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What Religion and Where in the World?


Title: The Mosaic of Languages Author: Dr Raymond L Sanders Jr Last modified by: Hans Lunow Created Date: 10/5/2001 7:34:53 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Religion and Where in the World?

What Religion and Where in the World?
  • Eastern Orthodox
  • Latvia

The Mosaic of Languages
  • Chapter 5
  • The Human Mosaic

Why geographers study language
  • Provides the single most common variable by which
    cultural groups are identified
  • Provides the main means by which learned customs
    and skills pass from one generation to the next
  • Facilitates cultural diffusion of innovations
  • Because languages vary spatially, they reinforce
    the sense of region and place
  • Study of language called linguistic geography and
    geolinguistics by geographers

Terms used in the study of language
  • Language tongues that cannot be mutually
  • Dialects variant forms of a language that have
    not lost mutual comprehension
  • A speaker of English can understand the various
    dialect of the language
  • A dialect is distinctive enough in vocabulary and
    pronunciation to label its speaker
  • Some 6,000 languages and many more dialects are
    spoken today

Terms used in the study of language
  • Pidgin language results when different
    linguistic groups come into contact
  • Serves the purposes of commerce
  • Has a small vocabulary derived from the various
    contact groups
  • Speakers of different languages need to
    communicate but don't share a common language.
  • Official language of Papua, New Guinea is a
    largely English-derived pidgin language, which
    includes Spanish, German, and Papuan words
  • Spanglish

Terms used in the study of language
  • Lingua franca a language that spreads over a
    wide area where it is not the mother tongue
  • A language of communication and commerce
  • Swahili language has this status in much of East
  • English is Lingua franca of international
    business world-wide

  • Kenya has two official languages Swahili and
    English. These lingua franca facilitate
    communication among Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic
    language speakers.
  • Swahili developed along the coast of East Africa
    where Bantu came in contact with Arabic spoken by
    Arab sea traders.

  • English became important during the British
    colonial period and is still associated with high
  • This shopping center caters to Maasai herders who
    speak a Nilotic language and Kikuyu farmers who
    speak a Bantu language.
  • Jambo means hello in Swahili.-gt

On your copy outline with hi-liter countries that
speak Swahili
On the left page of your notebook Colonial
Chloropleth language map of Africa- Color the
countries the following colors French-
Blue English - Red Portuguese- Yellow Italian-
Green, Spanish - Orange -
The Mosaic of Languages
  • Linguistic Culture Regions
  • Linguistic Diffusion
  • Linguistic Ecology
  • Culturo-Linguistic Integration
  • Linguistic Landscapes

Language characteristics used to define
linguistic culture regions
  • isoglosses borders of individual word usages or
  • No two words, phrases, or pronunciations have
    exactly the same spatial distribution
  • Spatially isoglosses crisscross one another
  • Typically cluster together in bundles
  • Bundles serve as the most satisfactory dividing
    lines among dialects and languages

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English dialects in the United States
  • Dialects reveal a vivid geography
  • American English is hardly uniform from region to
  • At least three major dialects, corresponding to
    major culture regions, developed in the eastern
    United States by the time of the American
  • Northern
  • Midland
  • Southern

Dialect Activity http//polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/dare
English dialects in the United States
  • The three subcultures expanded westward and their
    dialects spread and fragmented
  • Retained much of their basic character even
    beyond the Mississippi River
  • Have distinctive vocabularies and pronunciations
  • Drawing dialect boundaries is often tricky

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English dialects in the United States
  • Today, many regional words are becoming
    old-fashioned, but new words display regional
  • The following words are all used to describe a
    controlled-access divided highway
  • Freeway a California word
  • Turnpike and parkway mainly northeastern and
    Midwestern words
  • Thruway, expressway, and interstate

English dialects in the United States
  • Many African-Americans speak their own form of
    English Black English
  • Once dismissed as inferior substandard English
  • Grew out of a pidgin that developed on early
    slave plantations
  • Today, spoken by about 80 percent of
  • Used by ghetto dwellers who have not made their
    compromises with mainstream American culture
  • Many features separate it from standard speech,
    for example
  • Lack of pronoun differentiation between genders
  • Use of undifferentiated pronouns

English dialects in the United States
  • Many African-Americans speak their own form of
    English Black English
  • Not recognized as part of the proper grammar of a
    separate linguistic group
  • Considered evidence of verbal inability or
  • In the Southern dialect, African-Americans have
    made substantial contributions to speech
  • Southern dialect is becoming increasingly
    identified with African-Americans
  • Caucasians in the Southern region are shifting to
    Midland speech

English dialects in the United States
  • American dialects suggest we are not becoming a
    more national culture by overwhelming regional
  • Linguistic divergence is still under way
  • Dialects continue to mutate on a regional level
  • Local variations in grammar and pronunciation
  • The homogenizing influence of radio, television,
    and other mass media is being defied

Pop vs Soda http//www.popvssoda.com/
What Patterns can you identify? Why do they exist?
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London, England
London, England
  • While English is spoken in many parts of the
    world, all English words are not mutually
  • This London tube (subway) sign say that anyone
    performing there (eg singing or playing for
    money) is subject to a fine of subsection.
  • Are tubes, subway, and busking dialect words?

The Mosaic of Languages
  • Linguistic Culture Regions
  • Linguistic Diffusion
  • Linguistic Ecology
  • Culturo-Linguistic Integration
  • Linguistic Landscapes

Indo-European diffusion
  • Earliest speakers apparently lived in southern
    and southeastern Turkey (Anatolia) about eight or
    nine thousand years ago
  • Diffused west and north into Europe
  • Represented expansion of farming people at
    expense of hunters and gatherers
  • As people dispersed and lost contact, different
    variant forms of the language caused
    fragmentation of the family

Indo-European diffusion
  • Later language diffusion occurred with the spread
    of great political empires, especially Latin,
    English, and Russian
  • Relocation and expansion diffusion were not
    mutually exclusive
  • Relocation diffusion by conquering elite
    implanted their language
  • Implanted language often gained wider acceptance
    by expansion diffusion
  • Conquerors language spread hierarchically
  • Spread of Latin with Roman conquests
  • Spanish in Latin America

Austronesian diffusion
  • Presumed hearth in the interior of Southeast Asia
    5,000 years ago
  • Initially spread southward into the Malay
  • In a process lasting several thousand years,
    people sailed in tiny boats across the. uncharted
    vast seas to New Zealand, Easter Island, Hawaii,
    and Madagascar
  • Sailing and navigation was the key to
    Austronesian spread, not agriculture

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Austronesian diffusion
  • The remarkable diffusion of the Polynesian
  • Form the eastern part of the Austronesian culture
  • Occupy hundreds of Pacific islands in a
    triangular-shaped realm
  • New Zealand, Easter Island, and Hawaii form the
    three apexes of the realm
  • Made a watery leap of 2,500 miles from the South
    Pacific to Hawaii
  • Used outrigger canoes
  • Went against prevailing winds into a new
    hemisphere with different navigational stars
  • No humans had previously found the isolated
    Hawaiian Islands
  • Sailors had no way of knowing that land existed
    in the area

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Austronesian diffusion
  • Geographers John Webb and Gerard Ward studied the
    prehistoric Polynesian diffusion
  • Their method involved the development of a
    computer model building in data on
  • Winds
  • Ocean currents
  • Vessel traits and capabilities
  • Island visibility
  • Duration of voyage, etc.
  • Both drift and navigated voyages were considered

Austronesian diffusion
  • Over one hundred thousand voyage simulations were
    run through the computer
  • Their conclusions
  • Triangle was probably entered from the
    westdirection of the ancient Austronesian hearth
  • Island hoppingmigrated from one visible island
    to another
  • Core of eastern Polynesia likely reached by
    navigated voyages
  • Outer arc from Hawaii through Easter Island to
    New Zealand reached by intentionally navigated

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Searching for the primordial tongue
  • Using controversial techniques, linguists seek
    the more elusive prehistoric tongues
  • Nostraticancestral speech of the Middle East
    12,000 to 20,000 years ago
  • Ancestral to nine modern language families
  • A 500-word dictionary has been compiled
  • Contemporary with Nostratic were other ancient
    tongues including Dene-Caucasian

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Searching for the primordial tongue
  • Dene-Caucasian reputedly gave rise to
    Sino-Tibetan, Basque, and one form of early
    Native-American called Na-Dene
  • Scholars are attempting to find the original
    linguistic hearth area from which all modern
    languages have derived
  • It is believed the original language hearth arose
    in Africa perhaps 250,000 years ago and diffused
    from there

The Mosaic of Languages
  • Linguistic Culture Regions
  • Linguistic Diffusion
  • Linguistic Ecology
  • Culturo-Linguistic Integration
  • Linguistic Landscapes

The environment and vocabulary
  • How the environment affects vocabulary
  • Spanish language derived from Castile
  • Rich in words describing rough terrain (Table
  • Distinguishes subtle differences in shape and
    configuration of mountains
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Describes types of rough terrain
  • Common attribute spoken by hill people
  • Romanian tongue
  • Also from a region of rugged terrain
  • Words tend to be keyed to use of terrain for
    livestock herding

The environment and vocabulary
  • English
  • Developed in wet coastal plains
  • Very poor in words describing mountainous terrain
  • Abounds with words describing flowing streams
  • Rural American Southriver, creek, branch, fork,
    prong, run, bayou, and slough

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The environment and vocabulary
  • Vocabularies develop for features of the
    environment that involve livelihood
  • Detailed vocabularies are necessary to
    communicate sophisticated information relevant to
    the adaptive strategy

The environment provides refuge
  • Inhospitable environments offer protection and
  • Provide outnumbered linguistic groups refuge from
    aggressive neighbors
  • Linguistic refuge areas
  • Rugged bill and mountain areas
  • Excessively cold or dry climates
  • Impenetrable forests and remote islands
  • Extensive marshes and swamps
  • Unpleasant environments rarely attract conquerors
  • Mountains tend to isolate inhabitants of one
    valley from another

Examples of linguistic refuge areas
  • Rugged Caucasus Mountains and nearby ranges in
    central Eurasia are populated by a large variety
    of peoples
  • Alps, Himalayas, and highlands of Mexico are
    linguistic shatter belts areas where diverse
    languages are spoken
  • American Indian tongue Quechua clings to a refuge
    in the Andes Mountains of South America
  • In the Rocky Mountains of northern New Mexico, an
    archaic form of Spanish survives due to isolation
    that ended in the early 1900s

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Examples of linguistic refuge areas
  • The Dhofar, a mountain tribe in Oman, preserve
    Hamitic speech that otherwise has vanished from
  • Tundra climates of the far north have sheltered
    certain Uralic, Altaic, and Inukitut (Eskimo)
  • On Sea Islands, off the coast of South Carolina
    and Georgia, some remnant of an African language,
    Gullah, still are spoken

  • Switzerland has four recognized national
    languages French, German, Italian, and Romansch.
  • Romansch, a language of Latin origin, is spoken
    by only 1.1 of the population.

  • Nevertheless, it has survived in the alpine
    linguistic refuge of the upper Rhine and Inn
    Rivers and was given official recognition in 1938.

  • This traditional Engadine (Inn valley) house is
    decorated by sgraffito whereby designs are
    scratched through a white limewash coating to
    expose the underlying grey plaster.

Linguistic Ecology
  • Today environmental isolation is no longer the
    linguistic force it once was
  • Inhospitable lands and islands are reachable by
  • Marshes and forests are being drained and cleared
    by farmers
  • The world is interactive

The environment guides migration
  • Migrants were often attracted to new lands that
    seemed environmentally similar to their homelands
  • They could pursue adaptive strategies known to
  • Germanic Indo-Europeans chose familiar temperate
    zones in America, New Zealand, and Australia
  • Semitic peoples rarely spread outside arid and
    semiarid climates
  • Ancestors of modern Hungarians left grasslands of
    inner Eurasia for new homes in the grassy Alföld,
    one of the few prairie areas of Europe

The environment guides migration
  • Environmental barriers and natural routeways
    guided linguistic groups along certain paths
  • Indo-Europeans traveled through low mountain
    passes to the Indian subcontinent, avoiding the
    Himalayas and barren Deccan Plateau
  • In India today, the Indo-European/Dravidian
    language boundary seems to approximate an
    ecological boundary

The environment guides migration
  • Mountain barriers frequently serve as linguistic
  • In part of the Alps, speakers of German and
    Italian live on opposite sides of a major ridge
  • Portions of mountain rim along the northern edge
    of the Fertile Crescent form the border between
    Semitic and Indo-European tongues

The environment guides migration
  • Linguistic borders that follow such physical
    features tend to be stable and endure for
    thousands of years
  • Language borders that cross plains and major
    routes of communication are frequently unstable
    Germanic-Slavic boundary on the North European

Language characteristics used to define
linguistic culture regions
  • Overlap of languages complicates drawing of
    linguistic borders
  • In any given area more than one tongue may be
    spoken Ecuador
  • Language barriers are rarely sharp

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Language characteristics used to define
linguistic culture regions
  • Geographers encounter a core/periphery pattern
    rather than a dividing line
  • Dominance of language diminishes away from the
    center of the region
  • Outlying zone of bilingualism
  • Linguistic islands often further complicate the
    drawing of language borders

Language characteristics used to define
linguistic culture regions
  • Dialect terms often overlap considerably, making
    it difficult to draw isoglossess
  • Linguistic geographers often disagree about how
    many dialects are present
  • Disagreement also occurs on where lines should be
  • Boundaries are necessarily simplified and at best

Language families
  • The Indo-European language family
  • Largest most wide-spread family
  • Spoken on all continents
  • Dominant in Europe, Russia, North and South
    America, Australia, and parts of southwestern
    Asia and India
  • SubfamiliesRomance, Slavic, Germanic, Indic,
    Celtic, and Iranic
  • Subfamilies are divided into individual languages
  • Seven Indo-European tongues are among the top 10
    languages spoken in the world
  • By comparing vocabularies in various languages
    one can see the kinship

Language families
  • The Afro-Asiatic family
  • Has two major divisionsSemitic and Hamitic
  • Semitic covers the area from Tigris-Euphrates
    valley westward through most of the north half of
    Africa to the Atlantic coast
  • Domain is large but consists of mostly sparsely
    populated deserts
  • Arabic is the most widespread Semitic language
  • Arabic has the most number of native
    speakersabout 186 million
  • Hebrew was a dead language used only in
    religious ceremonies
  • Today Hebrew is the official language of Israel
  • Amharic a third major Semitic tongues has 20
    million speakers in the mountains of East Africa

Language families
  • The Afro-Asiatic family
  • Has two major divisionsSemitic and Hamitic
  • Smaller number of people speak Hamitic languages
  • Share North and East Africa with Semitic speakers
  • Spoken by the Berbers of Morocco and Algeria
  • Spoken by the Tuaregs of the Sahara and Cushites
    of East Africa
  • Originated in Asia but today only spoken in
  • Expansion of Arabic decreased the area and number
    of speakers

Other major language families
  • Africa south of the Sahara Desert is dominated by
    the Niger-Congo family
  • Spoken by about 200 million people
  • Greater part of the Niger-Congo culture region
    belongs to the Bantu subgroup
  • Includes Swahilithe lingua franca of East Africa

Other major language families
  • Altaic language family
  • Includes Turkic, Mongolic, and several other
  • Homeland lies largely in deserts, tundras, and
    coniferous forests of northern and central Asia
  • Uralic family
  • Finnish and Hungarian are the two most important
  • Both have official status in their countries

Other major language families
  • Austronesian language family
  • Most remarkable language family in terms of
  • Speakers live mainly on tropical islands
  • Ranges from Madagascar, through Indonesia and the
    Pacific Islands, to Hawaii and Easter Island
  • Longitudinal span is more than half way around
    the world
  • Latitudinally, ranges from Hawaii and Taiwan in
    the north to New Zealand in the south
  • Largest single language in this family is
    Indonesian 5O million speakers
  • Most widespread language is Polynesian

Other major language families
  • Sino-Tibetan language family
  • One of the major language families of the world
  • Extends throughout most of China and Southeast
  • Han Chinese is spoken in a variety of dialects as
    a mother tongue by 836 million people
  • Han serves as the official form of speech in China

Other major language families
  • Japanese/Korean language family
  • Another major Asian family with nearly 200
    million speakers
  • Seems to have some kinship to both the Altaic and

Other major language families
  • Austro-Asiatic language family
  • Found in Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia,
    Thailand, and spoken by some tribal people of
    Malaya and parts of India
  • Occupies a remnant peripheral domain
  • Has been encroached upon by Sino-Tibetan,
    Indo-European, and Austronesian

Other major language families
  • Occupy refuge areas after retreat before rival
  • Khoisan found in the Kalahari Desert of
    southwestern Africa, characterized by clicking
  • Dravidian spoken by numerous darker-skinned
    people of southern India and northern Sri Lanka
  • Others include Papuan, Caucasic, Nilo-Saharan,
    Paleosiberian, Inukitut, and a variety of
  • Basque spoken on the borderland between Spain
    and France is unrelated to any other language in
    the world

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London, England
  • This display of newspapers illustrates the fact
    that London is an international city as well as a
    major migration destination.
  • In South Kensington, sizable foreign contribute

London, England
  • to the linguistic landscape.
  • Both Indo-European (e.g. French, Spanish and
    Swedish) and Afro-Asiatic (Arab) language
    families are represented here.
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