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Is this linguistic map correct?

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Scholarly Pursuits
Forum Name: Linguistics
Forum Description: Discuss linguistics: the study of languages
Moderators: gcle2003, King John
Printed Date: 20-May-2019 at 08:02
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 -

Topic: Is this linguistic map correct?
Posted By: Spartakus
Subject: Is this linguistic map correct?
Date Posted: 06-Nov-2008 at 17:41

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)

Posted By: Chilbudios
Date Posted: 06-Nov-2008 at 18:22
Depends what do you mean by "correct". Yes, it is a fair representation of IE languages.
But otherwise there are few things one would question or argue against:
- one perennial dilemma - what is the difference between dialect and language? One could also wonder why so many Germanic varieties are pictured but no Greek ones.
- this graphic representation seems to list the languages somehow geographically, though not in a very consistent way. However, their relation with their common origin is debateable. Also, I'm not sure what that 5,000 BC is supposed to mean.

Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 06-Nov-2008 at 18:56

I've registered before my objection to classification systems that are purely hierarchical, and therefore ignore cross-linkages that occur between languages shown on different branches of the tree.

Usually it's because overemphasis is placed on one characteristic, as for instance vocabulary. But even in vocabulary English is closer to French than it is to German.


Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 06-Nov-2008 at 23:27
Originally posted by Chilbudios Chilbudios wrote:

- one perennial dilemma - what is the difference between dialect and language?
That is my complaint as well.  Notice how Belarus, an independent country, speaks "Belarussian".  Meanwhile, Italy, a unified country speaks "Italian". 
I bet the Sardinian and Sicillian variants of Italians are far more distinct from the Italian spoken in FLorence than the "Belarussian" spoken in Minsk is from the Russian spoken in Moscow.     

Posted By: King John
Date Posted: 10-Nov-2008 at 17:00
I have moved this topic to the Linguistic sub-forum. Unfortunately we have lost some interesting posts regarding the W. Germanic Branch of this map. Hopefully, those who posted the lost posts will come back and re-post them as best they can.

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