Collage: Rubenstein's 10 Key Terms
Enjoy the appetizer!
Super-families: Sino-Caucasian, Nostric, & Austric
Language Family: Indo-European
A language family is " a collection of languages related to each other through a common ancestor long, before recorded history."
One good example is the Indo-European language family. It is the most spoken language family (thanks to English speakers). The picture above is a map of the Nomadic Warrior Thesis. This is one of the thesis of where,why, and how the first Proto-Indo-European speakers originated and migrated. This is important to know and to understand because the languages in the Indo-European language family has similar words like beech, pal, bear, and words that talks about the winter climate. This means that the first speakers lived in a cold climate.
Language Branch: Germanic, Romance, Indo-Iranian, & Balto-Slavic
A language branch is "a collection of languages related through a common ancestor that existed several thousand years ago. Differences are not as extensive or as old as with language families, and archaeological evidence can confirm that the branches derived from the same family."
An example is the four language branches of the Indo-European language family. The map above shows the four branches of the Indo-European language branch: Germanic (Red), Romance (Blue), Indo-Iranian (Bronze), and Balto-Slavic (Green).
Language Group: North Germanic
A language group is "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."
An example is the North Germanic, a language group that is within the Germanic branch. The most spoken languages in the North Germanic language group is Swedish (Sweden), Finnish (Finalnd), and Danish (Denmark).
A language is "a system of communications through the use of speech, a collection of sounds understood by a group of people to have the same meaning."
An example is English. The flag (above) of England represents that birthplace of the language, English.
Fun Fact: English came to be after help from the German Invasion (Angles, Jutes, and Saxons) and the Norman Invasion (France).
Standard Language: British Received Pronunciation (BRP)
A standard language is "the form of a language used for official government business, education, and mass communications."
There are five major regional British English dialects: Northern, East Midland, West Midland, Southwestern, and Southeastern or Kentish. But the standard English language (the language used for "official gov't business, education, and mass communications") is the British Received Pronunciation.
Dialects: American English
A dialect is "a regional varitey of a language distinguished by vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation.
The Statue of Liberty represents the U.S. In the U.S., the people speaks in a dialect called American English. If you compare American English to the standard English, (BRP), there is a huge difference in the vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation. The vocabulary in American English has some words that were created from new experiences (e.g. from the environment). The spelling in American English is different because of "a strong national feeling... for an independent identity". Lastly, the pronunciation in American English is lighter than the pronunciation in British English.
Fun Fact: Isolation like the Atlantic Ocean can cause different dialects and/or birth of a new language.
Lingua Franca: English
A lingua franca is "a language mutually understood and commonly used in trade by people who have different native languages."
The picture above shows a group of students in China. To your surprise, they are learning English. They are learning by shouting out loud because they can become confident speaking English. Currently, students from non-English speaking countries are learning English so they can participate in the global market. Currently, that is an important skill in the 21st Century. English is currently a lingua franca, language of commerce. Therefore, in order to trade and communicated with each other (compete in the global market), people must learn a lingua franca.
Newspaper link to an article called "Crazy English": http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/28/080428fa_fact_osnos
Nomadic Warrior Thesis:
The picture above shows a nomadic warrior (it is actually Mongolian). According to the Nomadic Warrior Thesis, "the first Proto-Indo-European speakers were the Kurgan people." The Kurgans lived the border between (present-day) Russia and Kazakhstan. The Kurgans were nomadic herders. Therefore, they domesticated horses and cattle and migrated "in search for grasslands for their animals." Then later in between 3500 and 2500 B.C., Kurgan warriors conquered much of Europe and South Asia with their domesticated horses.
Sedentary Farmer Thesis:
The picture above is showing wheat. This represents that crops farmers grow. Because according to the Sedentary Farmer Thesis, the first speakers of the Proto-Indo-European were farmers that lived in the eastern Anatolia (present-day Turkey). Because of trading of food and food production, people began to migrate to other places to grow more food. Therefore, the Proto-Indo-European was diffused.