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Map of the Indigenous Languages of North America
|| 8/25/2009 || 5:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Map Created by Wikipedia User ish ishwar in 2005, using the GIMP software.
Click to view original map.

I came across this map of the Indigenous Languages of North America the other night and it reminded me of my previous entry related to the map of the languages of Europe.

According to the Wikipedia entry on the map:

about sources

Map redrawn and modified primary based on two maps by cartographer Roberta Bloom appearing in Mithun (1999:xviii-xxi). Incidentally, these maps are very derivative of the Driver map of the 1950s-60s (which means that, although published in 1999, it is not as up-to-date as one might think). The other main source used is the up-to-date and very well-done map found in Goddard (1996), which was revised as Goddard (1999). Essentially, Bloom’s map was used for the projection and general outline of language borders while Goddard’s maps were used to adjust Bloom’s borders to reflect the more recent research.
Additional references include Sturtevant (1978-present), Mithun (1999:606-616), and Campbell (1997:353-376). Mithun and Campbell have several maps based on the maps found in Sturtevant (1978-present) and Bright (1992).


about map content

— Map delineates each language family in a unique color.
Language isolates are all in dark grey, e.g. Chitimacha (#7) is an isolate in Louisiana. This is not meant to imply any relationship among them whatsoever. All isolates are assigned a number and listed on the right side of map.
Unclassified languages (i.e. #1 Beothuk, #4 Calusa, #8 Adai, #10 Karankawa, #12 Aranama, #15 Solano, #19 Esselen, #26 Cayuse) are in light grey and are also assigned a number and listed with the isolates on the right. (Unclassified languages in the case of North America are unclassified because there is not sufficient data to determine genealogical relationship.)
— Areas in white are either
1. uninhabited (in Alaska, Canada, Greenland),
2. unknown (due to early extinction and little or no data; this is mostly in the East), or
3. outside of subject area (in Mexico). (note that Seri (#17) is included because it is usually considered part of the Southwest culture area and also included in various Hokan phylum proposals.)
— This is a historical map: Although most languages are still spoken in North America, the extent of their distribution has been profoundly affected by European contact — many languages have become extinct (sometimes including even the peoples).
— Language areas are those at earliest time of European contact, as far as can be determined. Since contact occurred at different times in different areas, no historical Native American maps of the entire continent are of a single time period.
Language areas are not as well-defined as this map would suggest: borders are often fuzzy and arbitrary and the entire language area may not be fully occupied by language speakers.
— Na-Dene here is Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit, excluding Haida (#28).
— The following groupings are disputed by some (or are considered not fully demonstrated):
1. Plateau Penutian (aka Shahapwailutan) = Klamath-Modoc (isolate) + Molala (isolate) + Sahaptian (family). Sometimes Cayuse (#26) is included in Plateau Penutian, but this language is not very well documented and is now extinct. Thus, it is considered unclassified here.
2. Yuki-Wappo = Yuki (isolate) + Wappo (isolate).


Note: Since I inverted the color scheme when publishing this map, the white is black and the grey is still grey.

What struck me about this map was how many languages were spoken in North America before European colonization. I’m curious about how similar and dissimilar some of the languages were to each other, but alas, I can never hear all of them now. When it comes to the spatial proximity of the language isolates with languages of larger tribes, I’m curious as to how these languages were able to remain linguistically different. While some tribes travelled each year between summer and winter cities, I would imagine that there was some interaction- either through peaceful trade or warfare. Sadly, most of that information has been lost, but I’m glad some researchers have taken the time to attempt to draw the map above.


Related Found Maps:

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Do X in Dildo [a historical linguistic anamoly from 1932]
|| 3/24/2008 || 3:59 pm || Comments Off on Do X in Dildo [a historical linguistic anamoly from 1932] || ||

Present day english could describe “Do X in Dildo” as some odd porno rave, but according to page 181 of Vikings to U-Boats: The German Experience in Newfoundland and Labrador By Gerhard P. Bassler, Do X in Dildo has a completely different meaning:

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Thats the Kurti…
|| 3/3/2008 || 12:10 pm || Comments Off on Thats the Kurti… || ||


Kurti

Screen grab featuring Home Quilt #6

So as I mentioned back in January, I was looking for a blog where my website was linked using the words “Kurti.” Today I found what I was looking for! It’s a blog entry in Latvian from April. Now I just need to get it all translated…



Map of the Languages of Europe
|| 2/21/2008 || 10:26 am || Comments Off on Map of the Languages of Europe || ||


The Languages of Europe

Following up yesterday’s posting about languages, I am posting this map I found on Wikipedia that shows where different languages are spoken throughout Europe. I find this type of map quite interesting to view, yet I feel it lacks one important cartographic aspect: overlap. Basically, the simplified map above does not show where multiple languages are spoken, rather only where the dominant languages are. By not including this important aspect we are given a nicely colored map, yet in reality there is a lot more merging of colors because there are geographies that have multiple languages spoken.


It’s too bad I don’t know Hebrew because tonight’s exhibition will most likely include some Hebrew on maps of Israel.


#UPDATE – I have updated the map to the latest version on Wikipedia, which was made in February 25, 2009.


Related Europe Entries:

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(Mecca) is now Makkah
|| 11/28/2007 || 10:27 pm || Comments Off on (Mecca) is now Makkah || ||

On August 12th, 2007 I took this screenshot for my blog entry related to the Astro-theological overlays for Google Earth. The project overlaid the zodiac on locations of religious importance: Vatican City, Mecca, and Jerusalem.

Today I discovered that that the names for the locations have changed in Google Earth.

note: the Kaaba is in the lower right-hand corner

My entire life I have always spelled it the city as Mecca. I wonder when this was changed? Should I change my spellings? Some day I would like to visit the holy city of Makkah :-)


Related Mecca Entries:

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The Astro-Theological Overlays for Google Earth
|| 8/12/2007 || 12:14 pm || Comments Off on The Astro-Theological Overlays for Google Earth || ||

Click on the image below to download the .kmz file [888 Kb] for Google Earth:

Instead of just wrapping the Astrological Calendar from 1544 around the earth, today I decided to place the calendar alongside the 3 holy locations of Catholicism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This geographic juxtaposition of pagan symbolism with established religion makes this series of overlays one of the more interesting cartographic creations I’ve ever made.

Continue reading:

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