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Human Geography By James Rubenstein

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Human Geography By James Rubenstein Chapter 5 Key Issue 3 Where Are Other Language Families Distributed? About 50% of all people in the World speak a language in the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Human Geography By James Rubenstein


1
Human Geography By James Rubenstein
  • Chapter 5
  • Key Issue 3
  • Where Are Other Language Families Distributed?

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3
  • About 50 of all people in the World speak a
    language in the Indo European Family.
  • About 20 of the World speak a language in the
    Sino-Tibetan family

4
20 Speak one of these four language families.
  • Afro-Asiatic (Middle East)
  • Austronesian (Southeast Asia)
  • Niger-Congo (Africa)
  • Dravidian (India)

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Language Family Tree
  • Divided into language families, branches, and
    groups.
  • Families form trunks.
  • Individual languages form leaves.
  • Branches with less then 5 million speakers and
    dialects are not shown.

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8
Sino-Tibetan Family
  • Spoken in China and several Southeast Asian
    countries.
  • Sinitic Branch
  • Austro-Thai Branch
  • Tibetan-Burman Branch

9
Chinese
  • Mandarin (Pu tong bua common speech) is the
    most important.
  • - Spoken by 3/4ths all Chinese.
  • - Official language of Peoples Republic of
    China and Taiwan.
  • Others Wu, Cantonese, Min, Xiang, Hakka, Jinyu,
    and Gan.

10
Sinitic Structure
  • Based on 420 one-syllable words with multiple
    meanings.
  • Meanings must be inferred from context and tone.
  • The written form relies on ideograms.

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Ideograms
  • Characteristics that represent ideas or concepts,
    not specific pronunciations.

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Key characters may be built into more complex
words.
Ideogram Examples
13
Japanese
  • A distinctive language family.
  • As an island, developed language in isolation.
  • Written language of Ideograms (from china)
  • Foreign terms are written with on of two systems
    of phonetic symbols.

14
Korean
  • Often classified as a separate language family.
  • Written with phonetic characters (referred to as
    Hankul).
  • Over half of Korean words are derived from
    Chinese.

15
Austro-Thai and Tibeto-Burman Branches
  • The Thai branch is spoken in Laos, Thailand and
    parts of Viet Nam.
  • The Burman branch is spoken in Myanmar (formerly
    Burma)

16
Vietnamese
  • Most spoken tongue of Austro-Asiatic language
    family.
  • Written with Roman alphabet, which was devised
    by 7th century Roman Catholic missionaries.

17
Afro-Asiatic Language Family
  • Includes Arabic and Hebrew.
  • Spoken in North Africa and Southwest Asia.
  • 4th largest language family.
  • Languages used to write holiest books of 3 major
    religions.

18
Altaic and Uralic Language Families
  • Once thought to be of the same family.

19
Altaic Languages
  • Spoken in a 5000 mile band between Turkey and
    Mongolia.
  • Turkey is the most widely used example.
  • Originally written with Arabic letters, switched
    to Roman letters in 1928.
  • Include Azerbaijani, Mongolian, and Usbek among
    others.

20
Uralic Languages
  • Estonians, Finish, and Hungarians are among the
    speakers.
  • Common root first spoken in the Ural Mountains
    7000 years ago, north of the Kurgan homeland.

21
African Language Families
  • Nearly 1000 distinct languages and several
    thousand dialects have been documented.
  • Result of 5000 years of minimal interaction.
  • Most lack written tradition.
  • North African language patterns are relatively
    clear, but sub-Saharan are more complex.

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Niger-Congo Language Family
  • More than 95 of sub-Sahara speak languages of
    this family.
  • Benue-Congo is the most important branch, which
    includes Swahili.
  • Swahili is official language of Tanzania, was
    originally a mixture of Arabic and African
    languages.

24
Nilo-Saharan Language Family
  • Spoken by a few million people in north-central
    Africa.
  • Divided into six branches, each of which are
    divided into several groups.
  • Total number of speakers in each group is
    extremely small.

25
Khoisan Language Family
  • Concentrated in the southwest.
  • Distinctive use of clicking sounds.
  • Hottentot is most important Khoisan language.

26
Austronesian Language Family
  • Once known as the Malay-Polynesian family.
  • Malay-Indonesian is spoken in Indonesia and is
    most frequently used example of this family.
  • Malagasy is spoken in Madascar, which is 1900
    miles from other languages of the same family.

27
Nigerias Language Conflict
  • More than 200 distinct languages.
  • English is the official language, but only 2 of
    the people speak it.
  • Speakers of one language are unlikely to
    understand any others of the same language.

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