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Roots and Branches of Languages

elemtilas

Inkling
A couple mistakes / omissions, but pretty effective visualisation for all that!

The limb marked "Romance" should rightly be labeled "Italic", as that is the progenitor of (Vulgar) Latin and its relatives (Oscan, Umbrian, Sabellian, etc), Romance should then be more distal. I think the notion of Italo-Celtic is still in vogue, at least in some quarters. I'd have put those limbs in close proximity, rather than separating by Baltic, Slavic and Albanian. The Celtic languages together have about as many speakers as Albanian --- the size of the little Celtic cluster should be made a little bigger.

Low German doesn't derive from High German (they are geographical dialects still quite obvious in modern Germany & Austria).

Some early sub-families are left off or not named. If you're going to call it a "comprehensive overlook" and devise a way of seeing the whole extended family through history, then you can't get away with pulling a Sirius Black and just leaving those bits off.
 

Russ

Istar
A couple mistakes / omissions, but pretty effective visualisation for all that!

The limb marked "Romance" should rightly be labeled "Italic", as that is the progenitor of (Vulgar) Latin and its relatives (Oscan, Umbrian, Sabellian, etc), Romance should then be more distal. I think the notion of Italo-Celtic is still in vogue, at least in some quarters. I'd have put those limbs in close proximity, rather than separating by Baltic, Slavic and Albanian. The Celtic languages together have about as many speakers as Albanian --- the size of the little Celtic cluster should be made a little bigger.

Low German doesn't derive from High German (they are geographical dialects still quite obvious in modern Germany & Austria).

Some early sub-families are left off or not named. If you're going to call it a "comprehensive overlook" and devise a way of seeing the whole extended family through history, then you can't get away with pulling a Sirius Black and just leaving those bits off.

Which begs the question, just what is "Low German."?
 

Mythopoet

Auror
This is actually a diagram that the artist made to demonstrate language development in her post-apocalyptic web comic. Hence the references to "year 0". For some reason no one seems to notice that part when they share it around on their websites. Still, it's very cool and mostly accurate so not at all a bad way to envision language development of Europe and parts of Asia.
 

elemtilas

Inkling
Which begs the question, just what is "Low German."?

High German is the continuum of southern dialects: Franconian, Bavarian, and the like. Draw a line from Cologne over to Berlin and what's south of that is High German. Low German is Saxon, Pomeranian, etc. Everything north of that line apart from Dutch and Frisian. Also included here is Pennsylvanian German.
 

elemtilas

Inkling
This is actually a diagram that the artist made to demonstrate language development in her post-apocalyptic web comic. Hence the references to "year 0". For some reason no one seems to notice that part when they share it around on their websites. Still, it's very cool and mostly accurate so not at all a bad way to envision language development of Europe and parts of Asia.

Really? That's not readily apparent from the write-up. And of course, that's not what the image is saying at all. Especially when you put several of the historical languages in the image (Indo-European, Indic, Uralic, West Germanic, etc) I'm not sure what languages spoken three to six thousand years ago have to do with a post-apocalyptic comic. Unless the apocalypse in question was thousands of years ago. But that would make even less sense, since not all the language families are the same age...

So yeah, fairly accurate, could have been done better, but visually stunning all the same.
 

Russ

Istar
High German is the continuum of southern dialects: Franconian, Bavarian, and the like. Draw a line from Cologne over to Berlin and what's south of that is High German. Low German is Saxon, Pomeranian, etc. Everything north of that line apart from Dutch and Frisian. Also included here is Pennsylvanian German.

That is an interesting approach to thinking about that language.

My family is Austrian, and we speak totally different, and would never use the term "high German" in that way. I guess it is a bird's eye view from outsiders.

And what might you refer to the language that my Prussian relatives speak?
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
Where's Breton? Or Estonian? Also, I'm deeply skeptical of knowing how many people spoke a language before the year 0 (which doesn't exist, btw).

It's a nice picture, but I feel it ultimately is misleading. Why not just have a nice list? Still, respect to the artist.
 

TheKillerBs

Inkling
Am I the only one who was bothered by the "European" branch in Indo-European? And what happened to Basque? Why is it not its own little tree chilling in there somewhere?
 

dannYves

Dreamer
Where's Breton? Or Estonian? Also, I'm deeply skeptical of knowing how many people spoke a language before the year 0 (which doesn't exist, btw).

Latin, appears to be 'oddly' missing, unless I have over-looked it. I initially couldn't find Romani and then I found it but it was so tiny on a branch that I couldn't believe it LoL.

The artist also appeared to use some type of poetic license where s/he chose the year 0 which I am assuming is the same as AD 1!? Most of the languages currently awknowledged by scholars that were spoken in B.C.E. were out of the European foundation (i.e., Egyptian, Akkadian, Summerian, Old Chinese, ect...) And the artist also chose to rename the language families which confused me a bit.
 
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elemtilas

Inkling
That is an interesting approach to thinking about that language.

My family is Austrian, and we speak totally different, and would never use the term "high German" in that way. I guess it is a bird's eye view from outsiders.

And what might you refer to the language that my Prussian relatives speak?

Right. "High German" is a linguistics term, not necessarily the local name of any dialect.

As for (modern) Prussian, that's a Low German dialect.

If your ancestors came from what was once Prussia, and long enough ago, then it's possible they spoke Prussian, a Baltic language akin to Lithuanian & Latvian.
 

Mythopoet

Auror
Yes, once again, this is a diagram for a fictional, post-apocalyptic world that the artist writes a web comic about. For some reason websites all over the place have been picking up the image while totally ignoring its context. (Not elem's fault. I've seen this thing pop up all over the place.) Year 0 is the year of the apocalypse in the story.
 

elemtilas

Inkling
Yes, once again, this is a diagram for a fictional, post-apocalyptic world that the artist writes a web comic about. For some reason websites all over the place have been picking up the image while totally ignoring its context. (Not elem's fault. I've seen this thing pop up all over the place.) Year 0 is the year of the apocalypse in the story.

I know you've said that the diagram is somehow related to a fictional world. But I really don't see anywhere where this is made clear!

It takes rather a lot of digging to get to any mention of a comic, and even if that's the case, the image is still just off enough to make me wonder. Was she trying to create a different but very similar situation to primary world history? Or was she just being a touch lazy / applying too much artistic license to the back story. Or didn't quite fully understand the data she was using?

If year 0 is supposed to represent the languages of Europe as they will be at that time, around the apocalypse, then in my opinion I think the criticisms stand.
 

TheKillerBs

Inkling
Basque, as far as anyone knows, is neither IE nor Uralic, so has no business photobombing this map at all! ;)

I know it is a language isolate, but this isn't a map of IE and Uralic, which are two totally unrelated language families. It's a map of the languages of Europe, which is a geographic grouping that includes Basque.
 

Mythopoet

Auror
I know it is a language isolate, but this isn't a map of IE and Uralic, which are two totally unrelated language families. It's a map of the languages of Europe, which is a geographic grouping that includes Basque.

The diagram says "a comprehensive look at the Nordic Languages in their Old World Language Families". It's focused on the Nordic languages because that's what the characters in the web comic speak. Basque is irrelevant.
 

TheKillerBs

Inkling
The diagram says "a comprehensive look at the Nordic Languages in their Old World Language Families". It's focused on the Nordic languages because that's what the characters in the web comic speak. Basque is irrelevant.

Nordic languages do not include the Uralic families either. Nordic languages are a family within the Germanic languages within IE.
 

elemtilas

Inkling
I know it is a language isolate, but this isn't a map of IE and Uralic, which are two totally unrelated language families. It's a map of the languages of Europe, which is a geographic grouping that includes Basque.

Well, specifically, it's a map of Indo-European languages (many of which are not spoken in Europe) and Uralic languages. I don't think there is a definitive statement one way or the other, but I know there is some interest in the Indo-Uralic theory. Of course the Nostraticists and Eurasiaticists consider the two families to be related. How closely and whether or not they form a united superfamily is debatable.

Anyway, if she wanted a tree including all languages of Europe, she'd have to include Turkish (spoken in Turkey-in-Europe) and probably other non Indo-Uralic languages spoken in western Russia. Oh, and Arabic, spoken in Malta.

And of course, Basque! :D
 
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