Vs English spoken in the South.
Before globalization existed the environment set up barriers and separated people from each other this created and contained languages .
Linguistic refuge area- areas that provide linguistic minorities refuges from aggressive neighbors
Ex: a dense forest
Over View
Often directly reflect the spatial patterns of language, dialect and ethnicity

Specific part: Hunts-, Harris-, Ohio, Newfound and Hatteras

Generic part: -ville, -burg, River, Gap, Cape
Generic toponyms are of greater value to cultural geographers

Every culture has their own distinctive set which is valuable in tracing the spread of a culture

Eastern United States has 3 dialects (Northener, Midland, and Southern)
New Englanders (Northerners) expansion can be traced through the duplication of town and street names (Center, Corner, East, West, North, South)
Midland identified by terms such as Gap, Cove, Hollow, Knob, and -burg
Southern identified by terms such as Bayou, Gully, and Store

Because of globalization Nature culture has less of an effect of the world as it did before
people are able to overcome the environment so it is less of a challenge.
Ex: Columbus
The families, dialects, vocabulary, pronunciation and toponyms display distinct spatial variations shown on maps of linguistic culture regions

Languages are mobile entities (relocation, expansion, diffusion)

Human interactions are primarily language based

Physical environment helps to shape linguistic elements (vocab) and the language helps to shape our perception of the environment

The dominance of "big" languages may lead to the loss of diversity

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