Language Meal: Key Terms Appetizer
A collage of images representing different key terms for C.5
Sedentary Farmer (Agricultural) Thesis
This theorem explains the possibility of ancient farmers of the Proto-Indo-European language spread over thousands of years over Europe, spreading their languages as they went. The movement was originally sparked by a revolution of agriculture and a jump in population, as well as decreasing land availability.
Nomadic Warrior (Conquest/Kurgan) Thesis
This theorem revolves around the Kurgan expansion several millennium ago. The thesis states that the Kurgans, an ancient Russian ancestor, began to expand their empire by way of invasion. Over several millennium, the Kurgans gradually spread over the majority of Europe. Holes in this hypothesis include no traces being found of Kurgan expansion.
British Received Pronunciation
British Received Pronunciation, or BRP, is the standard form of grammar, spelling, and punctuation used in the modern English used in England (country). It was developed in Cambridge and Oxford, rich university cities on the main island of England, and eventually spread through hierarchical diffusion as students and residents moved to different areas.
An extinct language is a language that has no remaining speakers and little to no documented form of standard speech and writing. Gothic is a great example of this concept. In the early 1400s-1500s, English-speaking missionaries and citizens began to push out the Gothic language, and in just under a century, Gothic had only two remaining speakers, with the last one dying in 1699. No 100% accurate alphabet has been found.
An isolated language is a local, often tribal language that has had little to no contact with the outside world and its languages. Basque is a good example. It formed in the Pyrenees mountains from Spanish and French speakers and has existed for thousands of years. It predates the current Indo-European languages and is the only remaining pre-Indo-European language in existence.
A lingua franca is a global language with a signifigant foothold in society. Common examples are Spanish, English, French, and Mandarin Chinese. English is the best example due to its long time as a lingua franca, beginning with colonization efforts in different regions of the world.
A multi-lingual state is a country with 2 or more official languages. Many examples exist in the world, such as Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland. In Switzerland, 4 official languages are in use; French, German, Roman, and Italian, as Switzerland borders these four countries. Switzerland has balanced its languages quite well, dividing the regions into different languages. Other countries, however, face more difficulty. It is often so that the languages are too dispersed to focus in one region, such as in Canada. Both English and French are used, and can be found everywhere. There are no distinct regions where there is one or the other.
A language family is a collection of languages linked by a shared ancestral language dating back before recorded history. Several examples exist, but the most notable are Indo-European, the birth-place of English, German, French, Spanish, etc, and Sino-Tibetan, which has created Chinese, both Mandarin and Cantonese, Hindi, etc. Indo-European is a great example of a family, as the only family related to it is the super-family Proto-Indo-European, and even then this family is just speculative.
A language branch is a collection of languages linked by a shared ancestral languages dating a few thousand years. Branches are newer and more numerical than families, and are the breeding grounds for the languages themselves. The Germanic branch of Indo-European is home to several Northern and Western European languages, most notably English, German, and French. This branch is split into two groups; North Germanic and West Germanic, with East Germanic having been destroyed by process of induction into lingua francas.
A language group is a collection of languages stemming from a language branch. These are the final stages before the actual languages themselves, and as such further divide into sub-categories. The North Germanic group is home to the Scandinavian languages of Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. The West Germanic group houses the more modern languages like English, German, and Dutch. The East Germanic group, however, no longer exists due to immolation into other languages, with the last known language being Crimean Gothic.