A. Proto-languages are the earliest forms of language
B. large groups of languages that come from the same protolanguage are called a language family
C. Within a language family, languages that come from the same ancient ancestor is called a language Branch
D. Within a language branch, languages that share a more recent ancestor are called a language group .
E. English belongs to the West Germanic group of the Germanic language branch in the Indo-European family of an ancient proto language
Origin, Diffusion, and Dialects of English
Origin and diffusion of English
Origin of English in England
Dialects of English
Dialects in England
Differences between British and American English
Dialects in the United States
English Speaking Countries Fig. 5-1: English is the official language in 42 countries, including some in which it is not the most widely spoken language. It is also used and understood in many others.
Invasions of England 5 th –11 th 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 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.
Dialects in the Eastern U.S. Fig. 5-4: Hans Kurath divided the eastern U.S. into three dialect regions, whose distribution is similar to that of house types (Fig. 4-9).
Key Issue 2 Why is English Related to Other Languages?
English is part of the INDO-EUROPEAN language family
A language family is collection of languages related through a common ancestor long before recorded history
Indo-European is the worlds most extensively spoken language with 3 billion speaking an Indo-European language.
Within the Indo-European languages there are 4 main branches. A language branch is a group of languages within a family that have similar ancestors several thousand years ago.
After we look at the branches of the Indo-European languages we will look at the Origin and diffusion of Indo-European languages
There are two main theories. The Kurgan and the Anatolian
I Branches of Indo-European Languages
English is a Germanic language because of the Germanic tribes that invaded England 1500 years ago.
English and German are both part of the West Germanic group because they are structurally similar and have many words in common
German spoken today is High German because it comes from the southern German highlands.
English comes from Low German which was spoken in the northern parts of Germany. Dutch, Afrikaans, and Northern German dialects are Low German
Germanic also included the Scandinavian languages of Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic, which all come from Old Norse.
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.
B. Indo-Iranian Branch
This is the largest Indo-European branch
This is divided up into two groups, Indic and Iranian
Indo-Indic which includes languages used in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
There are many different Hindi language dialects, which led to 18 official languages in India.
Urdu is spoken in Pakistan, and Bengali in Bangladesh.
Indo-Iranian is the second group. These are the languages spoken by people in Iran and neighboring countries. In Iran they speak Persian, sometimes called Farsi. Pathan, and Kurdish are other languages spoken from this branch
South Asian Languages and Language Families Fig. 5-7: Indo-European is the largest of four main language families in South Asia. The country of India has 18 official languages.
C. Balto-Slavic Branch
Slavic was once one language, but in the seventh century slaves from Asia migrated to eastern Europe and now it is divided into West and East.
East Slavic languages include Russian, Ukrainian and Belorusian.
Russian increased in importance with the rise of the Soviet Union.
West and South Slavic groups include Polish, Czech, and Slovak in the West, and Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian in the South.
Slavic languages are fairly similar, however since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Croatia have begun to develop their own identity and because of isolation from each other could become completely different.
D. Romance Branch
Evolved from the Latin language spoken by Romans 2,000 years ago.
Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian are the four main romance languages
Romanian is the 5 th important romance language but is separated by the rest by Slavic speakers.
Other Romance languages include Romansh of Switzerland, Catalan of Andorra, and Sardinian from the Island of Sardinia.
Read the section about the Origin and Diffusion of the Romance Languages (pg 160-162 Rubenstein) and Romance language Dialects in your Text and summarize it here in your notes (homework)
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.
Indo-European Language Family Fig. 5-5: The main branches of the Indo-European language family include Germanic, Romance, Balto-Slavic, and Indo-Iranian.
II Origin and Diffusion of Indo-European Languages
Origin of the Indo-European Language
It can not be proven that there was a single ancestor to the Indo-European language family but there is evidence that a Proto-Indo-European language did exist.
Evidence is found in similar words in different languages such as oak, bear, deer, and pheasant and other words that could have been a part of daily life.
Indo-European languages share similar words for winter and snow, but not for ocean. Linguists believe that the Proto-Indo-European language came from a cold climate that did not have contact with the ocean.
B. Diffusion of the Indo European language
There are two theories about the diffusion of the language.
First is called the Kurgan theory named after the Kurgan people who lived in 4300 B.C. they came from the steppes near the boarder of Russia and Kazakhstan. They were nomads who domesticated the horse and cattle and moved west in search of grasslands. They used the horse as a weapon to conquer Southwest Asia and the Balkan peninsula.
The other theory is that it came from eastern Anatolia, or present day Turkey. This idea believes the language spread by agricultural practices through Greece, Italy, up into central and western Europe
We are not sure which is correct but both theories have valid points. One spread by military means, the other through contact of better agricultural practices.
Kurgan Theory of Indo-European Origin 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 Fig. 5-10: In the Anatolian hearth theory, Indo-European originated in Turkey before the Kurgans and diffused through agricultural expansion.
In Fellmann read World Pattern of Languages starting on page 138 and Language Change starting on page 143 and OUTLINE it on the back of the notes. Include a summary of the “Language exchange” box.
Distribution of Other Language Families
Classification of languages
Distribution of language families
Sino-Tibetan language family
Other East and Southeast Asian language families
Afro-Asiatic language family
Altaic and Uralic language families
African language families
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.
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.
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 Madagascar.
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 language.
Language Diversity and Uniformity
Preserving language diversity
Hebrew: reviving extinct languages
Celtic: preserving endangered languages
Global dominance of English
English as a lingua franca
Diffusion to other languages
Key Issue 4 Why do People Preserve Local Languages
Distribution of a language is a measure of the fate of an ethnic group
The number of English speakers shows the cultural dominance compared to icelandic which remains in Isolation.
Language shows the battle between globalization and local diversity
Preserving Language Diversity
Extinct languages were once used but are no longer in use.
Once there were over 500 languages in the Amazon region, now there are 57 or fewer.
Gothic was spoken in Northern and Eastern Europe in third century A.D. but it and it’s entire language group are gone.
Languages die through integration, when other stronger cultures take over through politics or cultural preference.
Preservation of Languages (continued)
Some Languages are being preserved. European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages try and preserve mainly languages of the Celtic branch of Indo-European languages
Linguists (people who study languages) predict that hundreds of languages will die in the 21 st century.
There may only be 300 that are safe from extinction.
Hebrew: Reviving Extinct Languages
Hebrew is a rare case where it went basically extinct then it was revived.
Bible was mostly written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Hebrew lost popularity in the 4 th century BC and only Jews remained using it for religious use.
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda is one person who led the way to revive Hebrew after Israel became independent. He wrote the first Hebrew dictionary, and created over 4,000 new Hebrew words for modern things that did not exist.
Celtic: Preserving Endangered Languages
Celtic was the major language of the British Isles before Germanic invasions.
2,000 years ago celtic was spoken in Germany, France and northern Italy as well as the UK.
Today it only survives in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Brittany France.
Two branches, Goidelic (Gaelic) and Brythonic.
Only Gaelic languages that survive are Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It is the second official language of Ireland but few speak either.
Most used Brythonic languages are Welsh and Breton which 300,000 still speak on the Brittany peninsula of France. Only 10,000 speak it more than French
Revival of Celtic Language
Welsh has made a comeback because of the efforts of the Welsh Language Society and Welsh being taught in schools
Irish Gaelic also has grown with the help of the younger Irish. It is also taught, and it is being used in pop culture more and more. Even an Irish Gaelic T.V. station started broadcasting in 1996
A couple hundred people have even revived Cornish (a Brythonic language) but they fight over how to spell things.
Multi Lingual States
Belgium is divided between the French speaking Walloons in the South and the Flemish (Dutch) in the north.
Historically the French speakers were wealthier and ran politics. From pressure from the Flemish they divide the country into two regions. Each ran independently.
Mayor of Voeren (Fouroms) caused prime minister to resign when he refused to speak Dutch in Flanders.
Today many amendments have been added to the constitution to give each region more autonomy (self rule)
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.
Switzerland peacefully exists with several languages including German, French, Italian, and Romansh
Language Areas in Switzerland Fig. 5-17: Switzerland remains peaceful with four official languages and a decentralized government structure.
Isolated Languages are unrelated to any other and not attached to any language family and occur because of lack of interaction with other languages.
Basque is the only language spoken in Europe that was there before the Indo-Europeans came. It is spoken in the Pyrenees mountains of N. Spain and S. France.
Icelandic IS related to North Germanic languages although it has changed less in the last 1,000 years than any other Germanic language because of isolation
Global Dominance of English
A language of international communication is known as a Lingua Franca.
A group that learns English or another lingua franca often learns a simplified form called Pidgin language. It has no native speakers as is always a second language.
English is taught to 83 percent of High school students in EU countries, and more than 90% in some.
200 million speak English fluently as a second language and Millions more have a working knowledge of it.
Japan has even considered making it a second official language.
Expansion Diffusion of English and Diffusion to other languages
Read these sections on your own.
Know what Franglais is as well as Spanglish
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 Fig. 5-1-1: A large proportion of the world’s internet users and hosts are in the developed countries of North America and western Europe.
Internet Hosts, by Language Fig 5-1-1a: The large majority of internet hosts in 1999 used English, Chinese, Japanese, or European languages.
FOR THE TEST
Focus on Key Issues
Read the summary at the end of the Chapter
Know the Major Language Families
Know the Indo-European Branches
Origin and Diffusion of English
If four languages have similar words for numbers and names of fish, but different names for a certain disease, what might be concluded about the time at which the disease first diffused
The disease spread among a population that later divided and evolved into four different languages
The population divided and evolved into the four different languages, and then the disease spread
The disease spread to two different populations that later divided into two different languages
The disease and language spread to four different regions at the same time at the same rate
There can be no conclusions drawn about the initial diffusion of the disease based on language